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Five Things To Do To Feel Better From Depression Now

March 27, 2014 Erin Schulthies

Effective depression treatment through medication and therapy can take months or years to help you feel better, but don't get discouraged. There are lots of things you can do now to help you cope with your depression and feel at least a little better until your other treatments start working. Here's a quick list to get you started.

5 Things To Feel Better From Depression Right Now

1. Move Your Body to Help with Depression

Feel better from depression now! Use movement, emotional expression, evaluation, breathing and self-care to cope with depression.

Stand up, get out of your chair and move your body. Sometimes depression can make you feel like never moving again but even a quick stretch to touch your toes can bring you back into your body and get blood flowing. Take your dog outside for a quick pee or take him around the block if you're up to it. Even a change of tasks can refresh your mindset and keep you from feeling stuck in depression.

2. Breathe Through Your Depression

I hold my breath when I'm stressed out and depression and it took me years to realize this bad habit of mine. Shallow breathing gives you headaches and can actually make you quite sick in other ways too. Try some breathing exercises, or just pay attention to feel your breathing when you're depressed. Are you inhaling and exhaling at comfortable intervals? Try to take in just a little more air with each breath and exhale a bit longer. When we regulate our breathing, we send signals to our brain that help us get out of fight-or-flight mode.

3. Express Yourself and Your Depression

Talking about our emotions like depression gets our feelings out of our heads and into a space where it's easier to deal with them. If you don't have a friend nearby, a pet can take their place. If you're more of a writer than a talker, grab your journal and write for five minutes using feeling words. Sometimes even putting on some music can help you feel like your pain isn't yours to deal with alone.

"Expression is the opposite of depression." - SARK

4. Evaluate Your Depression Expression

After expressing your feelings and thoughts about depression, take a moment to reflect on their content. Is there a trigger or stressor that's on your mind the most? Think about a solution to your problem and then break it down into baby steps. Make a list or think of some small goals that will help you get even a little bit closer to solving your problem.

What if you don't know what's wrong? Don't worry - it's normal to not know what's upsetting you, especially when you have depression. One thing you can do to alleviate your stress is to stop using the words "should" or "have to" when you're thinking or speaking about yourself. Avoid blame and guilt and give yourself permission to exist exactly as you are.

5. Do Some Self-Care

This is my favourite step. Coping with depression is all about being good to ourselves, even when we don't feel like we deserve it. Being good to yourself can take on many forms. Doing one of your favourite activities for five minutes or longer is a great way to nurture yourself.

If you're stuck on exactly how to nurture yourself, think about your five senses: touch, taste, smell, hearing, and sight. For touch, pick up a warm blanket or pet your cat. Eat a favourite food and pay attention to how it smells as you eat it. Put on a favourite song or sit near something that relaxes you with its sound, like water or wind chimes. Look outside or Google cute animals for a couple of minutes. Your emotions are like children who need to be stimulated and pampered to feel better.

Taking care of ourselves is a skill that we need to practice. When you have depression, it can feel really hard to be kind to yourself, but it's possible. Start now and feel better from Depression!

You can also find Erin Schulthies on Twitter, on Google+, on Facebook and on her blog, Daisies and Bruises: The Art of Living with Depression.

APA Reference
Schulthies, E. (2014, March 27). Five Things To Do To Feel Better From Depression Now, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, October 1 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2014/03/five-things-to-do-to-feel-better-now



Author: Erin Schulthies

jake
November, 1 2017 at 4:18 pm

So, what do you do when none of that helps?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

November, 2 2017 at 10:09 am

Hello Jake, I'm the current Coping With Depression blog author. I would suggest reaching out to others: friends, family, a mental health professional. I hope you start feeling better.
Michelle Sedas

November, 5 2017 at 8:16 am

Hello, Jake. I second Michelle's suggestions. I am also a current author of the Coping With Depression Blog.

Kaylee
December, 19 2015 at 12:14 pm

I can't afford a therapist and when I talk to my parents about it, they think its a joke.

Teresa
March, 15 2015 at 11:39 pm

I need all the tips I can get to get rid of this depression that has bogged me down for yrs. I used to be high on life itself. I just want my self back. Any feedback would be very appreciated. Thank you, Teresa

Beth
April, 6 2014 at 9:00 am

I have no energy to do anything

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Erin Schulthies
April, 6 2014 at 12:56 pm

Hi Beth,
Thanks for your comment! Sometimes we have to start where we're at in helping ourselves with our depression. Recognizing your lack of energy is an important step in your mental health recovery. I recommend talking with your doctor or therapist about your low energy, if you haven't already. Patience with yourself is key! I do hope you can find a way to get some energy back.

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