A bout of depression can occur when difficult or unexpected situations take place. Even sustained stress can create a depressed state of mind.
Helplessness, hopelessness, and a sense of giving up characterize depression. The world seems gray and lifeless. In this article, I’m not talking about clinical, long-term depression, but rather short-term, situational depression resulting from circumstances that bring down your mood. Situations such as missing a goal, not getting the expected outcome, feeling like you’re not good enough, an illness or passing of a loved one, or negative interactions with others can trigger depression.
It happens to all of us. The key is not to wallow in it, but to accept it knowing it’s a temporary state of being, and try to move beyond it before it becomes severe. Here are 25 tips to help you get past those times when situational depression sets in.
- Avoid central nervous system depressants, such as alcohol or drugs. Choose calming tea instead, such as chamomile with lavender.
- Determine what is making you feel depressed, gather information on the problem, research possible solutions, then take positive action to improve the situation.
- Pray for guidance.
- Count your blessings.
- Reassess your goals, generate options, and make alternative choices.
- Get and give hugs.
- Clean up. Clutter and dirt add to mental chaos.
- Talk it over with a friend or professional you trust.
- Keep a folder of compliments or thanks from others and read through them to remind you of the value you bring.
- Keep a folder of the successes of your friends, review it, and be happy for them.
- Watch peaceful and uplifting programming (Hallmark, HGTV, biographies of people who overcame great odds, programs with little to no violence).
- Read something inspirational or funny to pull you out of the slump.
- Eat dark chocolate to stimulate endorphins and elevate your mood.
- Evaluate your beliefs that contribute to the situation. If you believe everything happens for a reason, it encourages you to understand the situation in a different light.
- Focus on the things you can control and let go of the things you can’t.
- Do something physical. Take a walk, do laundry, wash the car; something that makes you feel you’ve accomplished something.
- Take a shower and let the sadness wash down the drain.
- Help someone who is having a difficult time or needs help with a project.
- Do an active meditation, such as with a guided meditation audio or playing an instrumental song in your favorite genre and following one instrument throughout the piece.
- Put on clothes in your favorite color, get a haircut, put on makeup.
- Play with your children, your pets, your friends. Color, play board games, go buy some Play-Doh. Get creative.
- Consult someone who’s been through a similar situation and see how they handled it.
- Listen to peaceful music while eating your favorite meal.
- Listen to energizing music and dance.
These tips help distract you from the low energy, lift your spirits, help identify solutions, and move your mind and emotions in a different direction. You’ll likely feel better within 24 to 48 hours.