Before I go on, I have to state that while some people are depressed because there is a chemical imbalance in their brain, most of us are depressed because… well, life just gets in the way. If you have been feeling down in the dumps for way too long and you feel that you need to be SAVED, this article is for you!
I had been having episodes of depression for the past few years like I have mentioned in one or two of my earliest posts of this blog. However, in the past year, things had been looking up, I had more happier days. So I started to take note of some of the things that helped me have less “down” days.
So here are 10 ways you can kick depression in the butt!
1. Give Number 1 Importance to SLEEP.
A little confession here, I hate sleep. To be precise, I hate to GO TO sleep. But when I get woken up early in the morning by one (or all) of my kids, I don’t want to get up. As you might have deduced, I sleep late and wake up early. Now that’s almost like an open door for depression to come right into my life. And that’s what actually happened for a few years!
When I paid more attention to getting myself to bed earlier, I wake up happier and because of that, I’m able to maintain a good mood and some positivity in my thoughts for a little longer than usual.
But here’s the thing, some of you who are depressed likes to stay in bed. This is a different matter. When you stay in bed, it’s actually making things worse. When it’s time to wake up, wake up and get on with the day =)
I have to make it clear to you that if you meditate you’re NOT being disloyal to your own religion. Meditation IS for EVERYONE. Science has backed its effectiveness. So why don’t you give it a little try? There is no strings attached to Buddha, or anything at all. Meditation is the reconnection with yourself. And we all need to reconnect with ourselves.
When I meditate just for 10 minutes a day, alone, I feel much much better. The tension in my head, the heavy feeling in my chest and the blues in my heart they just seem to have evaporated away with the breeze. A little tip here, although many people ask you to go to a quiet room to meditate, I personally LOVE meditating outside the house. I sit on a bench, I love hearing background noises of people and cars passing by, I love the feel of the breeze on my face and feel my hair blow gently. I love to feel all of these while I focus on my breaths in and out, in and out. Just keep focusing on the breaths and if any thought comes to you, say hi to it and bring your focus back to your breaths in and out. Keep doing that every time a thought appears.
And something that really helps me relax when I meditate is this: Set an alarm for when you want to end your meditation. This way you will stop the urge to check your watch. Once you have set the alarm, let yourself meditate freely. When the alarm sounds, you know it’s time to stop.
3. STOP the REPLAY in your head telling yourself that you are depressed.
We are all very good at replaying the negative thoughts in our heads. You have got to stop it, especially so if you have been doing so for months and years. Start with today, tell yourself “I’m not depressed, I’m going make myself happy today, and tomorrow”. And tell yourself that EVERYDAY.
4. Appreciate the outdoors
What I mean by outdoors is simply a connection with nature. Don’t sulk inside your room or your apartment. Get out there feel the sunshine, feel the breeze, notice the birds in the sky. It will give you a reminder that life is not only about your sorrow or your depressed mood, there is so much more only if you look for it.
5. Lighten up and try to SMILE
Especially so when you feel yourself feeling downhearted, fake a smile. Fake it till you feel it. Because if you don’t fake a smile, you will be thinking about how sad you are, and that in itself makes you even more sad. So you have a choice here, choose to smile instead!
6. Make yourself accomplish something.
Sometimes you’ve been where you are for way too long and you feel like life is not meaningful and not worth living. So why not make it meaningful? Give yourself a project, a challenge, and try to accomplish something. Be it to accomplish an exercise run that you have been postponing indefinitely, be it learning a new skill like baking or painting. You will feel better when you are doing something and when you accomplish something. And life will start to look a little more worth living. I’ve been through that, I made myself start this blog and do what I love, and I’m feeling way way way better than I did before I started all of this!
7. If possible, avoid energy-suckers.
There has to be something that is making you lethargic, unhappy and not looking forward to life. For me it was my job. I found no meaning in my duties and responsibilities and it made me feel worthless. Lucky for me my husband supported my resignation. What about you? What is sucking the energy out of you? Sometimes it’s your own thinking though. Don’t allow your thoughts to suck away your own energy to live life.
8. Pick someone to talk to.
Yes, pick someone to talk to. You don’t have to talk about your depression. Just talk about anything. the point here is to not isolate yourself. You need constant communication with someone. For me, I have my husband to talk to. To know that someone is always there to listen to you, or someone is always there to laugh with you, makes it a little bit easier to get out of the depressed mood.
9. Watch Happy Movies AND Avoid Action Movies or Serious Dramas
Yes that’s right. Movies with guns and violence and action does no good to you if you want to relax. Although the storyline may be great, all the action and the tension from the movie will make you feeling worse than before you started the movie. Instead, watch something light-hearted, something that makes you smile, something that is funny. You will feel better after the movie is finished =)
Yes. Please do at least once a week. It helps with your blood circulation. It’s like a refresh button.