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50 Things That You Can Do When You Feel Depressed
By Jennifer Spears
Feelings of depression are normal, but it took me a long time to realize that. Now, whenever a dark cloud hovers over my mood, I don’t just sit back and wait it out. I take action! Wondering what action steps you can take when you feel depressed? Here are 50 suggestions that will take your mind off from your depression, and help shift your mood from depressed to happy!
Action Steps To Take When You Feel Depressed
1. Open your curtains. Too often, when we are feeling depressed, it is easy to want to close ourselves off to the rest of the world. Don’t do this. Open your curtains, look outside…and let the world come in.
2. Go outside. Don’t stay inside though. Go out and get fresh air and sunshine. They are both great natural mood boosters.
3. Cook healthy food. Preparing a healthy meal takes your mind off from your problems. It also fuels your body and gives you the energy and the clear head that you need to tackle whatever challenge may be in front of you.
4. Stay off from social media. People naturally post the best moments of their lives. When you feel depressed, it’s easy to forget that those images are only snapshots of moments, and do not tell a complete story.
5. Look up from your phone. Social media is not the only distraction that can come from our smart phones. Stop playing games and surfing the web too. Focus on real things instead.
6. Go for a walk. Not only does going for a walk give you a little bit of exercise, the change in scenery will do wonders for your mood when you are depressed.
7. Call a friend. If you have a positive friend that is available to listen, give them a call. Our real friends want to help us through difficult patches in our lives.
8. Play with your pet. Pets enrich our lives so much. When you feel depressed, spend time with your furry friend. Our pets need us as much as we need them, remind yourself of that by spending some time playing with them.
9. Read to your child. If you have children, spend some quiet time with them reading. Not only will snuggling together with a good book help you both bond, the physical contact may help your depression pass quicker.
10. Ask for a hug. Again, physical contact is important. Ask a friend or family member for a hug. We all need them sometimes.
11. Listen to upbeat music. Music is a great tool to use to help you get out of your depression. Just choose wisely, stay away from any music that makes you sad.
12. Make long term plans. There is nothing that is permanent. All of the problems that you have right now will all fade away eventually. Focus on where you want to be in 5 or 10 years, then make plans and set goals to help you get there.
13. Go on an adventure. Do something crazy…something that you will look forward to telling your friends and family about when you return.
14. Try new food. Be daring! Have a meal at a new restaurant, and choose something off from the menu that you have never tried before.
15. Have a new experience. Do something new, whether it be something big like skydiving, or something small like a cooking class.
16. Inspire someone. Share some of your accomplishments with someone who wants to be where you are right now. Be a mentor and share your experience.
17. Smile. I know this one seems both obvious and ridiculous, but sometimes the whole “fake it til you make it” thing really does work.
18. Spend time with your family. This is a great thing to do when you feel depressed, but only if your family is positive and makes you feel good about yourself.
19. Do something nice for a stranger. Pay it forward…karma…the law of attraction…the golden rule…whatever you want to call it, this really works. Whatever energy you put out there, comes back to you. Don’t believe me…try it.
20. Read an uplifting book. Taking time to read is something that many of us don’t do anymore. Go to the library or a book store, and pick something out that you’re excited to read.
21. Pray. If you are a religious or spiritual person, open up to God about how you are feeling. It always helps when you feel depressed.
22. Sing…loud and bad. Be silly, even if it means making those around you laugh.
23. Laugh at yourself. We all mess up sometimes…laugh it off and move on.
24. Think of a funny story, and tell it to yourself in your head. Think back to something really funny that happened to you in your past. Recite the story to yourself, as if you were telling it to someone else.
25. Learn something new. Having a new experience is sure to stimulate some of those feel-good brain chemicals.
26. Start a hobby business. Take a chance and believe in yourself. Some of the most successful people started out small with a hobby business.
27. Go for a drive. There is something about the open road that stimulates our imagination and relaxes our bodies. Drive where ever you are drawn to, whether it be a busy highway or an old country road.
28. Look at a picture of yourself as a child. Tell that child how special they are.
29. Get artistic. Creating beauty is a wonderful way to distract us from the temporary feeling of being depressed. There is no wrong way to create art, so use your imagination and get creative.
30. Dance. There is something about the combination of movement and music that does wonders for your mood when you feel depressed.
31. Tell someone how you are feeling. Choose someone that you trust, and simply tell them how you are feeling. Sometimes, just saying it out loud really helps.
32. Recite positive affirmations. Positive affirmations are an amazing tool for creating the life that you know you deserve. You can read some of my favorite positive affirmations here.
33. Declutter. There is definitely a connection between feeling depressed and living in a cluttered environment. Start slow, but the more clutter you remove from your surroundings, the better you will feel. Plus, it will give you something to focus on while you are waiting for the depression to pass. If you have children, decluttering can be a challenge, click here to get some great tips on how to do this.
34. Volunteer. Doing good for your community is a surefire way to take your thoughts off from feeling depressed, and make you feel good about yourself.
35. Dress up and go out. Looking our best helps us feel good about ourselves. This works for both men and women.
36. Remind yourself of your successes instead of your failures. Don’t dwell on past mistakes. Instead, build yourself up by thinking about the great things you have already accomplished.
37. Write in a journal. Some feelings need to come out slowly, with pen on paper.
38. Get caught up on your sleep. If you are physically exhausted, take a nap or go to bed early. Just be careful, sleeping too much while feeling depressed does not help the feeling pass.
39. Reevaluate your routine. Is there something about your daily routine that is causing you stress or anxiety? Change it if you can.
40. Explore different forms of meditation. Focus on the one that feels right for you.
41. Play a musical instrument. Pick up where you left off years ago, or start from scratch with a new instrument. It’s fun to learn, and music is just good for the soul.
42. Seek out positive people. Are the friends that you usually hang out with positive, or real downers? Find new people if necessary, and make them a regular part of your life.
43. Get vigorous exercise. When we exercise, our bodies release chemicals called endorphins. These feel-good brain chemicals actually change our perception of pain, and as we know…depression hurts.
44. Focus on the vastness of the universe. You are so very blessed to be a part of the amazing universe that we live in.
45. Set a short term goal for yourself. What do you want to accomplish in the next week? Pick one thing and then spend all of your spare time trying to meet that goal.
46. Get out into nature. Go for a hike. Go camping. Human beings need to stay connected to nature. Let yourself feel the call of the wild.
47. Avoid drugs and alcohol. Drugs and alcohol can often make feelings of depression stronger. They offer no relief, so stay far far away from them.
48. Let yourself cry. Sounds counterproductive, but it’s not. Sometimes a good cry is just what we need in order to be able to see things clearly. Often, holding back tears makes us feel more depressed.
49. Stop overthinking. Are you worrying about things that will probably never happen anyway? Stop creating problems for yourself. Instead, focus on all of the good things that you have in your life.
50. Ask for help. If none of these things work, and you still feel depressed after several days, please ask for help. Depression is something that comes and goes for many of us, but just because it’s normal and common, doesn’t mean we should take it lightly.
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How do you handle feelings of depression? Leave me a comment…and don’t forget to stay in touch. Leave me your email so I can send you some FREEBIES!