If you are depressed and you know it,
read on to find out ways that can help you lift your own spirits.
Basically any vacation, whether long or short, near or far, adventurous or relaxed, works! The idea is to get away for a while for a refreshing change of scene. While on your trip, take countless photographs and selfies. Once your trip is done, browse through the pictures to relive those precious moments.
Be a couch potato if that’s what makes you happy. Sleep in or snuggle with a good book and a cup of hot coffee.
3. Read a feel good book
Watch a feel good movie
Movies and books have a strong impact on our minds so much so that watching morbid movies can make us feel miserable while feel good movies and books – the kind that have happy endings and/or good messages – can work wonders on our emotional well being. I always feel lighter after having read a lovely book or watched a rom-com.
4. Take an effort to be happy
Sometimes, happiness needs effort. A lot of cheerful people are so because they chose to be. If it doesn’t come naturally to you, fake it! Plaster on a smile! When you look happy with a smile on your face, you find that you are treated better. When you are treated better you become genuinely happy. It is a whole virtuous cycle.
5. Forgive people
Keeping grudges not only makes you a sour and grumpy person, it drains all the positive energy from your system too. Understand people. Maybe there was a reason for them to demean you the way they did. Maybe they didn’t mean to. Maybe they were struggling with their own inner demons. Forgive. Maybe there wasn’t any reason. Maybe it was done out of spite. Ignore. Walking around unaffected is the best way you can pay back to those who hurt you on purpose!
6. Get creative
If you are the creative types, your creative medium can be an outlet for your emotions. If you have a passion for something, you have the privilege of getting lost in your art. So all the painters out there, take out your brushes and colours and paint the canvas red. All the amazing singers let your voice play magic in the air. All the writers and poets, let your imagination run wild.
If creativity is not your thing, get productive. Productivity imparts a sense of fulfillment which in turn can go a long way in maintaining a happy state of mind.
7. Work out and yoga
It is proven that exercise releases endorphins (or happy hormones) in the human body, the same hormones that are released when you laugh. The fitter you are, the better you feel about yourself. Yoga is known to have long lasting effects on your inner and outer beauty and well-being as well.
8. Sing and Dance
I envy those who can sing like a lark. Their own voice is all they need to lift their spirits. Mediocre singers like me can always sing in their cars and think that they have the best voices in the world!
As for those who cannot sing at all, but still enjoy doing it, there are plenty of mobile apps available equipped to transform a cacophony into a melody.
Dance …to your own tunes of course!
Literally speaking, dance is a form of workout. So apart from having all the above mentioned advantages of an exercise routine, regular dancing can be a fun way to spend time, be it Samba, Salsa, Hip-Hop or Contemporary.
9. Have dark chocolate
Munch on a bar of dark chocolate – or any chocolate that you like. Be careful, though, to limit your intake. Binge eating is a common practice of gloomdom. Do not succumb to the urge. Instead if you have enough self-control to stop at one or two squares, chocolate could help.
What depressed people find the hardest to do is to go out and about and face their friends, family and neighbors. Sometimes it is easier to be among total strangers. Taking the initiative to socialize could help forget your problems. A word of caution: Be careful with strangers. You don’t want to trust too soon and end up in bigger trouble!
11. Get Outdoors
Out in the open is the place to be when you are low. Breathe in some fresh air, take a nice stroll or a ride or go on a long drive. Do whatever it takes to drive the blues away.
12. Be kind and do good
According to the law of karma, what goes around comes around. Kindness begets kindness and evil begets evil. Helping others without hoping for anything in return can be a good way to feel at peace with oneself.
13. Take deep breaths
Lie down with your back on the floor, your knees bent and feet apart. Rest one hand on your stomach and the other hand on your chest. Inhale slowly through your nose, expanding your stomach so that you can see the hand on your stomach rise. Inhale deeply and then blow the air out gently through your mouth.
Breathe in and out this way for five to ten minutes every day. Slowly, increase the time and once you are comfortable with the technique, practice for up to twenty minutes at a time, whenever you feel the need to relax and focus your energy.
A disciplined routine of deep breathing has been known to help heal depression completely.
If any of you found this helpful kindly let me know!
NB: This article lists DIY methods to fight depression. If the symptoms are severe you must seek professional help, either consult a therapist or join a self help group. It has been known to be highly effective.
NB#2: In case you are anxious about going to a therapist, watch Shahrukh Khan in the Hindi movie, ‘Dear Zindagi.’ I swear you will fall in love with shrinks!