How to Live with Depression: Tips and Strategies

Seek Professional Help

If you are experiencing depression symptoms, it is essential to seek professional help. A mental health professional, such as a therapist or psychiatrist, can provide support and guidance for managing your depression symptoms. They can also help you develop a treatment plan that may include medication, therapy, or a combination of both.

Practice Self-Care

Practicing self-care is crucial for managing depression symptoms. Self-care can include activities such as exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and spending time outdoors. Self-care can also include activities that you enjoy, such as reading a book or watching a movie.

Build a Support Network

Building a support network of friends and family can be helpful in managing depression symptoms. Having someone to talk to or spend time with can provide emotional support and help alleviate feelings of isolation.

Challenge Negative Thoughts

Depression can often lead to negative thinking patterns, such as thinking that things will never get better or that you are worthless. It is essential to challenge these negative thoughts and replace them with more positive and realistic thoughts.

Set Realistic Goals

Setting realistic goals can help you feel a sense of accomplishment and provide motivation to continue working towards your goals. It is important to set goals that are achievable and not too overwhelming.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness practices, such as meditation or deep breathing, can help you focus on the present moment and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Mindfulness can also help you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings and learn to accept them without judgment.

Get Involved in Activities

Getting involved in activities that you enjoy can be beneficial for managing depression symptoms. Joining a club or volunteering can provide a sense of purpose and help you connect with others who share your interests.


In conclusion, living with depression can be challenging, but there are many strategies and techniques that can help manage depression symptoms. Seeking professional help, practicing self-care, building a support network, challenging negative thoughts, setting realistic goals, practicing mindfulness, and getting involved in activities are all effective strategies for living with depression. Remember that depression is a treatable condition, and with the right treatment and support, you can improve your quality of life.

Finding your own happiness

Finding your own happiness can be difficult. To demonstrate the point, a professor gave a balloon to every student, who had to inflate it, write their name on it and throw it in the hallway.

The professors then mixed all the balloons. The students were given 5 minutes to find their own balloon. Despite a hectic search, no one succeeded.

At that point the professors told the students to take the first balloon that they found and hand it to the person whose name was written on it.

Within 5 minutes everyone had their own balloon.

The professors said to the students: “ Finding your own happiness is like trying to find your own balloon. You will never find it if everyone looks for their own.

However, if we care about the happiness of others….we might just find our own at the same time.”

What is mental health?

What is mental health

It seems that in todays society, everyone know someone who is suffering with mental health problems. It’s important that we don’t confuse mental health with mental illness as the two are related but equally different. So what is mental heath?

We live in a world where we want to be fit and healthy. People spend hours in the gym everyday chiselling and sculpting  their bodies so they look their absolute best. We spend fortunes on vitamins and health products but how many of us spend any time looking after or minds? After all your brain is the most important part of your body. It controls everything we do and without it we wouldn’t be able to tell our muscles to lift the weights that tone our bodies.

It is important therefore to train our minds in the same way that we train our bodies. It is imperative that we all acknowledge that our mental health and well being are just as important as our physical health, and look after both acordingly.

So what is mental health?

I like to think of mental health as a quantitative measurement or a sliding scale. At one end of the spectrum sits a person that has never had any problems in their life what so ever. The best possible version of yourself, untouched by testing relationships or traumatic events. At the other end of the scale would be the version of you that everybody fears becoming. The result of years of trauma and pain.

Obviously no one is completely with or without pain or trauma in their lives. We all have our own individual life experiences and through them we all sit somewhere on this mental health continuum. Most are balanced nicely in the middle but beware that our sliding scale can move and just because you have good mental health today it does not follow that tomorrow will be the same.

However, the opposite is also true. If you find yourself in a place that seems dark and foreboding take comfort in the thought that this is only temporary. With the right training, or therapy you can shift yourself back towards the light. I personally believe that everybody has bad moments in their lives, thats just the way the cookie crumbles. But if we acknowlege our mental health and wellbeing before it all gets too much we can better prepare our minds for the stresses of the modern world we live in.

If you, or someone you know needs a little help, I am always available to offer a helping hand.


Avoid negative people

Avoid negative people for a happy life

What I am about to say seems really obvious, however so many of us do not apply it to our lives so it needs saying out loud. Avoid negative people for a happier life!

Avoiding negative people – the 3 main types

Mr. Negative

Mr. Negative seems to have a problem for every solution and loves to drain enthusiasm from any new idea. When a window of opportunity opens, he’ll pull down the shade. He will take your energy and slow your momentum. You don’t want this person on any project at work and don’t waste any time socializing with them.

The Critic

Critics are known for finding something derogatory to say about anyone and everyone. The Critic is famous for trading confidential or negative information about others. Critics use gossip to bond with and control small-minded people. Make sure you’re never tempted to engage in their mischief as everyone is fair game, including you.

Critics are threatened by talented motivated people. The greater the talent, the louder their criticism. Their aim is to draw the spotlight away from their own unimpressive nature.

Avoid negative people and never let anyone who has achieved nothing tell you how to do anything.

Forever The Victim

Never able to accept personal responsibility, life seems chronically unfair to Victims. My boss doesn’t like me, so I never had a chance of the promotion. The exam questions were worded badly. The world is always against a Victim, and they wonder why they only have bad luck. They haven’t figured out yet that hard work puts you in a place where good luck can find you, and they are famous for putting in little effort. You’ll recognize a Victim by their continuous excuses.

You can’t expect to hang around with negative people and expect to live a happy life. It just doesn’t work that way. Once we understand this we can start searching for positive influences that improve our emotional well being promoting a happier,  more fulfilled life.

Surround yourself with people who dream bigger than you do. They passionately improve everything in their path, from processes and products to colleagues and employees. They believe anything is possible, and they’ll believe in you.

Remember we can’t always change the people or circumstances in our lives, but we can always change our response. Excellence is not a skill,  it is choice, and positive thinking breeds courageous habits.

Whenever you have the opportunity, try to be encouraging and motivate others. You will soon feel the difference in how it feels and like a drug it becomes addictive.







How to stop bad thoughts and kick depression

How to stop bad thoughts

It’s true that we all have maladaptive thoughts from time to time. However, when they take over our minds to the point we no longer function properly, they can lead to anxiety and chronic depression. So how to stop bad thoughts?

I have spent the last few years of my life struggling with mental health problems. My emotional responses were self-destructive to say the least and it almost ended in the worst possible way. Doctors prescribed anti-depressant after anti-depressant to bring me back from the brink, but none of them ever really worked. In-fact most of them made me worse in one way or another. Negative, maladaptive thoughts took over and my life was on a destructive downward spiral.

It wasn’t until I learned how to stop bad thoughts that I started to make progress with my recovery. The key is in the realisation that it’s not the trauma in our lives that cause our emotions to flip out. It is the way we think about the trauma. I realised that if I could find a way to think a little differently, I would be able to control my emotions much better and begin to live a normal life.

How to stop bad thoughts with the STOPP technique

The STOPP technique is a simple path to emotional regulation and it gives you a sense of control in situations that cause them stress and anxiety. It consists of an acronym that can be easily learned and used whenever you realise that negative thoughts are controlling your thought processes.

S – STOP! Take a moment to slow down for a second.

T – TAKE A BREATH. Take a few deep breaths, in through your nose and then out through your mouth.

O – OBSERVE. Allow yourself to recognise the thoughts that are racing through your mind. Think about where your attention lies. What are you concentrating on most, right now, in this minute? What is it exactly that you are reacting to? Do you notice any physical sensations within your body?

P – PULL BACK and place the events in perspective. Think about current events in terms of the bigger picture. Imagine that you are an objective outsider watching yourself in the situation. Can you think of another way to interpret the situation? What would you say to someone else who asked you how to conduct themselves? Are your thoughts and feelings facts or are they just opinions? Finally, do you think this situation will matter in a few days, a few weeks or a few months from now?

P – PRACTICE techniques that work and proceed with your day. What CBT skills could you put into practice right now? For example, if you have been working to challenge your negative thoughts, could you make a conscious decision to identify cognitive distortions and replace them with more realistic thinking patterns instead?

If you would like some help assimilating STOPP into your life. Or maybe you just want to talk about your current mental health issues to a non-judgemental stranger? Please feel free to get in touch at my Facebook page, littlebroken



Someone you love has mental health problems

Someone you love has mental health problems

So you have just found out that someone you love has mental health problems. How do you make life easier for both of you?

Well let me start by telling a story. it’s a tragic story that I’ve heard too many times over the years and the reason for this article. We will use an imaginary character called Sarah who is struggling in silence with mental health problems.

Sarah’s mental health problems – A hard fall from  grace

Sarah has recently broken up with her partner. and life is getting on top of her. She works hard and provides for her children. They live in a nice house, but the housework is becoming difficult and it’s obvious that she needs some help. Her parents take her to one side and advise her to sell up and move home so they can look after her.

Realising something is wrong with the way she is thinking Sarah decides to listen to the family and for a while thing are getting better.

Does someone you love has mental health problems?

The real problems begin when the parents realise that they were not ready for Sarah’s behavioural problems. They have manifested because she is suffering manic depression and terrible anxiety. She is very quick to cause arguments and before too long Mum and Dad think she is out of control. They have a particularly bad argument and Sarah is told to leave.

Sarah starts to feel alone and that nobody understands her. Situations spiral and Sarah’s life takes a massive turn for the worse. She starts drinking far more than usual to dull the senses and says it’s just to help her sleep. She falls out with people at work because of panic attacks and mood swings. After a few warnings Sarah ends up losing her job. Before Sarah realises what is happening, she has lost her house, the support of her family and her only means of income.

Chronically depressed and homeless she feels real despair and the terrible thought occurs to her would the children be better off without her.

Sarah is now suicidal, how has it come to this?

Families and friends can do more

People fall into despair without seeing the warning signs. As a nation we don’t talk about Mental Health enough and because of this we don’t know how to help the people closest too us when they go into decline. Instead we distance ourselves from the afflicted and this makes the problem a million times worse.

Look out for these signs of depression in your loved ones

  • have low confidence
  • lose interest in activities they normal enjoy
  • lose their appetite
  • get tired easily
  • be tearful, nervous or irritable
  • At worst they may feel suicidal.

Signs of anxiety in loved ones

  • have difficulty concentrating
  • be irritable
  • try to avoid certain situations
  • appear pale and tense
  • be easily startled by everyday sounds.

Panic attacks

Panic attacks are usually a sign of anxiety. Someone having a panic attack experiences a sudden and intense sensation of fear. They may breathe rapidly, sweat, feel very hot or cold, feel sick or feel faint.

If you notice these symptoms in someone you care about it is very important to get them treated as though it was any other medical condition, but this is where another hurdle is thrown in the mix.

The wait time for patients to see a Psychiatrist is often 2-3 years. In the current NHS set up only a Psychiatrist can give a diagnosis to someone with a mental disorder so many patients go undiagnosed for years and more importantly they are left wondering what is happening to them and things deteriorate quickly.

Far too many people take their own life in the UK because of undiagnosed mental health problems and It has become my mission in life to spread the word. You are not alone. I have been through the pits of hell with my disorder but with proper therapy and medication you can live a full and meaningful life.

If you would like some help talking to a loved one, or maybe you want to know what to do if someone you love has mental health problems please feel free to contact me. You will find my Littlebroken page on Facebook and many more interseting articles on my blog at


What to do if someone you love has mental health problems

I cant sleep – What can I do about my insomnia?

Help me I cant sleep

Is your mental health keeping you awake at night? If you are one of the 16 million people in the UK that scream, I cant sleep, every night then this article is just for you.

I haven’t always had a problem sleeping. It started around the same time as my mental health problems, I guess. So that got me thinking about whether my mental health problems caused my insomnia or was my lack of sleep causing my mental health problems?

Everybody knows how important sleep is. However, if you just lie in bed for hours saying I can’t sleep it’s easy to see that you are eventually going to lose your mind.

So last night I did all the things that my doctor has told me to do to promote a good night’s sleep.

  • No caffeine after 6pm
  • Hot bath with lavender oil
  • No TV in the bedroom
  • Even a muscle rub of my partner (once in a blue moon)

Sure, enough I fell asleep. However, like most people with insomnia it lasted about 3 hours. I wasn’t impressed to say the least. I was lay in bed looking at the walls and my mind was racing with thoughts of things that needed to be done. The anxiety was beginning to creep up on me and I decided to act and try something new.

I got up and got to work on all the things that needed doing. I cleaned the kitchen, then the front room, emptied the bins and put a wash on. It doesn’t sound like much but when my wife saw it this morning, she was in a great mood, so my day was already off to a good start.

I turned on my computer. I whizzed through four modules of my online CBT course. There were no distractions from the kids. I was on full speed ahead.

By about noon the next day I was beginning to flag. My body was telling me it was time for sleep. I put some music on but before my head hit the pillow I was sound asleep. I woke at around 2.45pm and picked the kids up from school but instead of having no energy I was ready for swimming.

After an hour of keeping the kids happy I returned home to write this article along with another for Facebook. What a day it turned into! It was the most productive I have been for years. I got to thinking, why not try it again tomorrow.

Now I have now successfully learned the art of cat napping, I no longer find myself saying I cant sleep, I seem to have more energy and a renewed zest for life. I’m not saying that everyone suffering with insomnia should live this way. I understand that most people have regular 9-5 jobs and cat napping may cause a few raised eyebrows at work but if this article helps just one person suffering with lack of sleep then it’s done its job perfectly.

I say to sleep well be productive!

Change the way you feel in ten minutes

Change the way you feel in ten minutes

What if I told you that you can change the way you feel in ten minutes? Most people say that they want to be happy above anything else. However most people do not have a clue how attain happiness in their lives. We become pre-programmed with automatic or negative thoughts over time, which subsequently make us pissed off or stressed out.

Automatic thoughts create a highway to depression which takes over our lives. When we are used to feeling sad as the norm, depressive thoughts become the automatic choice when feelings are involved. In other words it makes our lives unbearable.

So how do we change the way we feel in ten minutes?

Not only can you change the way you feel in ten minutes. Furthermore you will start to feel far less depressed and more in control of your life. It’s simply not enough to hope you feel good every day. You need a priming plan to make it happen.

Prime your day for the best results.

What does priming your life involve? Well it’s all about putting an action plan in place at the beginning of the day. This action plan should be undertaken EVERY morning so your day starts off in the right way.

Wire yourself for sucess every day.

1. Start the day with music. Put your favorite upbeat song on for 3 minutes and rapidly change your breathing during this stage.

A change in your breathing promotes a change in your current state and leaves you ready for steps two and three. Think about being grateful for everything that has happened to you both good and bad.

Even the worst events that have happened to you have brought you to this point in your life. Own your story and use the energy this creates in a positive way. Feel empowered to take on the rest of the day.

2. Think about your main life goals for 3 minutes. What do I want to achieve long term? These will be the same most days but really focus on your OUTCOME and what achieving this goal will do for your wellbeing.

3. For the final four minutes think about 3 things that you can do today to get you closer to your goal and make all three happen today.

By empolying this easy 10 minute workout for your brain you will soon be achieving all your dailey goals. This promotes momentum in your life and from there you can take on the world

What makes a champion?

What makes a champion and what can they teach us?

I spent last night watching the final round of the US Open. Gary Woodland won his first Golf Major and he was simply magnificent. As a keen golfer myself, It got me thinking. What makes a champion and above all, can we learn anything from Gary Woodland’s triumph to improve our own mental health?

What makes a Golf Champion?

As someone who struggles to control my own emotions, I found it fascinating watching a young golfer so in control of his environment. Focused on nothing but the next shot. Gary must have dreamed of winning the US Open from being a small boy. When the chips were down he stayed calmest f all and knocked in a 18ft put to win by 3 shots.

What makes a champion golfer
2019 US Open Champion – Gary Woodland

He controlled his thoughts impeccably during the final day. Never once giving in to emotion or self-doubt. At that moment in time he was truly in control of his body and mind. It occurred to me this morning that if we could master those thought processes on a day to day basis it could help reduce some of the symtoms of poor mental health.

  • Determination
  • Confidence
  • Focus
  • Self Belief
  • Living in the moment








Learning I had a Bi Polar saved my life

bipolar saved my life
bipolar saved my life

Learning I had a Bi Polar saved my life

My name is Mark McAllister, founder of Littlebroken. Learning I had BI Polar saved my life. I am 46 years old and I have been an entrepreneur for over 25 years. By the time I was 30 I was battling drug and alcohol abuse and I was in over £80,000 of debt. By the time i reached my 41st birthday I didn’t know up from down nor good from bad.

Divorced and in constant trouble with the Police I set out to destroy myself from the inside out and eventually I tried to take my own life. I couldn’t see any way out from the pain I was feeling but I knew I didn’t want to die.

I just wanted the pain to stop. It was time to seek help.

I had never considered my mental health before; well I had never had too, but my quality of life was that poor things had to change. After several months of psychotherapy and anti-depressants I was finally diagnosed with Bipolar and to be honest that was the biggest relief of my life.

It gave a name to the shame i felt about the person I had become. It’s also been the explanation, not the excuse, that has allowed me to be someone living with mental illness rather than someone who is suffering from it!

My issues are far from resloved but I’m moving in the right direction. I have to work hard every day on keeping focus but I am now 6 months drug and drink free. I am now doing a Phycology degree and spend most of my time learning in the hope of improving my own self growth as through my journey I have come to learn this is the cure for depression.

If you know someone who could do with some support please tell them to get in touch. Feel free to share this with them as Im here to tell you there is a life after Bipolar.