Sometimes, we all feel a bit of mild depression. It's just one of those facts of life. However, the faster we can overcome these bouts of the blues, the better we can feel about ourselves, and the faster we can get back to enjoying the things we love to do. Thus, I bring you five of my favorite methods for overcoming depression.
Please note that I am not a medical professional, and I do not propose this as the magical cure for fighting depression. If you feel like you are clinically depressed, you should speak with your doctor about treatment. Help is available, and it's nothing to be ashamed of.
1. Going for a drive
Ever since I stopped getting my brake and gas pedals mixed up, I have always loved driving aimlessly, and have found it to be one of the best ways of undoing depression. There's something relaxing about watching the scenery fly by as you sit comfortably in your vehicle. Of course, I am more apt to recommend this if you have backroads to drive on, since traffic is by no means helpful if you're feeling depressed.
While you're driving, why not engage in some positive self-talk? This is a time where no one can disturb you, so by all means keep the cell phone turned off. Ask yourself (out loud, mind you -- no one is going to make fun of you) what's been going on in your life. Once your thoughts are out in the air, it is often easier to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
2. Talking it out with a friend
Maybe you could use a supportive voice to guide you through. You have friends for a reason, and I'm sure they want to help you out as best as they can. If you don't want to start the conversation off by outright stating that you're feeling depressed, just call out of interest to catch up with each other's lives, or talk about whatever you want! Being in the company of friends is a great method of undoing depression.
While you're at it, if you haven't seen an old friend in a while, why not invite them to go out to dinner and/or a movie? This would be a great way to spend a very enjoyable evening and get some much-needed time away from your negative thoughts.
Sometimes we need a silent way to vent our frustrations and overcome our bouts of mild depression. For these occasions, I have found that writing can do wonders for undoing depression. If you haven't gotten yourself a journal, I highly recommend it. Whenever you need some time to just let your thoughts out, shut your door and let your words flow onto the journal. You can talk about how you're feeling, events in your day, or even just what you had for lunch. Remember that you are the only audience for these thoughts, so write whatever you feel like.
If you'd like, you can also write poetry or short stories. Concentrating your thoughts on creativity is often a great relief from the sad thoughts you may be having. Write about whatever you'd like! It's bound to offer some help in fighting depression.
If you're anything like me, the word "exercise" can sound horrendous. I was quite skeptical of exercise's power to relieve me from feeling depressed. Nonetheless, my mom convinced me to join her at the gym, and I can't begin to tell you how, after a while, it was something that was worth looking forward to! Your brain produces chemicals called endorphins when you exercise. These are the same chemicals that make you happier when you laugh. It may sound tiring, yes, but exercise has been a key for me in undoing depression.
No one says you have to start running marathons to feel the exercise eat away your mild depression symptoms. Starting off by taking a walk around the community park is a great idea! It's great to take in the outdoors -- I don't think many of us get enough. You can also do what I did and get a membership at a local gym. Many have televisions that allow you to zone out as you walk/jog/run on the treadmill or pedal on the stationary bicycle, even. Whatever you choose to do, pick a plan and do it! You'll not only relieve yourself from feeling depressed, but you'll also see the benefits around the waistline.
You may be thinking, "What? I can't sing!" Psh, yes you can! I'm not implying that you have to be good at it by any means. It's just so relaxing to shut your door, pull back the curtains, and sing your favorite songs as loud as you want. I figure that the act of singing works at undoing depression by letting you transcend yourself; that is, you become a pop star for as long as you want.
For a fuller feeling of celebrity status, see if you have any karaoke clubs in your neighborhood. We just got one a few months ago, and it has become the highlight of my week to attend. People go for a good time and to be entertained; vocal talent is not required. Karaoke has, really, become my little armory for fighting depression.
There you have it!
Five methods for undoing mild depression. I highly advise you to check all of them out, and see what works best for you! Remember that if your depression symptoms have lasted longer than just a few weeks, you may have clinical depression, which is a treatable medical condition, much like any other illness.
With any luck, you'll be back to feeling great and ready to take on the world. And who knows, maybe you'll have discovered a new favorite pasttime doing it!