Some days, you just can’t bear to feel depressed for another minute. Are you looking for some things that you can do to help with depression when you simply can’t stay down?
Do you have days where you wake up depressed and wonder how you are going to get through your day? Where you know that you have to function but you just don’t know how?
When it comes to coping with depression, here are 6 things you can do right now to lift your mood and bring yourself out of it — even for just a few moments:
1. Get some exercise.
One of the quickest and most effective ways to alleviate depression is getting some exercise.
Exercise produces endorphins, which are chemicals that elevate your mood. So, simply put, it’s mighty difficult to be depressed when endorphins are racing through your body.
And don’t think that you have to go for a long run or hit the gym — although you certainly can. Research shows that all it takes is 30 minutes of exercise that raises your heart rate to get those endorphins raging.
So go for a walk, dance around your living room, and play with your kids. Do whatever you can do get that heart rate elevated and those endorphins activated.
2. Eat a good breakfast.
Eating when you are depressed can seem almost impossible. But eating a healthy and protein-filled breakfast is an excellent way to elevate your mood.
Seratonin, another chemical mood enhancer, is produced by the breakdown of proteins in the body. Eating a protein-rich breakfast will, like exercise, produce chemicals in your body that alleviate depression.
So make yourself some eggs for breakfast. Or maybe some yogurt with fruit and nuts. Perhaps a chia seed pudding. Even cereal with milk will give you a good protein and serotonin boost first thing in the morning to get you on your way.
3. Have sex.
There are two things that happen when you have sex. The first is that you feel emotionally connected to someone and the second is that your orgasm generates all sorts of feel-good chemicals — chemicals that, once again, counteract that depressed feeling.
The other thing that happens is that sex keeps your mind off your depression and an excellent way to get rid of depression is to ignore it completely. Without your attention depression tends to slink away, unhappy that it isn’t occupying your every thought.
So have sex. You will be glad you did!
4. Schedule a coffee with a friend.
I know that when you are feeling depressed, getting out and talking with someone, anyone, seems daunting. But it has been proven that spending time with loved ones elevates one’s mood every time.
When we spend time with friends, the love, and laughter that we share trigger those feel-good chemicals, dopamine, and serotonin. So just by interacting with someone, sharing words and thoughts and laughs, you can raise your mood.
Did you know that the act of smiling actually elevates one’s mood?
The act of smiling, of your muscles working together to turn your mouth upwards, activates the release of those mood-enhancing chemicals — dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin. Once again, your body will be flooded with things that will reduce your depression immediately.
6. Do something nice for someone else.
An excellent way to lift your depression is to do something nice for someone else.
This world that we live in can be a very challenging place, with people rushing around with their own agendas, caught up in their worries. You are probably that way too.
So think about what it feels like when someone does something nice for you.
How about that gentleman who opened the door for you? Or the barista who put an extra shot in your cup, no charge. Or the lady who ushered you forward in the grocery line because you only had one item. Didn’t those small things make you feel great?
Do those kinds of small things for someone else and make someone else’s life a better place. By doing so, you will once again activate those feel-good chemicals in your body, ones that will wash that depression away.
So you see, there are things that you can do to help get rid of depression when you simply can’t be down.
Get some exercise, eat well, fool around, hang out with friends, smile and help others. All of those things will take you outside of yourself and make you feel better.
You can do it!
However, if your depression doesn’t get lifted, or it comes back, it is essential that you see your primary care doctor right away, to make sure that it doesn’t get worse and so that you can be happy.
Mitzi Bockmann is an NYC-based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live. Contact her for help or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.