When Depression Strikes: 10 Simple Ways to Get Through the Day
Everyone has their bad days, but for some people, it’s more regular than others. From the minute you wake, you are paralyzed by anxiety or fear, certain that you cannot get up and face reality ever again. Thankfully, there are small steps you can take to gradually ease the hours along and ensure that your responsibilities are all met.
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1. Wake Up Early
A disrupted night’s sleep is not conducive to a happy morning, which is why you must always get the recommended 7 – 8 hours of uninterrupted slumber. This amount will elevate your mood, sharpen your memory, and increase your overall energy levels for the day ahead. Go to bed earlier if need be, and if you tend to struggle with insomnia, consider experimenting with sleep supplements for busy professionals.
2. Get Moving
The connection between physical activity and the alleviation of depression has long been proven. This means that no matter how terrible you are feeling, try and push yourself to go outside and take a walk, preferably through nature. The oxygen will clear your head and the exercise will assist your brain in producing more happy endorphins. Other options include a home yoga session or a refreshing swim.
3. Don’t Drink Coffee
That caffeine boost may provide a helpful kickstart to the day, but its stimulant effects can scramble your nerves and cause your anxiety to spike. Rather drink a large glass of water to hydrate your body, or spoil yourself with a big healthy smoothie packed full of vitamins. Load it with fruit for an extra jolt of energy, paying special attention to bananas which have been linked to anxiety relief.
4. Turn Away from Social Media
For all the appreciated communication tools that social media platforms have granted us, these sites can often spiral the mood on a bad day as you compare your life to others and scroll endlessly passed useless posts of nothing. Instead, try to live through your eyes today, and not your screen. Be present.
5. Watch What You Eat
Eating healthy food is not some instant depression fix. However, by choosing to treat your body with love, you’ll feel like you’re facing in a positive direction and it will be easier to move forward using that mindset. Refuse any junk or processed food, cut down on the meat, and focus on your fruit and vegetables. Experiment with mood-boosting edibles too, such as nuts, spinach, oats, eggs, and dark chocolate.
6. Clear the Clutter
Your head may be in chaos but that does not mean your environment has to reflect this. Distract your thoughts by organizing your home or your work desk, neatening up papers, discarding the junk, or clearing up your email inbox. This newfound space will not only help you to think but will also come with an additional sense of achievement, from where you can build further momentum.
7. Avoid Toxic People
Are there individuals in your life who tend to drag your emotions down? Are these people perhaps connected to your depression? Then make a plan to avoid them as much as possible today because this is not what you need right now. If their negative energy is a regular problem in your experience, then you may need to look at ways in which to cut them out for good.
8. Phone a Friend
Whether you have to get something off of your chest or a casual chat is required to ward off the loneliness, pick up that phone and call your most trusted ally. Organize a social meet in the very near future as this will give you something to look forward to, and don’t forget to ask them how they’ve been feeling lately too.
9. Go Easy on the Alcohol
Dousing your demons in booze may be a popular method of desperate escape, but there have been studies which suggest a casual cycle between intoxication and depression. Furthermore, the inebriated state of mind is at a higher risk of making erratic (often dangerous) decisions, and the next day’s hangover won’t do your mental health any favors either. If this is a common route that you take, then there may a deeper problem here worth investigating. Do not be afraid to ask for help.
10. Turn Off Your Television
After an emotional day, it’s tempting to fall on the couch and watch endless hours of TV while filling your stomach with ice cream. But this does not help. Rather feed your mind with a book or listen to some music and get your heart rate excited while you dance around the living room. However, if the television is unavoidable, ensure you stick to comedies or otherwise motivational pieces.