Coping with Depression, Anxiety, Grief and Loss
Here are a few suggestions everyone can use to better cope with the stressors associated with depression, anxiety, the loss of a loved one or with just life in general:
Practice Self-Care. Pay particular attention to your eating, sleeping and leisure, or
“down” time. Factor in “downtime” each day. While it is okay to sometimes indulge in
treats, try to balance with healthy meals. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated; limit
your use of alcohol. Excessive use of alcohol will only increase your feelings of
depression and helplessness.
Anticipate Stress. Plan an activity when things get stressful such as taking a 15-minute
walk outside. Other suggestions to think about: stargaze at night, go to your favorite
store and just look and browse, listen to soothing music, find a room or “safe space” in
your home to read a book or magazine or to just decompress. Destressing can also
include giving the gift of your time by volunteering at your place of worship, community
center, soup kitchen, animal rescue center, etc.
Spend time with supportive friends, family members: Call a supportive friend or
family member or your pastor on the phone and spend a few minutes to chat/talk. Use
electronic platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, or Zoom to reach out and connect
with others, particularly those who live far away. Contact someone you have not heard
from in a while. Use this as an opportunity to talk, catch up. Consider using this time of
the year to reach out and make new friends.
Practice Gratitude: Write a daily “gratitude list” and then offer thanks in thought,
prayer, meditation on those things you are grateful for. Use this time to affirm the good
things you have received. Use this time to acknowledge the role other people play in
providing help and support in our daily lives. Practicing daily gratitude has been shown
to improve one’s mental health.
It’s okay at times not to be ‘okay’: Feeling sad, lonely, or anxious are normal human
emotions that everyone experiences. There is time for these feeling to be present. And
there is time for giving yourself permission to take a break from these feelings.
If nothing is working, it is possible that you may be clinically depressed or anxious and may
need professional help. Talking with a mental health professional or taking a mental health
screening can help you better understand how you are coping with stress, depression, loss, grief, or anxiety, and help you get on the path to a happier and healthier life.
Feel free to contact the Mental Health Association in Forsyth County, NC at 336-768-3880 for information about depression, anxiety, and grief, and for referrals for help or information about their free support groups. You can take a free, confidential mental health screening on their website: www.triadmentalhealth.org.
Local/crisis mental health resources include the following that operate on a 24/7 basis:
Partners Health Management – 1-888-235-4673
Mobile Crisis Services (Daymark Recovery Services) – 1-866-275-9552 Old Vineyard Behavioral Health – 24/7 Assessment Line – 1-855-234-5920
For family support, family support groups, advocacy, consider the following local resource: NAMI-NW Piedmont (National Alliance on Mental Illness) – NOT 24/7 – 336-744-0370
For those who want to offer support, but are not sure what to do, consider the following: Provide empathy and support – Empathize with someone who has lost a loved one
recently or who is struggling emotionally during this time. While we cannot “fix” their
particular problems, we can offer a comforting, listening ear.
Share encouraging words on social media – Share encouraging words of hope online.
You never know – your words might be the words someone needed to read and hear. Offer words of hope during intercessory prayers at your church, synagogue, temple,
house of worship: Using words such as “depression”, “anxiety”, “grief”, “mental
health” during intercessory prayers lets people know that this is a safe place.