Depression can be a very difficult thing to express and understand. You don’t WANT to feel this way, and yet, you do. You want to lay in bed all day, and that is exactly what feeds your depression. It is a cycle of not doing anything because you are depressed and being depressed because you aren’t doing anything.
Make a “To-Do” list. I’ve found that when I’m depressed, I HAVE to do things that will lift my mood. This can be hard because it feels like you’re fighting your own mind and body. It helps to make a list when you are feeling energetic of things you can do when you’re depressed. Feeling depressed can take away your clear thinking, so having a previously written list of things that you can do to lift your mood can make things a lot easier. Positive coping skills are things I do to help my mental health, and that is what I fill my list with. Make this list of things YOU like to do. This will help motivate you to do them.
Spend Time Outside. I’ve realized that spending time outside instantly lifts my mood. It doesn’t even matter what I’m doing. Fresh air helps clear my head and give me a different perspective. I like to go for walks outside and really try to appreciate the scenery. I am grateful for every little thing that I pass, even if I’ve already seen it 100 times before. It takes me out of my own head and into nature.
Keep a Journal. I’ve found journaling has been very helpful for me. I often have trouble pinpointing which emotions are making me feel overwhelmed. It seems that there are so many going on at once that it’s difficult to work through any of them. Journaling made a tremendous difference with this. I suddenly have a clearer understanding of what I’m feeling. Then I can start working through those emotions. Each morning I try to write down 3 things I am grateful for, 3 goals I have, 3 things I want to feel, 3 people I want to send love to, and 3 things I am. My best friend taught me this, and it has helped me not to focus on negative feelings I might feel in the morning. Instead, I focus on positive things in my life.
Do Mindfulness Exercises. I have been working on doing more mindfulness techniques. Meditating helps calm my mind and body. If you have 10 minutes free, or even 5, it is worth it to meditate. I use an app to help me with this.
The great thing about positive coping skills is that if they are healthy and positive to your well-being, you can really do whatever you like! You can listen to music, dance in your kitchen, catch up with a supportive friend, exercise, or spend time with your pet. These are just a few examples of things that can lift your mood. If you do them consistently, they can be very helpful in combating depression. Depression doesn’t have to stop you from living your life!
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