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  • Tanisha Herrin

Managing Depression on a Budget: How to Help Yourself Cope at Little or No Cost

If you struggle with depression, you may think that you have to spend hundreds of dollars per month in counseling sessions or paying for medication to control your symptoms, but if you simply don’t have insurance or cash to cover such treatment, there are ways you can help yourself cope with depression on a budget.

There are actions you can take when managing depression to reduce or eliminate symptoms to bring relief. Don’t let the lack of money or insurance keep you feeling down. You may feel too depressed to take action, but if you want to feel better, you have to be willing to make changes. Here are ideas to consider the situation from another perspective.

Reach Out to Others

One very simple thing that you can do to cope with depression is to cultivate a supportive relationship with someone you trust. Having support is a huge factor in managing your symptoms. If you stay isolated, your symptoms can get worse. Getting with people that care about you can help get your mind in a better place and get your mind away from negative thinking.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help! There are so many people you can talk to and more than you think. Discuss your issues with a counselor; check with your local social service agency to see if they can recommend a non-profit that offers free counseling. Churches offer support groups for those struggling with depression or other mood disorders. Make phone calls and ask around to find free local resources. You can also consider online support groups for depression.

Sometimes reaching out for help or support is hard for people. Perhaps you are embarrassed or ashamed to tell someone what you are feeling. It is okay to feel this way, but getting things off your chest can help even more. You feel a sense of release.

Give Your Time

Volunteer where people are in need. Sometimes the best way to feel better about yourself is to help others. Think about volunteering at the hospital, animal shelter, a nursing home, or anywhere you think you could make a difference. It helps put things in perspective when looking at your situation versus someone else’s. There are people going through tough times right now for whatever reason. Being there for someone else during their time of need gives hope things will get better. Volunteering with certain agencies may help you get tips on how to handle your depression.

Get Moving

Getting started with exercise is easier than you think. Exercise releases endorphin into our bodies and gives us a natural boost in mood. Consider joining a gym or exercise class or even ask a buddy to exercise with you. Keep each other accountable and encourage each other along the way.

Write On!

Dealing with depression through writing is a productive way to get your feelings out and keep track of your thoughts and daily activities. Begin writing down your thoughts, hopes, and dreams daily and review periodically. Challenge any negative thinking and replace the negative with positive thoughts. Write down a list of positive affirmations and say aloud daily to increase your self-esteem and confidence.

Make Eating Improvements

Eating better can improve body functioning and help you think more clearly. Seek a quality multi-vitamin supplement to ensure you’re getting plenty of nutrients. Pay attention to sugar intake. Low levels of serotonin have a depression link. Although refined sugars can temporarily boost these levels, you may see your mood shift pretty quickly when sugar levels drop. Consider cutting back on junk food and learn about foods good for depression.

You can cope with depression without spending a fortune. Start with the decision to take positive action. Follow your decision with a plan that can work for you. Make realistic choices based on what you can do now. Learn other ways people deal with depression to stay motivated and inspired to find what will work for you.

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