Depression is something that so many people struggle with, including myself. It’s a horrible illness and it’s one that can be hard to cope with. It sucks away your happiness and when you try to get away from it, it can just keep pulling you back down.
Fighting depression can seem like an uphill battle. One day you might feel like you’re getting better and the next you might struggle to even get out of bed. See also: Common postpartum depression myths.
I recently came out of a depressive episode that lasted for over 2 months. It was exhausting and I couldn’t find the strength to fight. So, I just sort of wallowed in it at first.
But I realized that just made it worse. So, I found things to do that made it more bearable. Like I said, depression can be an uphill battle. But there are definitely things that you can do to help you cope when it hits.
Here are 6 things that help me when depression hits:
1. Write Out Lists
When I’m feeling depressed, making lists helps me feel better. I know that might sound weird, but just hear me out. Not only can lists help you clear your mind and feel calmer, but they can also help you focus on positive things when you’re feeling depressed.
You can make a gratitude list, a bucket list, a list of people you love, a list of your accomplishments, a list of your favourite quotes, or anything else that will make you feel happy.
2. Make Yourself Laugh
Laughter really can be the best medicine, even when it doesn’t feel like you can laugh. When you feel like happiness can’t be found, do something that makes you laugh.
Watch funny YouTube videos or funny movies. Or talk to someone that always makes you laugh. I know that when I’m really depressed, laughter always makes me feel lighter and reminds me that happiness is possible.
3. Complete Simple Tasks
You already know that it’s hard to find the motivation or energy to do a lot of things when you’re feeling depressed. Sometimes even getting out of bed can be a battle.
But like I said, doing nothing just made me feel worse and sort of stressed me out. If you’re really struggling to be productive when you’re depressed, just try to complete simple tasks. Things like making your bed or folding laundry.
Doing simple things like this can help you feel like you’ve accomplished something which can help put your mind at ease.
4. Do Something Creative
Expressing yourself creatively can make so many things better, including depression. When I’m feeling low and my brain is overwhelmed, this is one of the best ways to let everything out and feel more at peace.
Creativity allows you to pour your heart and soul into something and let everything out that’s inside. It’s a healthy way to let out your feelings and negativity.
5. Practice Self-care
Self-care is important all the time, but it’s especially crucial when we’re struggling with mental health issues. Neglecting your self-care will just make the issues worse.
So, whenever I’m struggling with depression, I make sure that I take care of myself properly. I make sure I’m drinking enough water, exercising, getting the right amount of sleep, taking care of myself spiritually, and staying away from things that make me feel even more depressed.
I know that it can be hard to find motivation to do these things when you’re depressed, but keep reminding yourself how much they will actually help you. See also: Take the 10 Day Self Care Challenge.
6. Remember That it Won’t Last Forever
No matter how many times depression hits, I always have this feeling of dread that it will never end. It can be scary and make things more overwhelming. But no matter how many times it hits, it always goes away.
It helps to remind yourself of this whenever it’s flaring up. Having a mental illness is like a roller coaster ride. There will be times when you can barely make it out of bed, but the time will come when you’re happy again.
You’ve made it through depression before and as horrible as it can be, you will make it through it again. Remember how strong you are.
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