Everyone gets a little depressed from time to time. Some of us more than others. So I’ve put together some tips on how to snap out of depression to help you beat the blues and get yourself out of a low patch.
If none of these work and you’ve been feeling this way for a period of time then it’s probably a good idea to seek the help of a healthcare professional.
1. Be around other people – Although you may feel like being on your own it might actually be better to be around other people. Friends and family can be a great way to pick yourself up.
2. Get some exercise – Getting physical activity is always a good idea. In the short term it can give you a lift. But more importantly over the longer term a healthy body can certainly help create a healthy mind. You can start small with a walk around the block and then move up to joining a running or sports club, or go to the gym and get them to tailor a program especially for you.
4. Do something that completely consumes your attention – Sometimes just taking your mind off things for a while can make a big difference so watch a movie, read a book etc.
5. Meditate – Meditation can have a very calming effect on the body and mind. It can slow things down and help you put things into perspective.
6. Get a good hobby so that you can escape to it and forget about everything else for a while. If you join a club then you can meet new people and make new friends. Learning new things is also a good way to keep your brain stimulated.
7. Pet your cat – As any animal lover knows, animals can have a really healing effect on people just simply by having them around.
8. Get a good night’s sleep – It’s hard to see the bright side of things when you’re functioning on very little sleep. Here are some techniques for how to sleep better.
9. Get spiritual – Even if this doesn’t come naturally to you it’s worth looking into. You don’t have to follow a traditional orthodox path. You can do you own research on the internet and at the library and find something that resonates with you. I personally think that all true spiritual paths are climbing the same mountain, they’re just taking different paths.
10. Omega 3 – There is research that suggests that increasing the amount of Omega 3 in your diet can help. Have a read of the research and make your own judgment on whether it’s going to be right for you.
11. Help someone – It might not seem like it, but helping other people can make you feel better about yourself. It can give you a sense of purpose and also a real satisfaction at the results you achieve. If you do some kind of volunteer work then research suggests that you’ll also live longer! Try it and you’ll see.
12. Hug someone – Good for them and for you!
13. Aromatherapy – This can be surprisingly effective and can sometime really alter your mood for the better. Here are some suggestions for the oils you could try.
14. Treat yourself – Go out to a nice restaurant, buy something you like, get a massage, go to a concert…
15. Learn about what depression is and different methods of improving your mental health – Get some books out of your local library about dealing with depression, search the internet, talk to health professionals. Here are a couple of places to get started with: 7 Myths of Depression at PsychCentral, and What is Depression? at The National Institute of Mental Health.
16. Avoid drugs altogether, take it easy with alcohol and stop smoking. These things all take their toll on you, physically and mentally so you’re better off without them.
17. Destress – Find ways to make your life less stressful at work, home, in relationships etc.
18. Talk about it with friends, family, your doctor, a counsellor…
19. Write a diary – writing your thoughts and feelings down can be very cathartic. Give it a try, you might be suprised how useful you find it! Here’s some tips on how to write a diary.
20. Get better at solving the problems you face in life – here are some techniques designed for people with depression.
21. Know that you’re not alone – You’re not a loser because you are depressed. Most people have experienced it in some way, either themselves or their friends/family. Here are some well known people who have experienced depression at some point: Buzz Aldrin, Drew Carey, Jim Carrey, Winston Churchill, Kirsten Dunst, Harrison Ford, Gwyneth Paltrow and there is a big list of others on Wikipedia.
22. Lastly, there is a lot of truth to the old saying laughter is the best medicine. You could go to a comedy club, watch a funny movie, hang out with friends that make laugh, catch up with old friends and reminisce on old times, or simply look for funny videos on Youtube – this one makes me smile :)
But perhaps most importantly of all, if you’re feeling really down and can’t imagine things will ever brighten up, just remember the old saying that “this too shall pass”.
Just to reiterate – if you’ve been feeling depressed for a while then it’s a good idea to seek professional help.
Image credit: kalandrakas