John's Blog

The Blog of John Gibson, PhD


Tip for Coping with Depression

The Cut-it-in Half rule.

Usually when people are depressed they struggle with motivation, fatigue, low energy, or inertia. It’s so tempting just to sit in a chair for hours, go to bed, or come to a complete stop. Why bother doing anything?

But this only makes depression worse. Curiously enough, the human body makes energy by exerting energy. Whereas more stopped-ness makes more inertia.

The cut-it-in-half rule says, If you can’t go what you usually do, cut your efforts in half. Don’t succumb to all-or-nothing. (Either I worked to my usual capacity, or I didn’t. EIther I succeeded, or I failed.) If you can’t manage your usual effort, try cutting it in half. When it comes to depression, some effort is always better than no effort.

Related post: The Downward Spiral of Depression.