Developing Your Self-Care Program for Depression

A good self-care program for depression is made up of small steps you can take to help yourself feel better.

Here are six steps you can do at home.

For each step, use the self-care work sheet to help you get started and follow through. The work sheets explain each step and offer suggestions and examples. Start by trying one or two of these steps. Then as you feel able, try one or two more steps.

Write Things Down

As you choose a step, print the work sheet and write down what you plan to do. Writing things down on the work sheet will help you remember what you want to do, focus on it, and carry it out.

Depression makes it hard to focus, remember things, or feel good about yourself. Writing things down will help.

Over time, you will see positive changes in your thoughts and feelings if you have a plan and you follow it every day. You'll feel better about yourself when you do something you've planned.

You're Not Alone

Self-care doesn't mean you're on your own, without any help. Ask your friends and family for ideas and support. Your doctor can help you understand and practice self-care methods.

The keys to success are to get started and stick with your self-care program, even when you're feeling better.

Clinical review by Greg Simon, MD
Kaiser Permanente
Reviewed 03/01/2014