Depression and anxiety are some of the worst things we can experience. We all have a lot of good things in our lives, but depression acts like a carjacker by jumping in and speeding away with everything we should be joyful about.
We all get “the blues” from time to time where we’re just feeling off. If you’ve had days when you don’t want to get out of bed or don’t want to face the world, then you may have struggled with depression.
Society is constantly moving in ways that add more stress to our lives. “Keeping up with the Joneses” has been with us for generations, but today’s world gives it a new meaning. Social media influences us by showing us all the great things our friends have such as cars, houses, vacations, happy families, etc…. It, of course, doesn’t show us the debt, the failed relationships and the other dark sides of people’s lives. But it still makes us feel inadequate if we don’t drive a luxury car, put our kids in ten activities and vacation in five star destinations.
COVID-19 hasn’t made the situation any better, nor have the headlines that have been recently dominating the news. So what can we do about it? How we can feel better?
1. Seek professional help:
I cannot stress this enough. There’s nothing wrong with seeking professional advice – especially if your depression is severe. I’m not a trained professional, but I can tell you that there’s nothing you can’t survive, unless you’re already on death row. Even if you’re going to jail, even if you did something you’re embarrassed about, you can get past it. You need to trust me. If you have any feelings of hopelessness or suicide, I highly recommend you contact your doctor or the free national helpline at 1-800-662-4357
And if you have any doubt that you can’t bounce back from things that have happened in your past, I highly recommend watching the below video from Jeremy Anderson :
2. Know that you are not alone:
We all struggle from time to time. I’ve battled stress, felt anxiety and struggled with feeling depressed at times. That’s because it’s common in this fast paced world that we’re in. But always remember that there are others out there that have gone through the same thing or are experiencing it now. And most importantly, there are people out there, even some that don’t know you, that want to help you. Very Well Mind has a post that lists some of the best groups for people who are struggling. The Tribe is one such community that can help you work with others dealing with depression and anxiety.
3. Write down what you’re thankful for:
Write down everything that comes to mind. You need to come up with a list of at least fifteen things that you’re thankful for. To help you out, I’ll provide some examples:
- I’m thankful that I woke up today. Not everyone made it to today so consider yourself lucky. If you look at the odds of you even being born, you’ll realize that you’re a living miracle.
- I’m thankful that I can access the internet. This gives you access to thousands of hours of free content that can help you deal with anything that comes your way. There are also online communities that focus on depression and anxiety that can help you.
- I’m thankful that there are people who care about me. If you honestly feel like no one cares about you, here’s something to try. Go to your favorite social media service, “I’m a little down today, please send me a quote or image to make me smile.” You’ll be surprised at the reaction.
- I’m thankful that I have the ability to make my life better. We all have this ability, don’t ever tell yourself otherwise.
- I’m thankful for the clothes I’m wearing. They may not be the most expensive or most stylish, but at least you have something to wear.
- I’m thankful for the food I just ate.
Other things that you may or may not have that you can be thankful for.
- Your health. If you’re in good health, consider yourself lucky. But, if you’re experiencing health issues, look for the bright side. Is there a cure or treatment? Are you making progress? If you have been told that you have limited time left, be thankful for what you have left and make the most of it. That is one case where I pray that the experts are wrong.
- You have a job. Now maybe you’re unemployed or underemployed. I’ve been there too. The first time I got laid off, it was a shock and I felt like crap because of it. However, I slept well the night I received the news because I hated the situation I was in. If you have a steady source of income, be thankful despite how unhappy you are. If you are out of work, be thankful that you have skills. I will also give you, as a reader of my blog, a free copy of my “Ace That Interview” audio program. Just use my contact form to request the coupon code by saying you’re a regular reader and you’re unemployed.
I could provide dozens of other examples, but you probably get the point by now.
Praying is a great way to refocus. I wrote an article that has more details but here are the three basic steps:
- Be thankful for what you have.
- Ask for forgiveness for your sins/mistakes.
- Ask for what you feel you deserve.
Maybe you’re not religious, and that’s your prerogative. But I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t at least ask you to give it a try. Some people “ask the universe” instead of pray. So figure out what works for you and pray to get rid of your depression and anxiety.
5. Watch a movie that cheers you up:
Sometimes, a funny or inspirational movie will take your focus away from your depression and anxiety. Comedies, for instance, are probably the best medicine to help you get through the blues. We all have our own preferences but here are some that crack me up (please note that some may contain inappropriate content):
- The Internship.
- Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.
- Happy Gilmore
- American Wedding
- The Mask
Here are some movies that I find inspirational:
And here are two that are a little of each:
6. Watch motivational videos:
Go to YouTube and search for “motivational speech.” There are dozens of great videos there that will get your mind focused in a more positive direction. Also, I like Ben Lionel Scott’s Youtube Channel – he has over 100 videos that will motivate and inspire you. Many of these videos are targeted towards people going through tough times, such as this one:
Another great speech is this clip from the film “Rocky Balboa“:
Bonus Tips: Some other things to try:
Here are some other things that may help. But remember, everyone is different and your mileage may vary:
- Exercise. Go for a walk, run or try jumping jacks. Exercise can sometimes make you feel better or at least change your state.
- Talk with a friend. Meet for coffee or go out to bar. Sometimes, a change of scenery can make a big difference.
- Enjoy nature. Weather permitting, sit outside or go on a hike to explore nature. Fresh air can often improve your mood.
Have other ideas? or suggestions. Then, share them in the comments below.
James Feudo owns the Boston Web Design Agency JVF Solutions and loves blogging about personal development and communication in his spare time.
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