Changing routines & behavioral therapies

Stress management - Some simple steps to reduce stress:

         Postpone major life changes

         Engage in an enjoyable and distracting activity

         Avoid working long hours

         Decrease work load and responsibilities

         Allow time for rest and relaxation

         Incorporate regular gentle exercise

         Learn and practice

o        Slow breathing exercise - separate sheet (pdf)

o        Progressive muscle relaxation exercise - separate sheet (pdf)

         Avoid excess alcohol - (aggravates depression)

         Avoid Cannabis - (reduces motivation)

         Problem solving - (see  Structured problem solving htm)

Activity Planning, pleasant event scheduling

Generally the less you do, the worse you feel, It helps to plan your day - Set out time that you will do:

         Shopping, cleaning, attending to mail

         Physical activity (eg. walking) - each morning and/or late afternoon

         Include at least one pleasant activity every day - something you used to enjoy (eg. listen to music)

Nb. 1.  At first, you won't find these activities as enjoyable as before, but if you persist the pleasure will return
      2.  Try to stick to your plan, but do not get upset if you cannot do so.

Improving sleep

Depression is usually associated with poor quality sleep (not enough deep sleep & dream sleep).

Your sleep will be improved if you:

         Get out of bed as soon as you wake up in the morning

         Try to get up about the same time each day

         Do not nap during the day

         Try to be active while the sun is up

         Avoid drinking caffeine after 4pm

         Allow yourself time to wind down before going to bed

         Avoid watching television till late

         Go to bed at approximately 10 - 10.30pm

         Minimise use of sleeping tablets, alcohol

         Try to make your bedroom quiet, dim and cool

         Avoid too many blankets and electric blankets

Further information on sleep hygiene:

o        See sheet on sleep-wake cycle management (pdf)

o       Website:


Anxiety & Depression resources: