I have dealt with depression for quite a few years. Actually I have had symptoms of depression since I was 11/12. It was really hard at first especially because I didn’t know what was happening- I was just always sad or angry and I really didn’t get much support at the time from my family who I believe just thought I was going through a phase at the time. The worst part of depression for me is that it never really goes away, it’s always there at the back of my mind waiting for the slightest sign of weakness. I still have days when I just feel horrible and feel like life isn’t worth it anymore but I always try to think of all the positive things in my life. If your depression is effecting your day-to-day life in a way that you can’t deal with on your own please seek help immediately. Often your depression can also effect the relationships with the people you love and couples counselling is a great way to get your relationship back on track. Anyway, here are a few things I found very helpful when battling with depression:
Exercise- I know when you’re depressed even just getting out of bed is difficult but exercise really does help and once you start exercising you’ll start feeling a lot healthier and positive, you just need to find the strength to start. I would encourage that you get a trainer or start some kind of exercising routine everyday even if it’s just jogging for a while every day. Believe me it will start to be really fun soon.
Eat healthy- sometimes the types of foods you eat can affect your mood. Eating healthy can really help with depression and make you feel better about your body too. It can increase your self-esteem and really make you feel more positive.
Self-help- if you feel like therapy or drugs aren’t exactly helping you to cope with your depression reading books or sites on self-help can be really helpful. I found this particularly helpful because everyone has different symptoms/types of depression and sometimes reading can help you find the perfect way to deal with it because everyone is different and different things help different people. Online sites can be helpful too because you can read other people’s experiences with depression or write about your own experience. I have found that many people online are very positive and ready to help.
Love- sometimes thinking about things you love can really be fun and can get your mind off more negative things. You can make a list of all the things you are grateful for and put them in a jar so you can pull out one of them every time you feel down. You can also choose to stick the list above your bed so you see them every day. You can always also find people you love and tell them you love them (it’s fun to see their reaction).
Smile- smiling helps make you feel better because it removes chemicals in your brain that make you happy. Try smiling at people, even if you don’t know them that well and just try to pretend to be happy for a while and you’ll soon realize that you stopped pretending and are actually starting to feel happy.
Get a pet- studies have shown that playing with animals can make you happier so if you can maybe try getting a cute little pet (or a creepy one if you’re into those kinds of pets) to hold and cuddle when you feel sad. Plus taking care of them can get your mind off your depression.
Help someone- helping someone can be really rewarding. As humans we have the need to please others and in doing so you please yourself. Maybe you can help out at a homeless shelter by cooking or serving the homeless. If you like animals maybe you can volunteer at the animal shelter. If those don’t sound right maybe you can volunteer at school to tutor other students or help out with events. It may sound kind of boring or lame at first but it can get really fun and you may end up making some new friends. You could always try to join a club too so you can meet some new people to interact with.
Talk- everyone has a story a story to tell and talking to others can really help with depression. Not only do you realize that everyone has problems you also get to see things from other people’s perspective which can really be helpful sometimes. I’m sure your friends would love to talk to you about how you’re feeling and if not you can always join a support group or talk to someone online. Just talking about how you feel can actually be a lot more helpful sometimes than solving you dilemma.
Change you’re thought patterns- I’m not saying that depression is a habit but sometimes thinking negatively or being pessimistic can become a habit. To change this you can try to consciously make an effort to be more positive about things. Soon thinking positively will become a habit and you will realize you’re becoming a more positive person in general.
Be creative- sometimes having a creative output can be really helpful. For example, I started writing my blog because it gave me a way to write about my thoughts and generally things I’m interested in. Writing is a great way to express yourself. So is art, making music, cooking and more. Find something you enjoy doing and do it when you’re feeling kind of down.
Seek help- if nothing seems to be working maybe you need professional help. There is nothing wrong with that and there is nothing to be ashamed of either. Sometimes you need some professional help to sort out some things and it may be incredibly helpful. And remember you will probably not have to see a therapist for the rest of your life and even if you have to there is nothing wrong with that. If you’re not sure how to sign up for therapy or how to find someone who can help you can always check out BetterHelp which will help you find the perfect therapist for you as an individual- someone you can comfortably work with to achieve a better you!
I hope these helped! They’re not exactly proven or even professional or anything, they are just things I myself have done and still do when I have bouts of depression and I personally find them very helpful so I thought I should share them. I really hope this helps someone!
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