Immediate Positive Steps
While these tips have been highlighted throughout this booklet, to follow is a summary of these important positive steps. Although some of these suggestions may sound simple, many can offer immediate help to lift one’s mood.
1. Exercise. Exercise is proven to produce an increase in chemicals such as endorphins, which can make us feel less depressed – and can help to lessen fatigue as well.
2. Create a stress management program. Many strategies, such as meditation, yoga, and guided-imagery, are available to manage stress, and can help with life’s ups and downs.
3. Talk about your feelings. Confide in a trusted friend or family member.
4. Commit to one activity each week. Being accountable to a group can be a motivator to change your environment and get social support.
5. Journal your feelings. Take time to write down your emotions.
6. Develop a spiritual interest. Spend time in nature, prayer, meditation, religion, or some other form of spiritual practice.
7. Find your bliss. What is the one thing in your life that makes you want to get up in the morning?
8. Help others. Volunteering is a great way to improve self-esteem and combat feelings of worthlessness.
9. Reward yourself. Do something that makes you feel good (and causes no harm).
10. Adopt a pet. Pets provide unconditional love.
11. Create a gratitude list. Take the time to shift the focus from all that is going wrong, to all that is going right in your life.
12. Maintain a sense of humor. Laughing provides therapeutic value – even consciously smiling can help you to feel better.
Proven medications and therapy are now available to individuals who suffer from depression. Given the many resources that individuals with MS have to draw upon for support, we can see that this is a very hopeful time. By reading this booklet, you have taken an important first step toward healing your emotional pain. Having done so, you are greatly encouraged to take the next step… which is to seek treatment. Soon you will be on your way to a happier outlook in life.