There was a time period of about 5 months in college where I was seriously depressed. It took everything in me to get out of bed in the morning. Some mornings, I didn’t. I would lay in bed for days with the curtains drawn. I didn’t know what else to do, nor did I want to think about it.
However, I started noticing that there were little things that would make me feel better when I was super down. I developed a “go-to” list of actions for me to follow when I was in that funk. Since the list was already made, I didn’t need to think about it. I just went through it step by step and most of the time, slowly I would emerge from behind the fog.
You can create a list, too. If you are feeling down, what makes you feel just a little better? It didn’t always work – sometimes sleep was just the only option – but it is always worth a try. My go-to list is below. Try to create one for yourself and reach out to us to let us know how it works for you.
Here is my go-to list for when my depression was so bad I couldn't think about what to do next:
1. Take a shower – and use good smellin’ soaps!
This one almost always worked for me which is why it is at the top of the list. Something about the water and the smell of my favorite soap (which happens to be called Stress Relief) was so therapeutic to me.
2. Drink 3 glasses of water
Hydration, hydration, hydration!! If I don’t drink enough water, I am all out of whack in many ways, both physically and mentally. If you also drink caffeine or alcohol, this really applies to you. For example, I try to drink 3 cups of water for every 1 cup of coffee.
3. Go for a brisk walk
Get outside! Nothing better than mother nature and some fresh air. But if the weather is bad, do some jumping jacks or jump rope.
4. Put on a “happy” playlist (made while feeling good so that it was ready)
Check out Spotify for some pre-made playlists. When feeling down, I also always try to stay away from watching music videos unless I know what to expect. Last thing I needed is a triggering visual when I’m not feeling great already.
5. Find a cute animal! Do any of your friends have a dog you could borrow? Or sometimes I didn’t feel like interacting with friends so I would go to the animal shelter and play with the puppies.
6. Eat something – try to make it healthy.
7. Watch your favorite comedy. Laughter really is the best medicine.
8. Write down 3 things that you are grateful for. Try out your Pockitude journal. If you don’t feel like writing, then look back at a page you wrote on a different day.