Depression is an incredibly debilitating mental illness to deal with, even given how common it is, and one of the most pervasive ways that it makes your life harder is by making you feel lonely and isolated. The symptoms of depression often make it difficult for you to maintain the friendships and relationships that you do have, let alone forming new ones, and you can end up withdrawing from social interaction and spending a lot of time in solitude. Sadly, this has a tendency to leave you feeling very alone and unsupported, which will only make your depression worse.
Even though it’s hard, there are still plenty of ways that you can build new friendships and enjoy interacting with other people when you have depression! You might have to take a different approach from your methods of making friends, but it’s still possible to form meaningful and long-lasting relationships when you’re struggling with depression.
Find a Support Group
One of the difficulties that arises in relationships when you have depression is that sometimes, people that you’re close with just won’t get it for one reason or another. The solution: find people who get it! Support groups or group therapy organizations for people with depression can be a great way to interact with people who know exactly what you’re going through and can sympathize and provide support and good advice. Joining one of these groups allows you to kill two birds with one stone– working on treating your depression and forming new, fulfilling relationships at the same time!
Have a Routine
This is another way to meet new people while also working to combat your depression. Keeping a regular routine that you stick to every day can be difficult, but it can make a world of difference in your depression. Try to build a daily or weekly routine that works for you but that includes going out in public somewhere, like the coffee shop or the library, and a form of physical activity, like a walk or run through the neighborhood or a local yoga or exercise class. Becoming a regular at certain places will allow you to meet and make friends with other people who frequent the same spots you do, and getting in the habit of going outside and interacting with people and getting some physical exercise in your routine will only help you to feel more energized, grounded, and positive.
Take Up New Activities
Depression can be a bit of a tricky beast in the way that it affects your perceptions. One of the most common signs of depression is that it causes you to take no enjoyment in things that you used to love. For example, you might not be able to focus on a book anymore when you loved reading before, or you might have really enjoyed cooking only to now view making dinner every night as a chore. Hobbies can be a great way to meet new people, so if you’re finding that your old hobbies are feeling a little lackluster, trying your hand at a new hobby can help give you a new outlet to focus on, and might help you meet some new friends as well! If you can find a hobby that has mental health benefits, like meditation, crafting, or journaling, that’s even better.
The age of technology that we live in has its ups and downs, but the amount of connection that it has facilitated between all different kinds of people is one of the most amazing things that has been accomplished in recent years. You don’t have to live near lots of people that you love in order to find connection when you’re feeling depressed. You don’t even need to leave your house! Utilize technology to help you build and maintain relationships that help you feel better. Have video calls with friends and family, join online spaces dedicated to things you love. You can even find support groups and other mental health resources online as well!
Sometimes when you’re struggling with depression, it feels easier to just shut the world out and wallow in being lonely. However, connection with other people can make a huge difference in helping you to feel better, and it’s right there for you to find it if you’re willing to look! You can learn more about depression and ways to help you fight back against it by continuing to read on our website.