One way of staying true to yourself is remembering your passions and what you want in life, says Georges Chahwan. This will help you figure out what kind of person you were before depression took over your life, what people close to you admire about you, and how to work towards that again even when it is difficult. Another way is by focusing on small milestones instead of long-term goals because there are many things you can’t control and planning out every step towards a big goal puts unnecessary pressure on yourself that can make mood swings even worse.

Remembering what you like to do in your free time and forcing yourself to do at least one thing of that every day, whether it be drawing, playing piano, walking with friends, etc. is key. This won’t only keep you from getting too caught up in what depression wanted you to think about but it also keeps you sane during the good days when you feel like doing nothing at all.

The other thing is by realizing everything does not need a specific label attached to it, adds Georges Chahwan; for example “I am depressed” because sometimes we don’t want people feeling sorry for us when we already feel bad enough about ourselves, or “I am an artist” when you can’t draw anything right now. This doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to think this way in times of need but it can be a hindrance when trying to figure out what kind of person you want to become again and if your goals for the future are still possible after going through something traumatic.