When you feel depressed, it can be difficult to muster up the energy to do anything. Of course, it’s totally okay to take some time to just relax by yourself and recuperate. But sometimes, when that blue feeling stretches over many days at a time, doing nothing can just make it worse.
It’s important to try and help yourself get out of that funk. Getting up and doing things can help, but is there anything specific that you can do that is scientifically proven to help?
The good news is that there are plenty of everyday tips and tricks that can help you overcome your low moments. By putting them into practice, you’ll help ease your brain and body out of the funk they are in. Here are some things never to ignore when you feel depressed.
Here Are 8 Things Never Ignore When You Feel Depressed
“When you are feeling down, look at the skies. You are not always alone.” – EunB
It’s important to process emotions. When you don’t properly process what you feel, you’re likely to end up internalizing these negative thoughts for longer periods of time.
One of the easiest ways to process your emotions is by writing down what you’re feeling. Use a journal or diary to allow yourself to write anything at all that is bothering you. Not only does this allow you to release and express your feelings, but it also allows you to easily view a rundown of everything in your heart and mind.
This can allow you to digest your emotions. Sometimes, looking at them from a different angle can help you find solutions. Or, at least, it can put things into perspective for you, which can be helpful in overcoming your issues.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by tasks, you can make a to-do list in your journal. Then, feel free to reorder and reorganize this list any way you like until you can easily process it. Seeing what you really need to do can reduce overwhelming feelings.
Feel depressed often? Start keeping a mood journal, or download a mood tracking app. Write down your daily moods and what happened throughout the day. You’ll be able to find patterns that allow you to pinpoint bad mood triggers.
2. Media (Of All Kinds)
We know that life isn’t all about TV, social media, and the internet. But completing cutting yourself from all media can isolate you further, leading to even more blue feelings. Instead of blocking these things out, pick healthy media choices that can help you. Here are some examples.
· Movies and TV
Bingeing on your favorite shows isn’t something you want to do all the time, but when you feel depressed, feel free to spend a few hours on nothing but vegging out! Put on a show that always makes you smile, or watch a silly comedy.
This isn’t just for TV shows, either. Watch a movie you love, or a new comedy that will make you laugh. Catch up on funny YouTube videos. Consuming positive media can be a great way to make yourself feel better.
A good book provides a great form of escape. It can help you separate yourself from current negative circumstances, providing the brief way out you need. You can read self-help or inspirational books, too, but there’s nothing wrong with getting lost in a good work of fiction! When you’re done, you can emerge ready to tackle that to-do list.
There are lots of ways music can make you feel better. Empowering or happy music can uplift your spirits as you listen to it. Singing or dancing can release endorphins and other feel-good hormones. Playing a musical instrument can distract you and help relax your body.
· Internet sources
The Internet is full of resources. Some can get you down. Others can build you up. Read inspirational blogs, look up websites designed to be calming or provide happy thoughts, or even use social media to interact with friends. Just make sure you’re choosing the right outlets! Avoid negative news. Don’t look at bragging posts from acquaintances. Don’t stalk your ex. Stick to happy things only!
We know this is something you’ve heard countless times before. And when you feel down in the dumps, it can be the last thing you want to do. But it’s probably something you need to do.
Exercise releases tons of feel-good hormones called endorphins. The positive feeling that these hormones produce is almost akin to taking morphine! According to WebMD, it can give you feelings of euphoria, help ease stress or anxiety, and promote positive thinking. It’s great for when you feel depressed! You don’t have to go all out in exercise to get these benefits, either. Here are some things you can do:
- Hit the gym
- Go for a walk, jog, or run
- Ride a bicycle
- Dance your heart out
- Do some mild stretches
- Practice yoga
- Do chores
- Go for a swim
- Play a sport
- Do some vigorous gardening activities
Even just going outside in the sun for a little while can be enough. The fresh air can ease your worries while vitamin D from sunlight can be a real mood-booster.
Yes, we know you’d rather just lie in bed all day. Yes, we know getting out there is easier said than done. But trust us when we say that getting up and moving around is one of the best ways to bust the blues!
4. Daily Tasks
Performing everyday tasks when you feel depressed can feel like you’re forcing yourself to just go through the motions. But doing so can actually distract you from your blues. It can make you feel positive and productive. And it can get your mind off any bad thoughts you might be having! So …
- Get up and do some daily chores.
- Run an errand that you’ve needed to run.
- Work on a project that you care about.
Performing simple tasks can also prove helpful in this respect. Not only will you be doing something productive and making yourself feel useful, but you’ll also be getting your brain away from the dark cloud it’s been under.
Try simply doing some self-care tasks, too. Take a shower or put on some makeup. Brush your teeth. Shave, if you’re into that. It can seem arbitrary, but feeling fresh and attractive can do wonders for your mood.
It’s natural to want to reach for the junk food when you’re emotional. But doing so actually increases your chances of feeling depressed. This includes fatty foods, sugary foods, and anything unhealthy and processed. Basically, studies reveal that by eating your feelings, you’re getting yourself to feel down even more!
Still want to snack? Opt for healthier options. These include:
- Dark chocolate (in moderation)
So you can treat yourself when you feel down. Just make sure you’re choosing the right things to munch on to avoid to avoid making yourself feel worse. The right food will improve your positive thinking, not reduce it!
6. Do Something New
It’s easy to want to do nothing and stay in your comfort zone when you feel down. The truth is that doing new things and going on mini-adventures can be the best way to take your mind off of whatever has you feeling sad.
You don’t need to travel halfway across the world to accomplish this. Just attempt a few new things. Here are some examples:
- Buy a new outfit.
- Go on a short road trip or day trip.
- Visit a friend.
- Volunteer with nonprofit organizations you believe in.
- Get creative with art, photography, music, crafts, etc.
- Pick or buy flowers.
- Rearrange your furniture.
- Do something nice for a friend, family member, or stranger.
- Eat at a new restaurant you’ve been meaning to try.
Being spontaneous is hard when you’re feeling blue, but the extra effort can be worth it. It might just be the push you need to feel better again!
7. Friends, Family, and Those You Love
It can be easy to want to isolate yourself when you feel down. It’s okay to take some time to yourself, but don’t entirely cut off from those who care for you. Trying to put up walls can actually make you feel much worse.
Talk to someone you trust about what you’re experiencing. This can be a family member, friend, partner, or anyone else you’re comfortable with. Ask for hugs if you need them, or go hang out at a proper social event if you can muster it.
Studies have proven that the happiest people take care of their social lives. Sometimes, all you really need is a few kind words and some loving empathy to help get you back on your feet. Remember, your friends and family love you, and they want to help you feel positive!
8. Your Mental Health Needs
Sometimes, we fall into the trap of feeling like we don’t have any good reason to feel sad. You might think that since other people have it worse than you, your sadness isn’t valid and you should simply start using positive thinking instead.
But here’s the truth: misery isn’t a competition. Other people’s experiences don’t cancel out your own. It’s okay to feel sad, even if other people have “more severe” issues than you do.
Don’t be ashamed to allow yourself to feel. Crying can help you go through the motions and let out your feelings. Taking a break and bundling yourself up in blankets for an evening is okay and gives you time to rest.
If your down-and-out feelings have roots in anxiety, take time for meditation or breathing exercises. There are plenty of options that can help you calm yourself and find your center. These are also great for releasing the negative emotions that are making you feel this way.
You should also be aware of your overall mental health. According to WebMD, take note of how often these periods of sadness or listlessness occur, and for how long you tend to feel down. It is important to note that if you experience clinical depression or a depressive disorder, these tips and tricks may not be sufficient for you. Symptoms include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory problems
- Loss of interest in things you once enjoyed
- Aches and pains
- Headaches or cramps
- Too little or too much sleep
- Too little or too much eating
- Feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness
- Feeling like you are empty
- Prolonged sadness or anxiousness
- Thoughts of suicide or death
If you experience these symptoms, please speak to a doctor, therapist, counsellor, or other medical professional as soon as possible.
If you have already been diagnosed with a depressive disorder, do note that while these tips may work for you, you may need additional assistance in order to overcome long periods of severe depressive episodes.