Like we often talk about at The Depression Project, when you're deep in a depressive episode, it helps to do things that give you a sense of safety; comfort; and quick, short-term relief from depression's symptoms. On that note, a little while ago on social media, we asked members of The Depression Project's community:
What are your favourite activities to do when you feel depressed?
And, in this blog post, we'd like to share some of the responses with you :)
People's Favourite Activities To Do When They Feel Depressed
- "Listen to music with lyrics that I can relate to."
- "I do a 30 minute cardio workout. It feels hard, sometimes impossible at times, but I'm never, ever sorry afterwards. It's always a mental boost for me."
- "I struggle when I am really depressed to do things. I feel unmotivated and usually just want to sleep, but aside from that, being with my dog is top of the list. She helps to lift my mood. A nice hot shower too I crave. But when I am just mildly depressed, I like to get out and shop. Sometimes a day out of your regular surroundings helps."
- "I go for a walk outside. I like to be out and about in nature."
- "I do arts and crafts. It's a nice distraction from my thoughts, and I always feel better than if I'd just stayed in bed all day."
- "I don't have the energy to be around people when I'm depressed, so I keep to myself and do solo activities. Usually this is painting or drawing for me."
- "The thing about being depressed for me is, I don't want to interact with others, but I also feel lonely when I'm by myself. At these times, I've found it helpful to do activities with loved ones that don't involve talking - like a puzzle, video games or just watching a movie."
- "Yoga and meditation."
- "Hug my dog, bake a cake, and pray."
- "I usually crochet or knit or sew to keep my mind busy."
- "In all honesty, talking to my stuffed toys. This somehow helps me release the heaviness of my emotions."
- "I journal to try to make sense of my feelings. It's better than bottling them up inside me - and you can journal from the comfort of your bed."
- "I re-watch some of my favourite movies once I've come out of the sleeping and restless mind phase. I often can't concentrate enough to follow the plot of a new movie - which is why re-watching old ones is particularly good for depression."
- "I sing sad songs out loud while crying it out the best I can."
- "I try to exercise - in whatever capacity I can. If I'm too exhausted to run, I'll go for a walk. If I'm too exhausted to go for a walk, I'll try to move about the house. If even that's too much, I'll try to stretch in bed. But I always try to do something, because even that is better than nothing."
- "Nature. I go into the woods. Or to water. I walk barefoot and reconnect, which helps to get me out of my head."
- "Diamond art. I love it."
- "If it's summer, then I like to get out in the garden and plant something."
- "I like to treat myself to my favourite food. If I feel up to cooking, that will be spaghetti bolognaise. If I can't manage that, then it's a bowl of chocolate ice-cream or my favourite soft drink."
- "I'll do something really soothing and comforting - usually drinking a hot chocolate with candles or having a bubble bath - and tell myself positive affirmations."
- "I paint my nails a new colour. Sometimes put on my favourite dress and a spray of perfume. I usually don't go anywhere, but it still makes me feel a little bit better."
- "I call a friend. Thankfully I have a few good ones who understand. I'm also part of a couple of support groups online. Depression can make you want to isolate, but it can also be comforting to talk to people who know what it's like."
- "I have a couple of podcasts that I like to listen to. The familiarity of the voices is strangely comforting. Same for watching old television re-runs."
- "I go to my local pet shop to look at the puppies. This never fails to give me a lift."
Of course, not all of these activities may appeal to you, our friend. But, we hope that reading this blog post has at least given you a couple of new ideas for activities you can do when you feel depressed.
All our love,
The Depression Project Team.