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* Leave work after 8 hours without making excuses

* Go to bed at the same time every night

* Get at least 7 hours of sleep. Try for 8.

* Stop drinking alcohol and using drugs

* Eat better. Cook your own meals. Do meal prep to make it easier.

* Start exercising. Start 3x per week, 15 min of HIIT per day.

* Drink a large glass of water when you wake up. Drink water throughout the day.

* Don't drink more than one cup of coffee per day

* Don't use sleeping pills

* Work hard during your 8 hours and let it go when you leave.

* Say "No" more at work. Do it with a smile.

* Do a few minutes of stretching and meditation every day.

* Start looking for another job. Put the feelers out. Set up notifications. Take it easy and schedule one or two phone calls per week. Think of it like fishing. You're just chilling out and casting your line and reeling it in. Sooner or later you'll hook something nice.

* Go for a 30-60min walk every day

* Get off of social media. Do more things in the real world.

* Spend more time at work conversing with people you like. Invite them to lunch. Go for walks with them. Go for drinks occasionally.

* Don't be in a rush to quit. Keep earning your good money until you catch the big fish.

* Eliminate all stress-inducing things and people in your life with extreme prejudice.

* When you feel fatigued, rest.

* Reconnect with true friends and family who lift you up. Disconnect with those that bring you down.

* Pick a hobby that makes you happy and do it at least 2x per week.

* Push back on everything possible at work. Does someone REALLY need "all the work [you] have to do" or are you taking it on unnecessarily. Again, say "No".

* Talk to your boss about taking a break or reducing workload. Let them know you're feeling overwhelmed. Ask for help and/or possibly a change.

* Reconsider meds from your therapist unless you have been diagnosed with an actual condition. Meds fix one thing and break several other things. Self-medicate with sleep, food and exercise but commit to not missing your "medication".

Super solid advice here, If I need to only pick 3 immediate actions.

* Get at least 7 hours of sleep. Try for 8.

* Do a few minutes of stretching and meditation every day. (use Headspace or Calm applications)

And my personal recommendation:

* Sit and stand with your back straight. (This raises your confidence and assertiveness; then makes you feel in control; then reduces anxiety, and finally improve your health).

Seconding and thirding the point on getting good sleep: "Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew P. Walker" https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34466963-why-we-sleep "An explosion of scientific discoveries in the last twenty years has shed new light on this fundamental aspect of our lives. Now, preeminent neuroscientist and sleep expert Matthew Walker gives us a new understanding of the vital importance of sleep and dreaming. Within the brain, sleep enriches our ability to learn, memorize, and make logical decisions. It recalibrates our emotions, restocks our immune system, fine-tunes our metabolism, and regulates our appetite. Dreaming mollifies painful memories and creates a virtual reality space in which the brain melds past and present knowledge to inspire creativity."

It's difficult to sleep well when depressed.

Lately I wake up in panic, with only 3hours of bad sleep

True. And as a feedback loop, lack of sleep causes people to be more anxious because the calming part of the brain is too tired to function well.

Good sleep is also needed for the brain to process emotional situations to work through them. Sometimes the situation is so much that we wake up from that. The book on sleep by Matthew Walker has a section on treating PTSD and veterans awaking from bad dreams that they ultimately needed to get through to process their fears.

That book also has some suggestions for getting more and better sleep -- many of which have been mentioned in replies to your post.

They include things like:

* go to bed and wake up at the same time every day

* avoid caffeine from any sources after 2 pm (or depending on your metabolism, earlier or maybe even at all)

* avoid alcohol as it interferes with good sleep

* avoid electronic screens before bedtime

* especially avoid blue LEDs before bedtime (use something like Flux on laptops)

* have the bedroom be cooler at night

* don't stay awake in bed -- get up and go back to bed when you are sleepy to associate bed with sleeping

* avoid exercise or heavy eating for at least a couple of hours before going to sleep

He even suggests setting an alarm as a reminder to tell you when to go to sleep.

Here are some other ideas I collected for moving from depression onto an upward spiral of improvement: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15455259

Of course, it is all easier said than done when you are depressed. Sometimes one small positive step can lead to another though. It helps a lot if you have a supportive community.

Good luck!

P.S. If you decide to change jobs, consider looking at idealist.org and also reading "Disciplined Minds" by Schmidt and "The Three Boxes of Life" by Bolles.

I'd agree it is way easier to say "sleep 7-8 hours straight" than giving some advice on how to achieve it.

I'd recommend:

1. Avoid having dinner 2-3 hours before sleep time

2. Try to sleep/wake at the same 30-minute interval, sleep 11.00pm-11.30pm wake up at 7.00-7-30am

3. Light reading. An easy to read fiction novel. My picks are usually Murakami or Latin American authors.

Routines give stability to people that suffer from a mental illness.

This is a really good list. The OP should print it out and put checkboxes, and everyday make sure he/she does each task list. Another thing to do is to start a journel and write three things: what you are grateful for today (could be a small thing, no scope), something like this checklist (I put in weight and what I ate or plan to eat with calories broken down by fat/carb/protein), and a list of "Victories" "Today, I did X and I declare VICTORY! over it" which also again, could be a really small thing, like I cleaned my room etc. THe idea is to change your brain chemistry, very slowly, into positive way of thinking. Again your list is great!

Thanks. I will do this!

To add to the above awesome list.

* Do some martial arts its a good confidence booster. It doesn't have to be MMA, even aikido can be good. And you get to socialize(with a different mindset crowd) at the same time.

* And yes meds work both ways. It can take the edge off as much as the lows. So you will not get as "excited" as much as you used to be before. It puts you on an even plateau.

Comparing myself with these super gangsta people around me makes me feel small and weak. The qualities I have seem irrelevant there (empathy, sensibility, helping others, etc)

Excellent advice. This is pretty much exactly the list I used to pull myself out of depression the last time

True, this advice is very smart.

May I ask how you came up with that?

Life (and keeping up with the latest research) :)

Thanks mc big g. <3

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