Depression makes just about everything more difficult. Whether it’s focusing on tasks at work, holding a conversation with a friend, or simply getting out of bed in the morning, depression can make you feel like you’re battling for your life.
It’s probably pretty difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but we promise you that it’s there and if you follow these 7 tips, you can start feeling normal again sooner than you think.
1. Stay connected
One of the worst things you can do when feeling depressed is to isolate yourself. You might not feel like leaving the house or seeing other people at all, but social interaction is one of the best things you can do for a mood boost.
If you don’t feel like going anywhere, call some friends and have them over for a movie or a game night. If you’re feeling up to it, go out to dinner, grab a coffee, and catch up with someone you haven’t seen in a while. Sometimes feeling better just takes a little push out the front door!
2. Do things that make you feel good
Treat yourself to a hot bath, listen to your favorite music, play with your pet, or light some incense and listen to a guided meditation for twenty minutes.
If you live in a state where cannabis is legal, light up a joint and watch a funny movie with a couple of friends or open your minds with some deep conversation. You don’t have to embark on a psychedelic journey like you would when using psilocybin magic mushrooms, but simply exploring the depths of meaning in your life with another person can give you a whole new perspective!
Treat yourself to a hot bath, listen to your favorite music, play with your pet, orchestrate a prank call and have a laugh, or light some incense and listen to a guided meditation for twenty minutes.
The sweetest fruits are often the hardest to reach, so whether you go for a long run outside or do some air squats at home, getting your body moving is sure to get you feeling better.
When getting out of bed is an extreme mental challenge, exercising can feel impossible, but it’s almost guaranteed to lift your spirits. You’ll benefit from an increased appetite, a boost of endorphins, and better sleep -which is always a plus!
4. Cook a healthy meal
Depression affects every aspect of your life -including your appetite. It’s always easier to order a pizza or hit the drive-thru and neglect to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to help you feel better. It’s a vicious cycle!
Take this opportunity to break the cycle by finding a new and healthy recipe online. Try something that’s not too difficult to make, but is challenging enough to inspire your inner culinary artist, and pour your heart and soul into it.
Cooking is a great way to get out of your head and into the present moment -the best part is getting to eat afterwards!
5. Challenge negative thoughts
Oftentimes, depression is a result of getting trapped in negative thought patterns that have developed over the years, and potentially even over the course of your lifetime. Some examples of negative thought patterns could be as simple as constantly putting yourself down, over-generalizing, or diminishing the positive by focusing on the negative.
In reality, thoughts like, “this didn’t go perfectly so I’m a failure,” aren’t actually true or rational. So challenging thoughts like this is essential to combating depression.
If you find yourself dwelling on negative thoughts, ask yourself if there’s any real evidence that it’s true. Imagine a close friend of yours is thinking about themselves the way you’re thinking about yourself. What would you say to them? How would you help them realize that their thoughts aren’t true?
6. Stay away from alcohol
A glass of wine with dinner might not be the worst thing in the world, but make sure you drink responsibly. Alcohol is a depressant, so symptoms of depression will likely become exaggerated when you consume it.
Instead of alcohol, you can drink herbal tea, water with cucumber and lemon, or a club soda with lime -all tasty and alcohol-free!
7. Reach out for help
Whether it’s the first thing you do, or something you use as a last resort, please reach out for help. Break the stigma around mental health and talk to a psychologist or mental health counselor. The only thing you have to lose is a little bit of time, but you have everything to gain!
Coping with depression is no easy task, but if you follow these seven tips, you’ll be feeling more like yourself in no time!