We often here that it’s the “little things” that are the most important. Anyone who’s stood on the seashore holding hands with a loved one while the sun goes down or curled up with nothing but a cat and a good book for several hours can identify with this sentiment. I think it also applies to the daily struggle with clinical depression. So here are a few things to try on a daily basis in order to help combat the darkness:
1) Get adequate sleep. I know it’s a busy world, with much more work than play, and sometimes it’s not possible to get the full 8 hours / 7 hours you need. I find that more often than not I’m actually in bed at a decent time, but then I spend 30 minutes to an hour either reading or playing a game on my phone. When I have the discipline to either go to bed earlier so as to have my reading / game time, or just not crack open that book after getting in bed at all, I feel much better the next day. And I definitely see a correlation between being overtired and low mood. And low mood can be a catalyst for a bout of Depression.
2) Hydrate! Check out these benefits: http://www.onemedical.com/blog/live-well/6-benefits-of-staying-hydrated/ . I love drinking water. Many people do not. Try making a habit of it. Try pouring yourself a glass of water about 20 minutes before each meal, and tell yourself no meal until you finish the water. Or require a glass of water before each coffee or tea your drink throughout the day. Do this for a while and see if you agree – isn’t water great?
3) Hugs. Seriously. Even if you’re not naturally a very tactile person. Even if you think it won’t help. At least once a day, see if you can wrap a loved one in your arms and take a deep breath and smile. Works a treat, that does.
4) Go outside. If it’s too hot, just go for a short walk around the block. If it’s raining, take an umbrella. If it’s gorgeous outside and you have the time, escape to the woods every once in a while. Being out of fluorescent / artificial light and under that sky can be almost instantly uplifting.
5) Thank someone for something (at least once) every day. It will cause you to look outside of yourself and find one good thing. When I’m depressed, the problems seems much, much more important than the good things; the negative’s a heavyweight and the positive’s a featherweight. Realizing that someone’s helped me out helps straighten out that skewed perspective.
Finally, I love this comic … what if Depression was a visible illness?