Depression sucks—everyone, from those who experience it to those who read about it on the internet, can agree. On some days, while battling this heavy nuisance on your shoulders, it may seem like there is nowhere to turn and no way to outrun the clouds over your head. When depression drags you down, try doing one (or all if you're feeling wild) of these five ways to survive a bad depression day! Some days we don't win over our mental illnesses; however, we will always continue battling them!
1. Listen to your body.
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When depression strikes, it can be hard to get things accomplished. From simple self-care, like eating, brushing our teeth and showering, to more daunting tasks like work and taking care of your family, moving from the safety of your bed can be difficult. So, it's simple—don't. If your body aches from a restless night, or your eyes are heavy from the tears you shed when you woke up this morning, stay in bed a little while longer. It is O.K. to acknowledge that your body is not ready to tackle the day. Battling depression is exhausting, and no one should judge you for taking a few extra hours (or days) to recoup from this specific bout. Don't be ashamed of it, or apologetic—you are fighting an invisible battle, but a battle nonetheless, and need to heal. So, if you don't feel like it, don't get out of bed (just yet).
2. Escape to a whole new world.
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Whether it is in the form of reading one page of the book on your nightstand, or watching an entire Netflix series, give yourself an escape. When the real-world is a little too harsh, take a break and escape into the crisp pages of a nice new book, or the thrilling/touching/humorous plots one of your favorite classic films. Sometimes our own lives can be dull, or in contrast, too hectic and we need to pretend for a little while. This can be soothing to the mind, and also beneficial as you may learn something on your way to the finale of the book/series! Not to mention, a super fun way to pass the time.
3. Keep track of small victories.
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If you have conquered your sheets and have managed to leave the comfort and safety of your bed, write it down. Did you brush your teeth? Wash your face? Make breakfast (or anything that resembles a meal)? Write it all down. Keeping track of even the smallest victories is a great way to, firstly, remember what you did today (depression plays tricks on your memory... it can be annoying to find a cold bowl of soup in the microwave when you realize you walked away and forgot your attempted lunch). This also helps to, more importantly, prove to yourself that your depression is not winning. You are strong enough to accomplish tasks even when it feels like depression is rubbing your face in the dirt. Hell yeah. Looking back at a whole day of checked-off work can really help to motivate you to continue your progress the next day, and give you something to give yourself a little pat on the back for.
4. Call or text a friend.
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Yes, you should reach out for conversation and connection. No, you don't have to discuss your depression (unless you are a threat to yourself—then please, please, PLEASE ask for help). I have made this mistake too many times to count when I google "things to do when you're depressed" and this comes up on the list. I would immediately reach out to a friend and talk about how awful I was feeling that day or begging for positive affirmations. Looking back on this now, I realize that by doing this, I was only inviting my depression to stay. I was sitting, sulking, and even drowning in my sadness. So, while I do recommend calling or texting a good friend, I personally would recommend starting a conversation about how their day is going, or maybe about the Netflix series you finished. Maybe even invite them over! But try to avoid dwelling on the lows of your feelings in the moment. They will pass.
5. Write down your future plans/goals.
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Whether these be goals for today, three months from now, 5 years from now or within the next 20 minutes, writing down your goals is extremely helpful. Not only does this show you all of the things you want to accomplish (and help you think of ways you can achieve these goals), it also keeps your brain busy. If you're pondering your fitness goals, whether or not you actually want to write a book before you're thirty or deciding how many complete albums you want to listen to this year, your mind is focused on that one task. When thoughts related to your depression or anything else negative, re-focus on the task at hand.
In case I wasn't clear, depression sucks. When you're feeling low, there are very few things that you feel like doing or accomplishing—that, I totally understand. By doing any, a few, or even all of these 5 things, you CAN beat your bad depression day! If you're reading this article right now and can connect with my commentary on the depths of depression, I am so sorry. But the fact that you're sitting there, reading this article on how to beat these bad days shows your resilience and your knack for not giving in, and I am incredibly proud of you. Keep fighting.
Until next week friends!
- I Can't Be Depressed, I'm Too Functional ›
- A Published Bucket List From A Girl Who Battled Depression ›
- A Letter To Me When I Beat My Depression ›