New Year, New Coping Skills: How to Stop Depression from Derailing Your Resolutions

The start of a new year always brings a fresh start. It’s the perfect time to create resolutions, set new goals and recommit yourself to living a healthy lifestyle. But if you struggle with depression, sticking to your new year’s resolutions can be tough. Depression often makes you feel hopeless, unmotivated, and generally mentally exhausted. When just getting out of bed in the morning is a chore, committing to your goals can seem almost impossible. 

Fortunately, the new year also means new beginnings and new habits. You can leave the negativity in the past and move forward with a brand new mindset—one that can help you accomplish your resolutions. In this article, we’ll talk about why you should use the new year to overcome your depression and how to stop your mental disorder from derailing your resolutions.

Overcoming Your Depression in the New Year

Depression is associated with so many situations and experiences. Some people get depressed after losing a loved one, because they were (or currently are) in an unhealthy relationship, or they are getting burned out from stress at work. The list of triggers goes on and on. But whatever the underlying cause may be, it’s important to use the new year as a new beginning for yourself. 

The key to being successful in your new year’s resolutions isn’t just a commitment to accomplishing them. Reaching your goals and forming new habits takes a completely different mindset than you’ve had in the past. As you know, depression is greatly impacted by mindset. If you’re used to thinking negative thoughts, living in the past or assuming the worst all the time, it’s naturally going to be much harder to find that motivation you need to accomplish your resolutions.

Working to improve your mindset will help you break down your depression, while also helping yourself achieve those personal goals. This is actually something that’s becoming big in the psychological community as well. Some great books discussing how to shift your mindset come from amazing psychologists like Angela Duckworth in her book Grit as well as The Upside of Stress by Kelly McGonigal, but it’s best to start with therapy and using books like these to supplement treatment.

In fact, improving your depression can also be a powerful new year’s resolution. Maybe you promise yourself that you’ll exercise three times per week, schedule time to see a friend once a week, or commit to learning a few new skills within the year. Those goals will help you overcome your depression, improve your mindset and help you live a healthier, more fulfilling life. 

Effective Methods for Improving Your Depression Symptoms

 If your current ways of dealing with depression aren’t giving you good results, try switching up your treatment plan in the new year. There are a variety of effective ways to alleviate your symptoms of depression, some of which are probably new to you. Keep in mind that most people respond best to a combination of therapies, including self-care treatments that can be done at home. Here are a few ideas to get you started. 


Working out has been proven time and time again to improve symptoms of depression and prevent it from happening in the first place. Low- to moderate-intensity exercise releases endorphins in the brain which help reduce stress, regulate mood, boost self-esteem and improve sleep quality. Yoga, dance classes, hiking, swimming, walking, biking, or even gardening can be enough movement to get your endorphins going.


Meditation is a great self-care treatment for people with depression or any other mental health disorder. Meditation is centered around mindfulness and breathing, and it also encourages people to connect their body and mind while they practice. Find a loving-kindness guided meditation which will strengthen your self-love and create a space for kindness in your life. Practice meditation a few times a week to see long-term results. If you want to combine mindfulness meditation with exercise, yoga is the perfect option for you.


If your depression symptoms don’t improve with self-care methods, don’t be afraid to try an antidepressant or other medication recommended by your therapist. Starting a medication can help improve your mood so you have more energy and motivation to get healthy. For people with more serious depression, taking medication is one of the most effective ways to start feeling motivated enough to take steps towards your personal well-being.


It’s common for people with depression to avoid talking about their feelings, but seeing a therapist can help you find the root cause of your depression and create healthier ways to cope. It’s also important to find a therapist that you trust and feel comfortable opening up to. A therapist can help you stay accountable to your new year’s resolutions and can act as your personal cheerleader along the way. 

Positive Self-affirmations

Nothing makes your mind happier than hearing genuine, positive affirmations. If you’ve been struggling with a negative thought cycle, try incorporating positive affirmations into your daily routine. Affirmations encourage optimism, better self-esteem, more confidence, and reduced anxiety; all of which can help you overcome your depression. Try spending a few minutes each morning thinking of your positive affirmations, keep them on post-it notes around your house, and recite them when you’re feeling down.

Why You Should Try TMS This Year

Despite all the therapies available, some people suffer from treatment-resistant depression, which doesn’t improve with consistent care. This can be incredibly frustrating and makes the recovery process even more difficult. However, mental health researchers have found that Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is an effective therapy for people with treatment-resistant depression.

TMS uses magnetic waves to activate areas of the brain that are dormant in people with depression. During a TMS session, an electromagnetic coil is placed against the person’s forehead so electromagnetic pulses can pass through the skull to stimulate the parts of the brain that regulates mood. Each session takes less than 20 minutes and is non-invasive. After six weeks of TMS treatments, many people say that the majority of their depressive symptoms have disappeared.

At Pulse, we offer TMS therapy in our Los Angeles and Santa Barbara clinics. We are committed to providing our clients with sustainable, long-term recovery from their treatment-resistant depression. To learn more about TMS at Pulse, visit our FAQ page, or contact us to see if you’re a good candidate for TMS therapy. 

Article By: Chris Howard
Director of Community Outreach & Education Chris Howard has been working in the mental health field since 2010 after seeing the long-term effects of mental illness within his own family. He is a graduate of UCLA where he received his B.A. in Psychology. Having worked closely with those struggling with addiction, Chris considers the concept of community to be an essential part of treatment and advocates for wellness approaches that integrate both leading conventional therapies, as well as holistic practices like yoga and meditation.