There are days I have been on and off depressed…the kind of depressed where you don’t shower for two days and lie in bed binge watching soap operas while bawling into your pillow.
I’ve suffered from depression since I was a child after losing my dad. I’ve been able to control it quite well but every now and then it sucker punches me to the point of paralysis.
Here are some simple and often forgotten tips I personally use to overcome the overwhelming feelings of depression.
It’s all about finding a new perspective…
1. Take a shower.
You know the saying about feeling like a new (wo)man after taking a shower? There’s something psychologically healing about cleansing off. Why not let that negative energy swirl down the drain instead of in your spirit?
2. Get outside.
Run an errand, drive around in your car, go through a drive-thru, wander the grocery store aisles, drive in circles….seriously, just get out. I notice when I leave the house and see people, suddenly I feel invigorated. It’s interesting because oftentimes too much energy can drain me – yet when I’m depressed that’s exactly what I need.
It doesn’t have to be a marathon, just go for a brisk walk, preferably somewhere in nature like the beach, by a lake, or on a trail. But right outside your front door will do. Make it at least 20 minutes. I take 1.5 hour beachside walks and they always change my perspective.
Call your funniest friend, watch re-runs of your fav sitcom, or rent a comedy. I know laughing is the last thing you want to do when you’re down or have been crying but sometimes it just takes one laugh-out loud funny moment to change your frame of mind.
5. Snuggle your pets.
And if you don’t have any, consider getting one. The pure, innocent spirit of an animal is the best medicine. Mine have been life-saving.
6. Listen to music.
This is the time to get your upbeat, power songs out – the ones you’d use to motivate you at the gym. Music can really transform your mood.
7. Think about the most difficult day of your life.
Yes, really. In that moment… Maybe you lost trust in yourself. Maybe you didn’t feel strong. Maybe you forgot who you were. And maybe you still carry some of that with you to this day. Go back to that moment now. See it, hear it, visualize it. Is the fear, sadness, overwhelm, discouragement and despair palpable? Now, remember how strong you were when you faced this significant adversity. Because you’re still here and standing. Every time you want to give up, go back to that moment and remember you not only survived, you thrived.