Self-Help Tips for Depression: Routine


In a previous post, I introduced a screening assessment for depression. In this post, I have listed self-hip tips that can help you perform your daily occupations. The major theme is routine

Self-Help Tips

1.     With depression, losing interest in activities that once used to be pleasurable is a major symptom. Go through this Interest Checklist and see what activities still interest you and that you might be interested in pursuing.

2.     Create a list of self-help tools that have helped raise your mood. Examples are meditation, aromatherapy (candles, lotions, soaps), watching a funny You-tube clip, going for a walk, drinking tea, taking a bath, etc.

3.     Sleep disturbance is common as well and can set you back day after day.

a.     Create a bedtime routine at the same time every night, including the weekends. Example: 10pm – take a hot shower, brush teeth, use lavender lotion, get into bed and close eyes by 11pm.

b.     Get up at the same time every morning and create an enjoyable morning routine that you can look forward to. Example: 7am – take a hot bath, read or meditate or sit in your backyard, drink tea, and eat breakfast by 7:30am.

4.     Use this Role Checklist to list the roles that you have had, have now, and plan to have in the future, and each role’s value to you. Examples: parent, student, worker, friend. List the daily activities you need to do to fulfill the most valuable roles.

5.     People who have depression often feel like they are losing track of time, like one day is blending into the next. Expand that sleep routine into a gentle daily routine with set times will help you get back on track. Sandwich one “must-do” role activity with two self-help activities.


Example daily routine:

7am – get up, take a hot bath, sit in the backyard with a cup of tea

7:30am – make and eat breakfast with family members

8am – get dressed for work, leave by 8:30am. In the car, play your favorite music and practice deep breathing.

9am - 5pm – Work. Make sure you take a 5 min break at least once an hour to turn away from whatever you’re doing to move your body, stretch, grab some water, take some deep breaths, use the restroom. Sandwich especially tough work activities with your self-help activities. (Tip: Have a tube of your favorite lotion or soap at work.)

6pm – Do something for yourself, like change out of your work clothes before moving on to other chores, like preparing dinner and checking the mail.

7pm – Dinner.

8-10pm – Help the kids with their homework. Enforce a “take a break every half hour” rule.

10pm – Start bedtime routine: take a hot shower, bruch teeth, use lavender lotion.

11pm – Get in bed.


What is your daily routine? 

Jessica May