Tips For Overcoming Depression
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The holiday season is approaching and for many it means a time of sadness. It could be because you lost a loved one recently ( or not so recently) and it is hard to face this time of year with them gone. Perhaps you’ve had a recent breakup, or your kids are with your ex this year. Maybe you’re in a new town and don’t know anyone to spend the holidays with. It might be that you’ve got (or will get) COVID and have to quarantine alone. No matter the reason, the point is that if you’re feeling depressed there are things that you can do to lift your spirits.
Life is what we make of it. We can let our circumstances take us down, or we can choose to not let that happen. The tips for overcoming depression below were originally posted on social media by Sara Rose, an elementary music teacher. Some of the tips have been edited from their original version for readability.
Take a shower or a bath. Use water as hot or cold as you like. You don’t even need to wash. Just get in under the water and let it run over you for a while. Sit on the floor if you gotta.
Moisturize every inch of your body. Use your favorite lotion, or use the one you keep for special occasions. Unscented? Dollar store lotion? Fancy 48 hour lotion that makes you smell like a field of wildflowers? Use whatever you want, and use it all over your entire dermis.
Put on clean, comfortable clothes starting with underwear that make you feel good. Cute black lacy panties? Those ridiculous boxers you bought last christmas with candy cane hearts on the butt? Put them on.
Drink cold water. Use ice. If you want, add some mint or lemon for an extra boost. Make it fancy, like you’d get at a spa.
Clean something. Doesn’t have to be anything big. Organize one drawer of a desk. Wash five dirty dishes. Do a load of laundry. Scrub the bathroom sink.
Blast music. Listen to something upbeat and dancey and loud, something that’s got a lot of energy. Sing to it as loud as you want, dance to it, even if you suck at both.
Make food. Don’t just grab a granola bar to munch. Take the time and make a meal. Even if it’s ramen. Add something special to it, like a soft boiled egg or some veggies. A good, hot, home cooked meal you made yourself always tastes way better, and you’ll feel like you accomplished something.
Create something. Write a short story or a poem, draw a picture, color in a coloring book, fold origami, crochet or knit, sculpt something out of clay, anything artistic. Even if you don’t think you’re good at it- you don’t have to share it with anyone if you don’t want to. Just create.
Go outside. Take a walk. Sit in the grass. Look at the clouds. Smell flowers. Put your hands in the dirt and feel the soil against your bare skin. Nature is renewing for the soul.
Call someone. Call a loved one, a friend, a family member, call a chat service if you have no one else to call. Talk to a stranger on the street. Have a conversation and listen to someone else’s voice. If you can’t bring yourself to call, text or email or whatever, just have some social interaction with another person. Even if you don’t say much, listen to them. It helps. There’s probably someone you can think of who feels down this holiday season, as well. Maybe it is a neighbor, someone in a nursing home, a coworker, the homeless person you see everyday.
Cuddle your pets if you have them/can cuddle them. Take pictures of them. Talk to them. Tell them how you feel (pets are the best listeners), about your favorite movie, a new game coming out, anything.
While it might seem small or silly to some, this list keeps people alive.
*** At your absolute best, you won’t be good enough for the wrong people. But at your worst, you’ll still be worth it to the right ones. Remember that. Keep holding on.
*** In case nobody has told you today, I love you and you are worth your weight gold, so be kind to yourself and, most of all, KEEP PUSHING ON!!!!
Find something to be grateful for and take the time to express your gratitude
While it is easy for us to get wrapped up in our own little worlds, remember that there is someone out there who genuinely cares about you. You make someone's life better just because you’re in it. There is no one else like you. You have something that no one else has that can make this world a better place. Find it and use it to help others. Helping someone less fortunate than you is good for the soul. You have the power to change someone’s future. Sometimes a smile or kind word from a stranger can change the course of someone’s life.
Everyone is hurting about something. We all carry a burden. Remember that as you navigate this life and do your best to be kind. We get what we give.
Bio-One of Duval County is a proud sponsor of the “Out of the Darkness Jacksonville Walk”. We invite you to join us and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention on November 13, 2021 from 9am-12pm to raise money and awareness for this cause.
Registration is free. Sign up, get more information and donate at supporting.afsp.org. We hope to see you there!