For some time now I have felt the need to write my own leaflet on the holistic approaches which are very helpful for depressed clients. I say clients, because becoming a client is certainly the most effective item of self-help a depressed person can do. Along with the therapy, I suggest researched self-care topics in this leaflet that are very likely to help speed and maintain your recovery. It’s value-for-money (VFM), really – if you don’t do the self-care, you will likely end up being in therapy a lot longer.
Reading a leaflet is more VFM than spending lots of time in the session, too, writing the stuff down when quite often your mind is pre-occupied. It can be used as a reference at home, and to support you when you have recovered. Each item has a clear evidence base in depression.
You can give the leaflet to people around you who want to help and be supportive, and several of the items , e.g. diet, will allow them to do just that.
The leaflet got quite large quite quickly!- too large to put on here, and too large to read in one sitting. I think I covered all the main points, though, in eight pages. Here is the self-care checklist that I put at the end of the leaflet, as a quick reminder, to be looked at every week by my clients – if you are depressed, how are you doing?
Checklist. Mark yourself out of ten as you progress with these ideas.
Becoming aware of when my brain starts to brood/ruminate?
Remembering to laugh at the critical inner voice?
Counting my blessings before going to sleep?
Practising mindfulness/meditation every day?
Going to therapy?
Watching and choosing what I eat?
Working on my own hidden anger?
Exercising in the open air?
How sociable and friendly have I been?
Have I done things that I used to enjoy doing?
Amusing myself with a funny book, film or TV show?
Have I congratulated myself for what I have done of the list above?
Each topic on my leaflet, reflected very briefly in the questions above, has been researched in it’s own right and shown to have a positive benefit on depressed clients.