We have compiled a list of ways that many people say helps them fight off feelings of depression. Of course, everybody is different. Many people who experience depressive episodes are unable to do basic tasks, including showering, eating, and even getting out of bed. Some of the items on this list may not be suitable for major depressive disorders, and are meant instead to offer suggestions for self-care methods before major episodes set in. This list is opinion based and not meant to be taken as medical advice. Consult with your doctor if you have feelings of depression, anxiety, or other mental disorders.
GET A SAD LAMP
Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, differs from clinical depression in that it usually only presents in winter. One reason why many individuals have feelings of depression during winter months is due to the days being shorter, meaning we have less exposure to daylight. SAD Lamps mimic the effects of daylight, right in your own home, and have been proven to be an effective method of helping to combat certain mood disorders, including bipolar disorder and postpartum depression.
GET OUT OF THE HOUSE
This is easier said than done, especially during the pandemic. Taking a walk around the block, strolling through nature, or even taking a drive through the county. Getting outside, even just for a moment, can be a good distraction from your mental health, and nature often comes with a sense of calmness.
One way many people have found to be a healthy way of expressing their thoughts is through writing. This can be done in many different ways, and you do not have to be a good writer to do it! A notebook, scrap pieces of paper, notes on your phone, it doesn’t matter what tool you use either. It can be as simple as jotting down what’s on your mind, or as complex as writing it out as a poem, lyrics, or story. Getting the words in your mind out into the universe, even if it isn’t for anyone else to see, can provide feelings of relief.
CREATE A PLAYLIST
Music is personal, and we all have songs that we turn to when we are feeling certain feelings. Because depression can hit suddenly and hit hard, if you make a playlist ahead of time, then when those episodes hit, all you have to do is hit play. You may be surprised at the therapeutic touch of a personally curated playlist.
KEEP YOUR HANDS BUSY
Distracting yourself from the negative thoughts that come with depression and anxiety can go a long way. Many people have claimed that by keeping their hands busy with something creative, such as knitting, painting, or baking, it allows their mind to focus on the creative process rather than the intrusive thoughts.