I don’t want to diminish the seriousness of depression with these suggestions because the real solutions to conquering this chronic illness, like any chronic illness, is by talking to a medical professional and figuring out what works best for you—usually through some form of therapy or prescription regime. That being said, I have gotten better at noticing in myself when the cycle of depression is starting to turn, and these simple steps are helpful for me at stopping that in their tracks.
Wash your face— Washing your face serves as an incredibly powerful metaphor for rinsing off any negative thoughts in your morning routine. The process of washing your face is a strategy of self-love, self-care and afterward, it can help me feel lighter and refreshed. After washing my face, I like to put on a mild face lotion mixed with a drop of lavender essence. The lavender will help reduce redness, but the scent will help reduce stress and anxiety through the day. I actually wear lavender during the day on my wrists as a perfume; I bring my hands up to my nose and take a big whiff when I get overwhelmed.
Get Dressed—When you are feeling depressed, the mission of getting dressed may sometimes be the hardest. I do a lot of work from home, which sometimes means I won’t have a reason to leave the house and don’t see a purpose in putting on real clothes. This generally makes me feel more inclined to lay in bed and watch too many Facebook videos and then when the sun sets I feel disappointed in myself for not accomplishing enough. By just changing out of my beaten up sweatpants once I wake up, I can feel like the day has a real purpose.
Drink a glass of water—Okay, this one I struggle with the most. Drinking water seems like the simplest tool to beat a crippling a bout of depression, but for some reason, it is often the most difficult for me. Depression is a side effect of dehydration. My depressed mind often fights away water, out of punishment or fear that it will make me weak, but water is such a great thing for your body and by depriving it of that you are only making the depression stronger.
Exercise—A short jog or mini-long-board-practice-sesh is all it takes sometimes to drain that pent up energy before it becomes incredibly anxious and negative energy. Here is a link to one of my favorite workout videos because they are fairly easy full body work outs that can be done at home without any equipment.
Like I said, this is the list of things that work for me but it doesn’t mean it works for everyone.