25 Tips to Overcome Situational Depression

Diane Wing

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.

  1. Avoid central nervous system depressants, such as alcohol or drugs. Choose calming tea instead, such as chamomile with lavender.
  2. Determine what is making you feel depressed, gather information on the problem, research possible solutions, then take positive action to improve the situation.
  3. Pray for guidance.
  4. Count your blessings.
  5. Reassess your goals, generate options, and make alternative choices.
  6. Get and give hugs.
  7. Clean up. Clutter and dirt add to mental chaos.
  8. Talk it over with a friend or professional you trust.
  9. Keep a folder of compliments or thanks from others and read through them to remind you of the value you bring.
  10. Keep a folder of the successes of your friends, review it, and be happy for them.
  11. Watch peaceful and uplifting programming (Hallmark, HGTV, biographies of people who overcame great odds, programs with little to no violence).
  12. Read something inspirational or funny to pull you out of the slump.
  13. Eat dark chocolate to stimulate endorphins and elevate your mood.
  14. 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.
  15. Focus on the things you can control and let go of the things you can’t.
  16. Do something physical. Take a walk, do laundry, wash the car; something that makes you feel you’ve accomplished something.
  17. Take a shower and let the sadness wash down the drain.
  18. Help someone who is having a difficult time or needs help with a project.
  19. 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.
  20. Put on clothes in your favorite color, get a haircut, put on makeup.
  21. Play with your children, your pets, your friends. Color, play board games, go buy some Play-Doh. Get creative.
  22. Consult someone who’s been through a similar situation and see how they handled it.
  23. Listen to peaceful music while eating your favorite meal.
  24. Listen to energizing music and dance.
  25. Journal.

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.

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