Yes, you are depressed. I know that place way too well, and I work my butt off to stay out of the D-zone. Here are 10 little things that will give you a lift. You may not think you have the energy to do them, but, trust me, you can.
1. When you wake up, get your butt out of bed. Lying there will only let the negative thoughts gather energy. Once you start moving, your frame of reference for the day will change.
2. Before making your coffee, or whatever your morning ritual is, open up your phone and read something funny. There are so many apps that offer a joke a day and websites that point you to the funniest tombstones (“I wanted a Pyramid”). Surf the web until you laugh out loud. Once that happens, you can go on with your day.
3. If you have someone next to you, most likely you are a fortunate person. Most people find it hard to live with someone who’s depressed; the fallout can be difficult. Communicate your appreciation to the one who loves you. This will also make you appreciate yourself more.
4. Plan your day. Business may be slow, and you may not have the energy to work anyway, or so you think. Even if your calendar is empty, you need to plan your day. It can be simple: Get up, eat, walk the dog, write your blog, take care of your environment. Simply knowing that you will go about the daily tasks of living can feel good, and when you are running errands or cleaning off your desk, purging files, or doing the dishes, you won’t have time to feel so down.
5. Get clean. When you don’t have to be anywhere, it’s easy to skip the shower, which isn’t so horrible unless it goes on for more than a day or two. Bathing daily is healthy, it wakes you up, and you always feel better afterward. Keeping clean is a basic thing that some people suffering from depression find very difficult to do.
6. Feed yourself well. It’s easy enough to live on a diet of fast or frozen food and delivery, but it’s not really nurturing or healthy. Making yourself one good meal a day can seem daunting at first, but in time you will look forward to it, because self-nurturing is still nurturing. And if you don’t cook, at least order good food for yourself.
7. Find a way to make or save some money. If you clip a couple coupons, find a deal online, or take back those shoes you thought you wanted but will never wear, you are making yourself a little more financially secure. Money worries are very common when you are depressed, so being a little bit careful is also healthy.
8. Interact with another real live human being. Depression can cause you to want to avoid other people, and almost nothing could be worse for your condition. Even if it’s someone you know only casually, just saying “Hello. How are you?” will lift your spirits as well as theirs. Having a real conversation and sharing feelings can do even more.
9. Spend 10 minutes learning about meditation. The jury is in: Meditation works. You may think it’s not for you or not possible for you, but do some research. The practice is so simple, and the rewards are great.
10. Don’t buy into depression think, where you allow yourself to be limited by your depression. You don’t have to. Depression is an illness, but it doesn’t have to define who you are. Remember, you don’t have to be a victim of depression, you can fight this.
Depression is horrible, and I don’t want to stay in that space one second longer than necessary. It takes work to get out of it, but it is so worth the effort. Feeling some joy when you’ve been down is a breath of fresh air. Taking the above suggestions will make that possible.