Building a good lifestyle and routine

Having a good lifestyle and a routine to fall back on can drastically reduce the chances of various mental illnesses, let alone depression. It can also include daily physical exercise or stress-reducing hobbies.

Apart from this, one can try to have a good social support system by trying to maintain healthy and convivial relationships by keeping in touch with their close friends and family and effectively communicating with them.

One can always work with a therapist to cultivate good coping mechanisms to deal with stress. Seeking help at the earliest signs of depression can greatly help in reducing the severity.

However, in certain cases, depression could be due to more serious issues such as experiences of prolonged abuse, interpersonal trauma, severe crisis etc. In such situations, it is imperative that the core issues are addressed with the help of trusted psychiatrist and therapist.

Building emotional resilience

Take the time to identify and acknowledge your feelings. Don’t ignore or suppress your feelings so that your job gets completed. It isn’t necessary to always compartmentalise your emotions and lock them away, which is what we often do in our day-to-day lives. It’s fine if your emotions spill over once in a while – over a period of time, the “spillage” becomes less because it has found its vent.

Make feelings and emotions a part of your everyday vocabulary. This could mean saying something like, “Oh, even you’re feeling weepy-weepy? I went through that spell last week.”

Try to keep your sights on the bigger picture. No test can really assess an individual or his or her capacities. There is life beyond the lab, beyond IISc, beyond science.

If you are being encouraged to compete against others where it isn’t necessary, you have to identify it and consciously decide not to participate in it. You have to understand the limitations of competition and say, “I will be my own competition”.

Make sure that rivalries do not dilute your friendships.

Try not to isolate yourself or push other people away. Your friends and loved ones will help build resilience in you. They may not be able to solve your problems, but they can help you feel better about them.

Try not to avoid problems; try to find solutions to them and deal with them head-on.