May 1, 2023

Strategies to Ease Symptoms of Depression, No Matter Your Age

General Health

You don’t have to have a long-term disorder to experience symptoms of depression. Circumstances in your life can lead to changes in your mood patterns. When you feel stress affecting you following life changes, take some of the pressure off by following these strategies.

Ages 18-25

Young adulthood is a time of change, so it might not be a surprise that this age group frequently struggles with mental health. Entering a career, going off to school, or just moving away from home for the first time can be major stressors.

To better face those changes:
● Practice relaxation techniques to ease stress.
● Watch your intake of caffeine, which can harm your sleep and mental health.
● Attend therapy to help boost your confidence, manage stress, and face your fears.

The goal of therapy is to help stop or reduce feelings of sadness or anxiety. Read more about mental health resources and how to find support for emotional issues.

Ages 26-40

From your mid-20s through your 40s, you’re often building a career, navigating the dating world, deciding whether to start a family, or taking care of young children. This can make you feel like your time is spread thin.

To stay energized:
● Eat nutritious meals. Focus on getting enough fiber and water, which help keep your mood stable.
● Don’t smoke. If you drink, practice moderation. The chemicals in tobacco and alcohol may seem to alleviate stress for a short time, but they have more depressing effects in the long run.

Ages 41-64

Once you reach middle age, you may find yourself with a lot of emotional and financial responsibility. Women in this age group are often dealing with menopause, while men sometimes struggle to create strong social networks.

To keep your stress levels down:
● Practice mind-body techniques, such as meditation, massage, and journaling.
● Accept help from others.
● Add exercise to your to-do list and schedule a regular time for it.

Everyone responds to stress differently. Take this stress response assessment to help identify your personal stress profile.

Ages 65+

Risk factors for depression in older adults include losing a loved one, being diagnosed with a medical condition, and not getting good sleep. The stress of caregiving for your loved ones can also take a toll.

To feel as good as possible:
● Nurture bonds with friends and family.
● Stay physically active.
● Get enough sleep per night (aim for 7 to 9 hours).
● Find activities you enjoy and stick with them.

Warning signs of mental health issues can vary with age. Click here to learn which behaviors to look for so that you can help your friends, family members, or even yourself get the right treatment. (También disponible en español).

At every stage of life, there are circumstances that can negatively affect your mental health, but you can help ease symptoms of depression by noticing stressful changes and applying strategies to reduce their impact on your mood. What is one strategy you can try and apply with only a little effort today?