Let me just start by saying that what I write today is not going to be the end-all cure for everyone. Or anyone, aside from myself. But I always find it helpful too see what other people have discovered helps their depression because I believe humans are intrinsically similar and what worked for you could totally work for me! So, without further ado, here are some of my tips for coping with depression.
Watching something that calms you down. For me, slow british shows with subtle comedy is the best remedy for when my depression affects my mood more than normal. And if I’m not in the mood for that, then as long as what I’m watching is something I’ve seen a hundred times it works. There’s something calming in watching a show where you know exactly what is going to happen.
My Favorites: As Time Goes By, The Great British Bake-Off, Supersizers Go…, Parks and Rec, 30 Rock, New Girl, Pride and Prejudice (1995 version), Top Gear, House Hunters International (or, really, any version of House Hunters or shows of a similar format), SacconeJoly vlogs on youtube
Treat yo’self. And when I say that, I mean with a treat you can eat! Everyone has their favorite treats (a lot of mine are sweet and sugary!). It can be hot cheetos, caffein-free Dr. Pepper, or Taco Bell burritos at midnight. Whatever it is, it should make you happy!
My Favorites: Jamba Juice smoothie, Dairy Milk chocolate bar, Chick-fil-A sandwich, Ben & Jerry’s salted caramel core ice cream, IKEA milk chocolate bar, Simple Truth raw almonds (I eat these in handfuls!!), pre-packaged mixed fruit (you know, the kid where the grocer has cut up bits of melon and strawberries and blueberries and pineapple…delicious!), Cadbury eggs
Exercising a couple times a week. I’m personally very terrible at this. But when I DO exercise, I feel better emotionally as well as physically.
My Favorites: Yoga with Adrienne on youtube, going on a walk up and down the street, walking someone else’s dog (since I don’t have one of my own)
Reading. Yes, reading. Reading anything is such a chill activity for me. I absolutely love it. And it can be Jane Austen or or a mommy blog, but it works. It doesn’t have to be just books. I’m not a big magazine reader (I’m more of a flip-through and look-at-the-pictures kind of gal) but if you enjoy that, then read that. If you like those suggested articles that pop up on your phone, then read those. If you prefer to listen to an audio-book than read one, go for it (I, myself, can only listen to audio-books of books I’ve read previously otherwise I get distracted and have to rewind!).
My Favorites: Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, scriptures, conference talks, blogs about travel/family/food, articles about topics I enjoy (certain celebrities I like, controversial subjects, etc.)
And there you have it! It may be a bit ironic that the entertainement and treats FAR outweigh the examples of exercise (LOL!) but everyone is different. I have several friends who love going for a jog to calm down and feel better (I just happen to not be one of those people). Just do you, and don’t let other people tell you that YOUR way of feeling better is wrong, because it’s your brain, your body, your emotions, and your depression. Only you will know what works and what doesn’t! For example, there are a LOT of chocolate treats that I indulge in when the depression hits, and for me that’s a positive thing because when my depression get’s bad I lose my appetite and stop eating. So eating ANYTHING at that point is a success. Listen to your mind and body and figure out what triggers positive feelings during bouts of depression and take notes, because those notes will help you the next time depression takes hold of your day (or week or month). And just know that there are other people coping with it in their own ways. See what works for them and try it out yourself; you never know what will work for you too 🙂