Best Way to Develop an Action Plan to Overcome Depression

Life is full of problems. But the inevitable crises and dis­appointments of living can overwhelm people who are prone to depression. You may be able to use the action plan described here to keep that from happening, and to help you manage and prevent depression.

With this method, there are seven steps to solving problems-.

  •  Identifying the source of the difficulty
  •  Pinpointing the problem
  •  Listing ideas that might help solve the problem
  •  Selecting one idea and trying it out
Depression2 Best Way to Develop an Action Plan to Overcome Depression
  •  Assessing the results
  •  Making a midcourse correction, if necessary
  •  Rewarding yourself for progress

An action plan to overcome depression

Denise had been recovering well from an episode of depression but began to feel that her progress had stalled. She was eager to prevent a relapse, so here’s how she used an action plan in managing her depression.

Step 1: Denise identified the source of her difficulty by rec­ognizing that she felt lonely and couldn’t remember the last time she had had any fun.

Step 2: She determined that she was missing the pleasant and relaxing activities that she used to schedule all the time.

Step 3: With a friend’s help, Denise made a list of all the ideas she could think of for increasing the number of pleasurable events in her life. This is her list:

  •  Read a juicy novel.
  •  Take a tap dance class.
  •  loin a book club.
  • Rent a weekly movie and invite friends over to watch.
  •  Bake brownies.
  •  Bicycle to a park.
  •  Invite a friend to lunch.
  •  Learn Spanish.

Step 4: After looking over the list, Denise decided she would like to try biking to a park every day after work. At the park, she would sit under a tree and read a novel for half an hour.

Step 5: After 1 week, Denise assessed the results of her plan. She had gone for a bike ride only on Tuesday and Wednesday because it had rained on the other three workdays. She had enjoyed the outings, but she knew she had no desire to ride in the rain, and she was still feeling lonely.

Step 6: So Denise decided to join a cycling club where she could meet other people. At her first meeting she arranged to go for a long Saturday ride with a small group of members.

Step 7: She rewarded herself for making progress by treat­ing herself to a massage at the end of the week.

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