According to buzzfeed.com here are 31 simple ways to take care of yourself when you’re depressed.
Whether you’re dealing with depression and want to supplement your chosen treatment methods with self-care, or are just in a serious funk, here are some tips for making life feel a little more manageable.
- Grab a coloring book- adult coloring books can be therapeutic and perfect for your inner child.
- Make a “done” list instead of a “to-do” list-It may sound ridiculous, but buy looking at the “done” list at the end of your day of things you’ve accomplished you’ll have a much bigger account of that day instead of feeling worthlessness.
- Build a “make life a little easier” toolkit- Have a Happy Box that contains your favorites: Some funny movies, a quotes book, a nice smelling candle, and spa-like beauty products to calm you down. It also can have a journal, a favorite book, and some memories from happy times.
- Save kind words so you can look back over them later-Have a file or notebook of positive words/messages from your boss, co-worker, or customers handy for when you feel down you can go back and read through all the nice words people have said to you. This will lift you up instantly.
- 5. Let yourself cry- Crying is a natural relief. It helps to get out of that has built up and let go. It’s OK to cry. Never be ashamed of crying.
- 6. Make a gratitude list-Write down everything you’re thankful for, from big (like having a roof over your head) to small (like your Netflix account). “Reminding yourself of what you have leads to appreciation that helps you feel measurably more content,”- clinical psychologist Andrea Bonior, Ph.D.
- Volunteer at an animal shelter, play with friends’ pets, foster or adopt your own, if you can.
- Maintain a regular sleep schedule-When you get too little or too much sleep, you want to be inactive, your thoughts get muddy and unclear, and depression will feel that much worse, clinical psychologist Jennifer Taitz, Psy.D., tells BuzzFeed Life: Commit to sticking to a regular sleep schedule by setting a bedtime and wake time—and don’t hit the snooze button.
- Get ready for the day even if you plan on staying inside- Be prepared for that day like you’re going to go out. Take a super long hot shower, brush your hair, do your makeup (if you wear any), and put on your comfiest clothing that you feel good in.
- Be social, even if it means just showing up- “You don’t even have to participate in the conversation if you don’t want to. Get together with a group of friends who you love and who love you, and just exist with them. Listen in on conversations. The thoughts, laughs, topics, and shenanigans may help keep your mind off of things just for a little while. Sometimes that little while is enough to pull you out of a dark night.
- Don’t listen to sad music even if you want to- Create a happy playlist instead. Research shows that music has the power to induce a mood, so prepare a few uplifting playlists ahead of time.
- Make your bed every day-It takes two minutes. It makes your space feel more put together, gives you a quick sense of accomplishment. And once it’s done, you’re much less likely to crawl back in and waste the day away.
- Cuddle up watching your favorite TV show- It can be as a reward for productivity, a way to wind down at the end of the day, or as a social activity with friends.
- Decorate your space so you actually like being there- A lot of times when people are depressed their apartment looks depressing. Take good care of your living environment—clean it, decorate it to reflect your tastes. Make it a place you want to exist in, not disappear from.
- Try to find healthy food to eat- Comfort food is delicious and great in moderation, but when people are depressed, they sometimes eat more than they mean. Then next thing you know, you feel like crap, physically and mentally. “It’s a cycle: you feel down, so you eat. Then you gain weight, then you don’t want to go out.” Eating healthy foods will at least make you feel healthier physically even when you’re emotionally a wreck. If you don’t know where to start when it comes to eating healthy, then ask me for help.
- Make a list of things to do when you’re feeling overwhelmed with the world-Things that make you feel better, happy and calm. Put that list is a small box or in the side table drawer. When you feel down and the world is closing in get the list out pick one activity and do it.
- Pick up a hobby that has room for improvement- That means finding activities that won’t just give you pleasure, like watching TV, but will also give you a sense of accomplishment. It could be anything from painting to learning guitar to running more miles to finishing a book—anything that you can get better with over time.
- Write down your negative thoughts- Getting bad thoughts out of your head onto paper separates them from you. Keep it simple, though: Write down a thought and move on. If you go on for pages and pages, it’s not going to help.
- Get out on the open road-Get into your car and drive listening to your favorite playlist.
- Spend time in the kitchen- Cooking really help when you’re having a particularly bad day. There’s something zen about the process that soothes the soul and occupies the mind.
- Put affirmation where you’ll see it- It can be placed on all your mirrors in your room. Try to change it every week or two. Usually, it’s something that moves you or has to do with something what you’re currently struggling. So, every time you do your makeup or hair take a moment to read it aloud and let it soak in.
- Cut unnecessary responsibilities out of your life-We go on autopilot and do rituals without asking ourselves what really matters—and then wind up overwhelmed with trying to fit everything in. Which emails can go without an instant reply? What stuff can you delegate to a coworker or a partner? You don’t have to do it all. If you don’t know where to start trimming, get a few goals each week and cut things that aren’t necessary to those goals.
- Go outside-Even if it’s just for a brisk walk (which will get endorphins pumping, by the way), enjoying nature has many benefits. Daylight boosts mood, helps regulate sleep/wake patterns, and nature helps calm our thoughts and get rid of distractions.
- Plan your week so you don’t make decisions based on your mood-To keep yourself of falling into a cycle of “I’ll do it tomorrow” while you spend your days in bed, plan your week in advance to make sticking to day-to-day life easier. You can also write down how you felt after doing each activity so you can remind yourself in the future that getting out into the world makes you feel better, even when you don’t want to at first.
- Find an exercise that you actually enjoy- Workout and exercise classes help; it’s a winner. Choose what fits you best and enjoyable to look forward to it every time. For an hour you’ll get lost in the music, leave with a huge smile on your face and an endorphin high. Try to make yourself go even when you don’t feel like it. It’ll never fail you but it’ll lift your mood up.
- Look over your long term goals-Looking forward to things can be hard when you have depression. It’s helpful to have a big list of everything you want to do on hand to look at when things get tough. They could be concerts you want to go to or places you want to travel; whatever helps you look forward.
- Pamper yourself-When you’re dealing with depression. It’s easy to think that you don’t deserve to be treated with kindness—which is exactly why going out of your way to pamper yourself is an important part of self-care. Go all out with the spa treatment. Light candles, take a bubble bath, get a massage, and pour a glass of wine…whatever it takes to get yourself to relax as much as you can.
- Disappear into a book- Reading makes you feel better because you can escape as well as feel like you’ve accomplished something once you finish. It’s a great feeling because sometimes you get stuck; feel like you can’t move or do anything, which then will make you feel guilty. So if you just take it easy and read, you’ll feel better.
- Volunteer for a cause you really care about-There’s something about realizing how much you can contribute to the world that’s therapeutic and transformative.
- Meditate- Meditation is huge; it helps you take your focus away from your pain and sadness and redirects it to things that make you feel happy. While meditating, count all the things you’re grateful for. Be grateful for the larger things, be grateful for the smallest things, and be grateful for any little thing you can think of.
- Don’t rely on yourself to get better-These suggestions are a great way to make your depression feel a little lighter. But you should never be afraid to seek help or treatment, whether in the form of talking to someone, taking medication, or another method. It’s not all on you.
To learn more about depression, check out the resources at the National Institute of Mental Health here @ https://www.imalive.org
And there is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which you can reach at 1-800-273-8255.