Simple Activities to Keep Depression at Bay

sign that reads "self care isn't selfish"

Living alone can be tough. At first, independence feels great, but some basic human needs can’t be met alone. Maybe before, we had not realized these needs because we were constantly in the company of friends and office mates. Our solitary time at night was a welcome respite from our daily hustles. But we felt these during the months of lockdown, even overwhelmed us to the point of nearing depression. This was our need for physical interaction.

No matter how trivial conversations had been, even the brief contacts with other people on the street, they had helped us feel that we were part of a community. This feeling was hindered during our isolation time. Sure, we had video calls, and we exchanged messages, but machines mediated them. They weren’t the same as a good face-to-face conversation.

We tried to cope with this absence the best we can. But we’re nearing the end of the year, and still, we haven’t regained our full freedom of movement. It’s understandable why many of us are starting to break down. Food has always been among our top comforts. However, it might have been exacerbated in the past months, endangering your health. If you had developed a binge eating disorder, get it treated, and do these things instead.

Get moving.

Mental wellness advisers could not stress this enough. According to studies, fifteen minutes of exercise can significantly decrease symptoms of depression and lower feelings of anxiety. Unfortunately, those who are depressed or at the brink of depression are not inclined to exercise.

As you understand it as gym workout routines, exercise may not be attractive right now, so do something that will get you to move. Put on your shoes and coat and walk around the block according to the pace you want. If going outside is not even attractive, do some indoor activities. You can transfer your plants to a new spot, sweep your entire home, or dust everything in your room. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing something insignificant. The point is you move your body.

Finish at least one task you’ve put off for so long.

It can be the simple task of putting away your laundered clothes or washing the dishes. It will give you a sense of accomplishment. Most likely, you would feel you want to follow it up with another accomplishment. If tackling big tasks seems too great at that moment, do little things.

Be careful not to get sidetracked, however. Sometimes, you’d think you’d reward yourself by watching one episode of your tv show. Promise yourself you’d binge on that show once you’ve accomplished everything. Giving yourself little rewards while you’re not yet done with everything you need to do might distract you and keep you from accomplishing anything. This will dampen your mood again, and the vicious cycle repeats.

man lying down on the couch

Chat with a friend.

It might be that you’ve turned to books, movies, and tv shows for comfort. But these are not enough. These are created worlds. What you need is to have a constant grasp of reality.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve just seen that friend a day or two ago. Call again. Messaging is not enough because reading a message is different from hearing from a person. If you can safely meet, do so. Personally talking with someone grounds you in the present.

Make a plan.

No matter what the future holds, having a plan means there is something you look forward to. Maybe it’s a vacation plan. Or it can be a plan on how to multiply your savings or pay off a loan. If you want, you can make a visualization board of your plans and put it somewhere you’d always see. It would remind you that there’s something you are working for.

Getting out of a slump is not easy. Some people might belittle your efforts, saying what you’re going through is trivial compared to others’ problems. But no one knows exactly how another feels. One trivial thing might be humongous to another. So don’t be disheartened and take little steps in getting through this situation. What is necessary is you are aware that you need to get out of it.

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