This time of year is supposed to be the happiest and merriest time. It's the time when we spend amazing moments with family and, for some, celebrate religion. But for some, this time of year can be really hard and can bring about some depressive feelings. So here are some simple tasks that you can do in order to feel better and get out of that depressive slump for a few minutes.
1. Make a morning routine
It has been shown that once you get into a routine, you can more easily feel like you're ready for the day. Simple tasks that you need to do in the mornings are a lot easier to do when you have a specific order to do them.
I know this really helped me whenever I got into a slump. It also made it easier to get out of bed when I could just go through the motions without having to really think about them because they were so ingrained as a routine.
2. Eat a good breakfast
I know that everyone says breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but when you're depressed, you may feel like not eating anything, so I think that eating a good breakfast will be really helpful to get out of that mood. I know that when I eat breakfast, I often feel more awake and energized for the day.
3. Take time for yourself
If you have a really busy day ahead of you and you start to feel stressed and/or depressed, make sure to take some time for yourself. This could be sitting down and reading a book for a few minutes, listening to music, or simply just relaxing. All of these things will make you feel better about the day ahead of you and about all the things you have to do.
It will also get you energized to keep going through your day if you feel like you've had time to yourself. I know I often get really discouraged when I start to think of all the things I have to do in one day and I often have to remind myself to take a step back and relax for moment.
4. Drink some water
Sometimes depression and depressive feelings can be exacerbated with dehydration, so make sure you are drinking plenty of water for the day. An easy way to do this is to have a glass on a nightstand so that it's there to drink right away in the morning. You can also carry a water bottle around with you all day, if possible. If you get a water bottle that is fun and maybe has some kind of straw, you might be more likely to drink from it throughout the day. I know that I'm not the best at making sure I drink enough water throughout the day, but if I do these things, it really helps to remember.
5. Put on clean clothes
Most of the time, people who are depressed often feel like they haven't accomplished anything for the day, but if you get up and change your clothes, even if it's just to get back into bed, you can often feel like you did something to help yourself for the day. A change of clothes really helps you feel better about yourself sometimes.
If I can get up and change my clothes for the day, I often feel better about myself and I can say I actually accomplished something for the day even if it was something small.
6. Open a window
Sometimes going outside and getting fresh air is the hardest thing to do, but it is important to get fresh air. So I suggest opening a window in the room. Getting fresh air is helpful because it tends to clear your head.
I know when I open a window in my room, it makes me feel ten times better because I feel like I can actually breathe instead of suffocating in my thoughts. Breathing in fresh air really helps me clear my head and think about things other than my depression.
7. Turn on some lights
I know it might sound cool when you think that you're the princess of darkness by keeping all of the lights off, but sometimes it can be unhelpful for your depression. Depression thrives in darkness and in the places where people can't see, so by turning on some lights, you are doing something that could physically drive your depression away.
Sitting it a dark room is usually when my depression starts to spike, so when I start feeling that, if I can, I turn on some lights and it helps immensely.
8. Spend 10 minutes doing something relaxing before bed
Don't go to bed stressed because you will end up thinking about your stressors for most of the night, and that means you won't get any sleep, so you won't be able to function well the next day. So take some time to relax and clear your mind before bed.
This could mean reading, scrolling through social media, or even taking a hot bath. I always end up scrolling through Facebook before I fall asleep, just to clear my mind of the things that stress me out.
9. Take things one at a time
Organization has really helped me get through really stressful and busy times of my life. If I know I'm busy, I start to get anxious and worried that I won't get it all done in time and then I get depressed and end up losing motivation to do any of it. So I've found that staying organized and taking things one a time keeps me out of that cycle while giving me plenty of time to focus on each task.
10. Touch base with at least one friend
No matter what your mind might be telling you, your friends do care about you. So, even if you send them a quick message just saying hello, texting them or getting in touch with them is a really quick way to show you that. Depression often makes you feel like you're isolated, so getting in touch with a friend can counteract that loneliness and help you feel a little better.
And I promise, you won't be annoying them if you just say hi and ask them how they're doing.
11. Say one thing nice about yourself
Depression always makes you feel like you're not good enough, that's just what it does. But I'm here to tell you that it's wrong. You are good enough and you will do all of the things you want to do some day.
But for now, you can combat this feeling of being useless by saying one thing that you like about yourself. Say it out loud. You can even repeat it a few times if you want. If you remind yourself that there are things that you like about who you are, then you start to think more positively about yourself, which is the exact opposite of what depression wants.
I know these won't work for everyone and that everyone is going to be different in what helps them and what doesn't, but these are some of the ones that are helpful for me. I hope you can find some help within them, too, this holiday season and maybe even follow them through to the next year.
And don't forget, you're amazing and i believe in you.