We've all hit that point in the semester where things slow down, the beginning-of-the-year activities die out, and that class you thought would be a breeze starts getting difficult. It's in these times that I usually find myself getting a little down. Now, granted, I know I'm not always going to be energetic and motivated 24/7 and there will always be days that are simply just bad days. But when I can't shake a funk that lasts for more than a week, I start trying these things to help myself out of it!
Whether it's sunny and 95 degrees, or cloudy and 50, going outside always helps me. I love going for walks on trails or exploring in the woods. I've often been told that I need to go out with friends or do something social to shake my mood. Which, in some cases, this can help! But personally, I've always found that some time to myself is exactly what I need. Long walks in the woods always revitalize me, giving me the motivation I need to do my schoolwork or clean whatever stress-mess has accumulated in my room. And speaking in psychological terms, the physical act of walking actually increases the production of endorphins and serotonin in your brain. The release of endorphins in the brain leads to a feeling of euphoria, and serotonin is nicknamed the "happy hormone" because this particular hormone contributes to the feelings of happiness and well-being. Therefore, any sort of physical activity, whether it be taking a simple walk or doing a full-on workout, will literally release "happy hormones" in your head and give you a little mood-boost!
Take care of yourself
Taking care of yourself is huge! Even if it's something small, like taking a bath, painting your nails, or just dressing up nice can make a huge difference in your day. Making it a priority to put yourself first can give you even a tiny sense of confidence that can set the tone for the rest of your day. Oftentimes when we get stuck in a rut, we tend to put aside our own physical well being. However, doing little things to take care of yourself can chip away at the cycle of laziness we find ourselves in during a gloomy time.
Talk to your family or friends
For those who are far from home, talking to family and friends can be huge. While you might convince yourself that your newfound freedom and independence is great, sometimes we all need a good pep-talk from our mom, dad, or bestie.
Do something productive
Doing something productive, like cleaning your room or doing the dishes, can give you a sense of accomplishment that boosts your mood. I personally like to start of my day by making my bed and tidying up my room. Doing this sets a productive tone to my day and motivates me to accomplish everything that I need to get done! Doing something like this can help eliminate any unnecessary stress that might be dragging you down. It's always helpful to eliminate stress that you can control, such as the stress of having a messy room, unfinished homework, or studying for an upcoming test.
Do something kind for someone else
This one always helps me. Making someone else's day can ALSO make yours! Knowing that you made someone else happy, even if it's something small like putting up an encouraging sticky note on the mirror, is so uplifting. Watching someone smile because I made their day always makes my heart happy!
And lastly, I believe that everyone, whether they're struggling with depression or not, can benefit from talking to a professional. Don't get me wrong, mom and dad's advice can be great, but a professional can provide you with tools to help you combat the specific issues you're struggling with. Remember: you are never alone in your struggles, and never be afraid to ask for help. WE ALL need it!