When you’re depressed, everything seems a little bleaker. Everything. Your life, your future, and even the weather seem to go from bad to worse. It is incredibly challenging to get out of bed when you’re feeling down. The heaviness in your heart feels like it will never lift; life just doesn’t feel worth living.
You can no longer find joy in simple things that used to bring you happiness and light: not even the sunshine or the sight of blue skies can cheer you up. It may be at this point that some people contemplate ending their lives just so they don’t have to suffer any more.
Fortunately, there are many ways we can stay positive when we’re feeling depressed, which is what we will talk about in this article.
In order to manage your depression, you need to take action. Depression can leave you feeling unmotivated and uninterested in doing anything. But staying at home, locked away, and isolating yourself from the world doesn’t help.
In fact, it will only make things worse. These negative thoughts and feelings are natural when you’re dealing with depression. It’s completely okay to feel this way sometimes.
But what matters is how you respond to these feelings that arise in you. How we react to certain situations determines where we go from there – whether that be down a bad road or a good one.
Motivation can be found in many places if we look for it, but when you’re depressed it can be challenging to see these opportunities waiting for us everywhere we turn. Here are some ways you can find motivation even when depressed:
Exercising releases endorphins, which not only makes you feel good, but also combats many of the symptoms of depression such as anxiety and low energy. Exercise will also give you something to focus on other than your negative thoughts, which can be helpful when you’re feeling down.
If you’ve been suffering from depression for a long time, exercising might seem completely out of the question. And that’s okay. But even if you can only do a really small amount, it’s still better than nothing. If you can’t even bring yourself to do that, then try to find another way to get active – such as gardening or housework.
2. Talk to those you care about
You don’t have to go through this alone. You don’t have to suffer in silence. Reach out to the people you care about and let them know how you’re feeling. Expressing yourself to others can be really helpful in managing your depression. You can also try to find a support group or even a therapy session.
Gossiping and negatively commenting on others can feed into your own low self-esteem, which makes your depression even worse. Instead, try to be encouraging and positive when you speak to others.
3. Set small goals
When you’re feeling low, it might be hard to imagine you could ever get better. But you will. You just have to keep going. Set some small goals for yourself, no matter how small they might seem.
You might be able to only clean up one room in your house. Or maybe you can be responsible for one chore each day. Keep a journal where you can write down your goals and thoughts. Writing can be a great way to get your thoughts out of your head and onto paper.
4. Learn something new
Learning something new is a great way to distract yourself from your negative thoughts and feelings. Pick something that interests you and learn it fully. It doesn’t matter if you never use it – what matters is you put your focus and energy into learning a new skill. You might not think that you have the energy to actively pursue a new interest, but picking something you love will help you find that motivation.
5. Help others
It’s an old cliche, but it’s true: you really can get by if you help others get by. Empathize and care for others who are going through a rough patch in their lives. You don’t have to become a psychologist or a social worker. You can help others in small ways, like by volunteering at a charity or going door to door collecting money for a cause you care about.
6. Meditate and breathe
You don’t have to be a master at meditation to reap its benefits. Whether you do it formally or informally, meditating will help you slow down and clear your mind. It’s a great way to stay focused on the here and now when you’re depressed and keep your thoughts from taking you somewhere you don’t want to go.
A lot of people use the “4-7-8” breathing technique, which is great for beginners. Simply breathe in for four seconds, hold your breath for seven, and exhale for eight seconds. It’s a great way to calm yourself down, especially when you’re in a stressed or anxious state. You can use this technique whenever you feel yourself getting worked up.
7. Write down your feelings
Sometimes you might have so much you want to say to someone close to you but you can’t put it into words. Writing down your emotions and thoughts is a great way to put them out there and get them off your chest.
If you don’t feel comfortable telling the person you want to open up to, you can always write in a journal or even send an email to an anonymous account. Sometimes it’s hard to express yourself face-to-face or over the phone.
8. Make a playlist of happiness
A lot of people make “mixtapes” and “playlists” to express their feelings toward someone. Why not make one for yourself? Create a playlist with songs that make you feel strong, happy, or any other emotion you need right now.
Ask your friends and family if they have any songs they think will help you. You can also look online or at your local record store for ideas. You can even create a Spotify playlist if you want to create one on the go.
9. Join A Support Group
If you’re struggling with a certain mental illness, there’s a good chance finding a support group or online forum where you can share your experiences with others who are going through the same thing can be very helpful.
Some illnesses that can be managed with support groups include anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and substance abuse. Talking to people who understand what you’re going through can be very beneficial. You don’t have to suffer in silence. There are people out there who want to help you.
10. Confide in a Trusted Friend
It’s important to have somebody you can really open up to. But not everybody has someone like that in their life. If you don’t, you can find a good therapist or counselor who can help you talk out your problems.
Someone who you can trust and who you know has your best interests at heart can be very helpful in getting you through your depression.
11. Commit to a routine each day
It’s easy to get lost in the haze of depression and not know what to do next. But sitting around and doing nothing is only going to make you feel worse. Not having a daily routine can also cause you to feel more stressed, as there’s no structure in your life. This can add to your depression.
A routine can help you feel more in control of your day – and help you to focus on the present moment. This can be helpful for those who suffer from depression, as it can be difficult to focus on one task and then switch to another. With a routine, you know what you have to do each day, and this can help you to stay focused on what you have to do next.
12. Think about what you’re grateful for
When you’re struggling with depression, you may find yourself dwelling on the negative aspects of your life, and what you don’t have. This can lead to feelings of envy, jealousy, and resentment – and love can quickly turn into hate.
But when you take a moment to think about all the things you’re grateful for in your life, you’ll be surprised by how this can impact your emotions. It’s important to focus on the big things, as well as the little things. Your family, friends – your health, your education, the roof over your head – these are just a few examples of things that you can be grateful for.
13. Assign tasks to feel productive
When you’re depressed, you may not feel up to doing anything. You may feel as though you can’t do anything. This can cause you to feel more isolated, and make you feel as though nobody understands what you’re going through.
You need to take care of yourself, though – and one way to do this is to assign yourself tasks. These don’t have to be big tasks; they can be as small as making yourself a cup of tea, or folding a load of laundry. These little things can add up and make you feel more productive in the long run.
14. Be kind to yourself
When you’re depressed, it can be easy to blame yourself for feeling the way you do. But you can’t control your emotions. There will be times when you feel sad, anxious, and depressed. This is okay.
You may want to try journaling, or talking to someone close to you. These are ways to let out your emotions and feelings, where you can’t be critical or judgmental of yourself.
15. Ask for Help From Family and Friends
When you feel like you’re at your lowest and have hit rock bottom, it can be difficult to ask for help. But you need to let others know what you’re going through, and what you need from them.
While some people may be able to help you with managing your depression, others may not. So you need to ask for help – whether that be from friends, family, or a professional counsellor.
16. Change Your Environment
You may want to stay inside, and want to be as far away from people as possible. But this will only make you feel worse. You need to get out and engage with other people. You can be around people without having to talk to them. You can go to a park, library, or even a coffee shop.
These are places where you can be around other people, but you won’t feel pressured to engage with them if you don’t want to. You’ll also be around positive vibes and new opportunities.
17. Take care of your mental and physical health
When you’re feeling depressed, it can be easy to neglect your physical health. But this is important. You need to eat nutritious, healthy meals, and get enough sleep. You may also want to consider seeing a doctor, or visiting a therapist or counsellor. They can help you to manage your depression, and put you on the right path to feeling better.
18. Find joy in the small things
When you’re depressed, it can be easy to look at the bigger picture and feel overwhelmed. But you need to look at the smaller things in your life that bring you joy – and focus on those. You can find joy in a lot of things: listening to music, reading a book, watching a film, taking a walk – there’s so many ways you can find joy in the smaller things in life. And when you’re searching for joy in the small things, you’re also giving your brain serotonin – which helps with depression.
19. Write a list of your blessings
When you’re going through a difficult time, it’s easy to focus on what you don’t have, and the negatives in your life. But when you’re feeling depressed, you need to shift your thoughts – and learn how to focus on the positives in your life. The best way to do this is to write a list of everything that you’re grateful for. When you’re depressed, it can be difficult to see any positives – but you need to force yourself to look for them.
20. Rewrite your script
We all have a script that we follow in our heads. This is often negative, and can cause us to feel down. You can rewrite this script and focus on positive thoughts and actions. When you’re feeling depressed, it can be difficult to focus on positive thoughts and actions.
But if you want to get out of this situation, you need to learn how to rewrite this script in your head, and focus on what you want – not what you don’t have. The key to overcoming depression is to take action.
You need to challenge the negative thoughts that are running through your head, and prove them wrong. You’re in control of your happiness. Nobody else can make you happy – only you have the power to do this.
If you are depressed, you are not alone. Millions of people struggle with depression every year. Even if you have been depressed for a long time, there is always hope for improvement. There are many ways to get motivated even when you’re depressed – all you have to do is find what works for you.
If you can learn how to manage your depression, you can truly be happy again. Depression is a serious illness, but it can be defeated. You just have to keep trying and know that you are worth it.