A guide to depression and advice on how to look after yourself.

What is depression?

We all have times where we feel a bit down and we aren’t enjoying life as much as we normally do, but when those feelings stick around for a long time, and really start to affect your life, it might be a sign you have depression. 

When something bad has happened, such as relationship breakdown, having financial worries, or even when the weather is miserable, it’s not unusual to experience feelings of sadness, restlessness, or low self-esteem. But these feelings typically go away in time. For people with depression, these feelings might not have an obvious cause, can persist for a long time, and can be very severe.  

Typical symptoms of depression include: 

  • Feelings of sadness or being tearful for a long time 
  • Feelings of agitation, irritability, or anxiety 
  • Feelings of guilt and struggling to make decisions 
  • Lacking interest in the things you normally enjoy 
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or taking your life 
  • Loss of appetite, or overeating 
  • Loss of energy 
  • General aches and pains 
  • Changes to your sleep patterns 
  • Withdrawing from friends and family 
  • Struggling to perform at work 

There are lots of other symptoms of depression and you may not have all of them. Having these feelings most of the time for two weeks or more is an indicator that you have depression. 

Doctors often describe depression as being mild, moderate, or severe, based on the level of impact it has on your life. It is very common, with 1 in 10 people in the UK experiencing it at some point in their lives. The good news is that there is lots that can be done to treat or avoid depression, and you can do many of those things yourself. 

Self-care for depression

There are lots of things you can do for yourself that help with depression. Here are a few ideas: 

Create your Mind Plan 

We’ve partnered with the NHS and Public Health England on their mental health campaign, Every Mind Matters.  One of the great resources they have provided is a simple quiz to help you build your own personalised ‘mind plan’. This mind plan gives you helpful suggestions for ways to manage your mental health, such as suggestions for improving your sleep, tips on relaxing your muscles, or connecting with others for more support. 

Online CBT and support

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy which looks at how your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes affect your feelings and behaviour. Your GP might refer you to see a therapist face to face, but you can also access CBT online, which has been shown to be very effective for some people. The NHS recommends various mental health apps, some of which include CBT. 

As an employee of JLR, you can download the Thrive app for free, which now includes CBT. 

Make time for the things you enjoy

Losing interest in the things you used to enjoy is a very common in people who have depression. However, it can be really helpful to make time for these activities. 

You can start small, maybe with having a shower using your favourite shower gel, or having a meal you really enjoy. Really focus on the experience; think about the smell of the shower gel, the feeling of the bubbles, and the sound of water.  

Then you can work up to bigger things like a trip to your favourite restaurant, or maybe even taking a holiday! It doesn’t matter if the things you do are small, as long as they really mean something to you. 

If you’re struggling with your mental health, it’s important you seek some help from your GP. If it’s affecting your ability to work, speak to your manager to see if a referral to Occupational Health is appropriate. You can contact our EAP for free and confidential support 24/7, 365 days a year. 

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