What to do when you’re depressed

If you’ve searched this exact title, and somehow found this article on page 102 of Google, then you’re probably looking for a distraction for your feelings. I am not a professional, but have suffered from depression since I was 15. Here are some things I wish someone would have told me years ago.

  • If you are a danger to yourself call Lifeline, KidsHelpLine, a friend or family member. Your feelings are valid, but remember that taking your own life won’t offer you a sense of relief, it’ll just be nothing. Try and push through just a little longer.
  • For suicidal thoughts, try and look at whatever is going on in your life from a distance. It sounds strange, but if you can’t stop thinking about death, at least try to think about the absolute best way you could possibly die- at age 80 in the arms of loved ones, jumping in front of a bullet aimed at a small child, rescuing a cat from the top of a building, it can be as ridiculous as you like- just any scenario that will help remind you that taking your own life strips you of the happiness, and much more peaceful death awaiting you in the future.
  • Now, if your feelings don’t present a danger to yourself or anyone else, just find a safe and comfortable place, hold on and keep reading
  • For starters, here are a couple of cute videos to get your out of your own head
  • You still probably don’t feel like moving, and that’s ok
  • Think about little things that you like- try and find a pen and paper and write a few down
When the song you’re listening to finishes just as you arrive, rose scented soaps, warm bread, when you find that thing you thought you’d lost in your sock drawer, being inside while its raining…..
  • Get up and make a hot drink (you can get back in bed afterwards)
  • If you have someone in the house with you, go and say hi to them while you make the drink, and give them a hug. If you don’t feel like intra-personal interaction, cuddle a pet if you have one, or a soft toy.
  • Run a bubble-bath, and use your favourite soap. Bring some music in with you that has positive significance. I know you feel like wallowing in some Radiohead, or Coldplay, but try and save that for another time.
  • Put on an outfit that makes you feel comfortable or confident, whether that be trackies and a hoodie or that new party dress
  • If you feel like getting back in bed, feel free. Take a nap if you’d like, watch a movie from your childhood, bring a pet into your room, watch some comedy on youtube, serenade a soft toy- don’t push yourself too hard.
  • If you’re up to it however, make yourself a nice breakfast or head down to a nearby café, or a midnight snack. Treat yo’ self
  • When you’re finished, pick a simple task and do it; start small, and if you don’t get there don’t be too hard on yourself (anything you do today is an achievement), like brushing your teeth, doing that load of washing, straightening your hair, shaving
  • Make contact with a friend/family member. Organise to see them- if not today, then tomorrow (give yourself something to look forward to)
  • Make a list of things you’d like to do, whether today or in the coming weeks, like shopping, going to the park, visiting your baby nephew, going to that new bakery
  • Contact your support network and explain to them how you’re feeling. If you haven’t already, organise an appointment with a mental health professional or counsellor, and allow yourself to feel like you’re on the way up
  • Try and get some exercise — I know its the last thing you feel like doing right now, but even if its just dancing in the kitchen, or a walk around the block with some music in, I promise you’ll feel a bit better
  • Try and join a team sport or exercise group, this will help you meet new people, and also motivate you to get out and do some exercise routinely
  • Change things up a bit — switch up your routine, sleep on the couch, drive a different way to work, do your hair differently, move the bookcase in your room, try a new breakfast cereal, housesit for someone; just find something that’ll break any monotony thats getting you down
  • Give yourself some love, make your favourite cookies, buy a new cologne or some new lingerie
  • At the same time, prepare for the next time this happens. Stock up on ice cream and fresh berries, bath bombs etc.
  • Remember how loved you are even if you don’t feel it, and congratulate yourself on every day you get through. Now go out and practise being your own protector and #1 fan.