- Don’t pressure yourself to be happy. No one solution will keep you happy forever, or even for the rest of the day. You have to constantly work against your depression, and it’s a battle that you will never stop fighting. But find as many lifter-uppers as you can so that you can have plenty of ammunition against the sadness that threatens your mood.
- Realize that every depression beater will not work every time. Each day is a new day, different than before, and so you may require many tips in order to successfully beat depression in your life.
- Live in the moment. Don’t look back, and don’t look forward. As long as you’re sad, looking outside the moment that you’re in will spur you to think pessimistically of the world around you. When you’re feeling depressed, focus on surviving each second itself.
- Stop and breathe. Just feel the air enter and leave your lungs. Mentally force yourself to breath in and out for as long as you can. While you’re breathing, don’t let your mind think of anything else.
- No matter how you feel, stop and make a meal for someone who loves you. Their compliments will make you feel better, in the moment.
- Go outside and let the sunshine brighten your skin. Take a walk, or just sit on your porch or in your backyard. Watch the bugs crawling across the dirt or the leaves rustling in the wind. If you live in a place where it always rains, then sit outside in a dry place and watch the puddles ripple under the rain or the water wash off the leaves or petals of flowers and trees in your yard. Again, don’t think; just watch.
- Find a plant or baby tree to take care of, and learn how to tend to it. If it’s an indoor plant that needs water, then make sure to water it. If it needs misting or if it needs sunlight, make sure to tend to it. Or, if you’re an outside person, then start a vegetable, flower, or herb garden in your yard. If you like to cook, then I suggest a good herb garden which will make you step outside to trim the leaves and gather your fresh herbs for cooking.
- Listen to music. Discover what type of music will beat the depression in your life. Everyone has different preferences; some people listen to sad music to help soothe their souls, while others need upbeat and peppy music to keep them from falling deeper into their sadness. Also note that when you’re depressed, each day may wear a different mood; some days you may need sad music, while other days you’ll need to listen to dreamy or happy music instead. Feel free to change your station or playlist to match your mood.
- Get off Facebook. Often, social media makes you compare your life with what other people have, and other times you just feel judged and condemned by what your friends are expressing on their own walls. This gives your mind a “bully voice” that worsens your bad moods and depression.
If you require Facebook for your job, because you are the administrator of a page or group and you cannot pass the responsibility to someone else, then create a new profile for yourself and close out your other personal account. Only like what encourages you, and don’t befriend anyone from your former friend list; if you do then your brain will begin to bully you for playing favorites or for not befriending someone else, too. If your friends are true friends, they’ll understand why you got off Facebook, and they’ll support your decision to do so.
Also, if you administrate a page or group, don’t let yourself become distressed by Facebook stats. Try not to worry about whether someone un-likes your page or comments rudely. If you find yourself getting too invested in the stats of your page or group, temporarily unpublish the page and consider finding someone else to run it instead.
- Keep a daily journal. Write down the activities of your day and how you felt about it. If something upsets you, express your feelings on the pages of your journal. But don’t pressure yourself into writing. Some days you may write no more than half a page, while other days you could write 10 pages.
- Let yourself cry. Don’t force the tears, but if they come then welcome them. You’ll feel better if you let yourself express your emotion. Cry for as long or as short as you need, then take a breath and continue your day.
- Take a steamy shower. The warm water and steam will comfort, and if you feel like crying in the shower then allow yourself to cry. After the emotional shower is done, you may feel tired or even exhausted, but it will feel good to be fresh and clean.
- Get a 52-card deck, shuffle the cards, and set up your favorite game of solitaire. You’ll have to work your mind on the technical rules of the card game, and your brain will busy itself with the game instead of bothering you with everything you’ve done wrong in the past week.
- Read the Bible. Psalms is a good book to read when you can’t seem to get happy. The books John, Romans, 2 Corinthians, Ephesians, Philippians, 1 Peter, and 1 John are also good books to read when you are feeling depressed.
Also, there are many versions of the Bible, so feel free to compare each version to find the one that is easiest for you to read.
- Buy an “adult coloring book” and a batch of colored pens, markers, crayons, or colored pencils and spend some time coloring.
- Re-read your favorite book. If your mind can’t focus on reading because of your depression, then try reading a graphic novel instead. The story-telling with art will give your mind visuals to focus on rather than words to read.
- Drink a hot cup of tea or coffee.
- Wrap yourself in a warm blanket.
- Hug a stuffed animal or teddy bear. I find that the bigger (16 inches is a great size) and softer the bear, the better.
- Look up something (a movie, game, or event) that you’re excited about and looking forward to.
- Buy a gift for your best friend, but only if you can afford it in your budget. Otherwise, gift them with a hug or a compliment, instead.
- Know your limits and your boundaries. Don’t force yourself to do something that will make you embarrassed or too uncomfortable. This will give your critical mind ammunition against you.
- Re-watch your favorite feel good movie or tv show. If you already know the ending and it’s your favorite, then there won’t be anything to surprise you or depress you more.
- Pray. Maybe even find a church community. Despite how you feel, you are NOT alone.