With COVID-19 and the winter season here, the world has created the perfect depression storm. There is a high chance that someone you know is depressed, and this is beyond the occasional down day. Depression can be debilitating, even if the person you know is depressed.
Is that you who going through a hard time? Then probably you’re feeling isolated and frustrated from your life choices. So, here we are sharing a few simple and effective things to do when feeling depressed in life.
There are no quick remedies for the depressing situation. Depending on life priority, problems, and personal approach, depression can be felt differently from person-to-person. Plus, What works for one person, does not necessarily work for another, indeed.
So, in this post, we’re going to discuss some simple suggestions to cure these down moments in life. These are general approaches to follow, to get back the confidence and belief in life.
There are 21 things you should do if your friend, loved one, or family member is depressed. Let’s look at them.
21 Things To Do When Feeling Depressed
1. Making Sure They Are Depressed
First, you need to know if they are depressed to begin with. Sometimes, this can be challenging, as not everyone is open about it. Others are good at hiding it. However, there are several signs they may have, including:
- The person talks about not sleeping much or oversleeping.
- Their mood has changed. They may seem upset all the time, feel worthless. or the opposite can happen. The person may be irritable or angry.
- Your loved one is eating more or eating less for no noticeable reason. They may gain or lose weight as a result.
- Anxiety can be another symptom.
- The person may have lost interest in what they used to love. This is a classic symptom of depression.
- They seem slower, or they have trouble remembering things.
- The person may be drinking more or may be involved with harder drugs.
- Finally, they keep talking about death or suicide. This is a more severe example.
Depression is different, so not everyone will have the same symptoms, but it’s important to pay attention. These symptoms don’t always indicate depression, but they are good indicators.
2. Remember That You Won’t Be the Fixer
It’s important to speak with your loved one about your concerns, but it’s also important to realize that you aren’t going to be the person who ends up curing their depression. Only the person who is depressed can ultimately choose to seek help, especially if they are an adult.
While your words can encourage the person to seek help, be prepared for the possibility of resistance.
3. What Not To Say
When speaking to someone with depression, it’s important to communicate your support in a way that is not offensive. Everyone is different, but there are a few phrases to avoid. These include:
- Telling them to “Smile,” “Cheer up,” “Think positive,” or anything of the sort. Your intentions may be good, but it’s downplaying their issues and it does come off as condescending for some.
- Do not compare the person’s suffering to another’s. Pointing out that they have it better than others is not only obvious, but dismissive.
- Do not come across as someone who is dismissing of their symptoms. If they say they feel a certain way, listen.
4. How to Approach
You may wonder how you can talk to the person. Asking if they are depressed outright may not be ideal.
Instead, go up to them and ask how they’re doing and if they’re feeling all right. If they say they’re feeling great, but you suspect something is up, just say that if they need to speak to anyone, you’ll be there. Perhaps mention that with everything going on, everyone is depressed and it’s valid to express one’s emotions.
5. Helping Them With Any Errands
If a person admits they’re depressed and admits that they are behind on chores or errands, perhaps offer a helping hand.
This isn’t to say you should do everything for them, but perhaps help them tidy up or help them make a schedule. These little steps can help the person’s depression improve.
6. Encouraging Treatment
While you can help a depressed person out quite a bit, you can only do so much at the end of the day.
Tell the loved one that depression tends to improve with treatment. If the person is afraid of being on any antidepressants, encourage them to seek talk therapy first. Perhaps help them set up an appointment and even attend if the person doesn’t want to go alone.
7. Positive Reinforcement During the Treatment
If your loved one is seeking treatment, it is important to offer as much positive reinforcement as possible. Every improvement the person makes, point it out.
Also, be positive when there’s a slip-up. Many people who are depressed may end up having a relapse or a dark day, and it can feel to the person as if they messed it all up. Encourage the person and talk about how much improvement they’ve made in relation to the one slip-up.
Positive reinforcement is different from toxic positivity, which is when you tell the person to “Cheer up” without offering much else.
8. Other Things You Can Do
With all that said, what else can you do if your friend or loved one is depressed? Here are several actions you can take.
- Exercise together. Exercising can be a valuable tool for fighting depression, and if you encourage to go on a walk, a run, or a trip to the gym, you’re helping the person battle their depression.
- Go to meditation sessions together. Meditation and mindfulness can be valuable tools to help one fight depression.
- Just chat with them. Offer a time to talk to them and see if there’s anything else the person wants.
- Make sure everything you do is pandemic friendly. If you are in an area that is affected, it’s important that you social distance and follow all guidelines.
Finally, one thing you can do that is super important is to take care of yourself. While it’s noble to want to help your loved one, your mental health is important as well. If you feel like taking care of your loved one is too much, ask others to help. Meanwhile, you need to enjoy your life as well. There is nothing selfish in self-care.
9. Keep Learning
When helping someone with depression, you need to remember that it is a learning experience. Depression can be a complex issue, and our understanding of it is always changing. Don’t be afraid to educate yourself and correct yourself if you were wrong about an issue. If you end up learning something new, it can be valuable in helping your loved one.
10. Encourage Online Therapy
Finally, if you live in an area that’s overrun by the pandemic, or your friend or loved one is having trouble leaving their house, one way you can encourage help is to promote online therapy.
Online therapy is done through video, voice, or text chats and can connect a loved one to a licensed therapist. It’s as effective as traditional therapy, especially in 2020. For more information on the world of online therapy, please visit https://www.betterhelp.com/.
11. Don’t stress out too much.
Whether you recognize that or not, it’s only you who put some pressure on yourselves. You carry unnecessary worries and tension. You may call that ‘Goals in life’, but when you get too serious at it, without knowing your interest and passion, you end up being hard on yourself.
A simple approach is, stop expecting too much from yourself. You are worthy and unique enough for certain things in life. You don’t have to figure out everything on your own, So relax. Just release yourself from those worries and tension you’ve been carrying along.
When you’re feeling depressed and lonely, think about the things you’re grateful for in life. Don’t focus on too much of what you lose, Focus on something, you still have.
12. Spend more time with your loved ones.
Your family and friends are the true support of your life. They are the ones who genuinely care for you. When you are depressed and down in life, it’s better to spend time with your loved ones. That helps you to come out of this low moment quicker.
Be with someone who listens to you right. Talk to them and discuss other positive aspects of life.
When you’re alone, you tend to feel more depressed and frustrated, you need someone to listen to you, to give moral support. Indeed, facing such a hard situation in life is tough, but being with someone who truly cares for you, always works there.
Also read: What To Do When You Miss Someone
13. Do some mindful and Positive activities
Thinking about failures or recent loss, won’t solve your issues anyway. It’s just putting yourself in a low moment and nothing else. You can not expect to get better, simply by thinking over it. You need to divert your mood and thoughts from such a frustrating situation, first.
Do something to uplift your mindset. Your negative thoughts and emotions won’t let you think in positive aspects. Remember, low moments are temporary, and you always have the option to try again and succeed. But, for now, you need to do something to keep yourself up.
Spend time with your friend, take a vacation, watch your favorite movies, or even develop new hobbies , do anything that supports you to feel good about yourself.
14. Adopt a pet.
Pets can be your perfect companion when you’re staying away from family or living all alone. Believe it or not, but pets are smart enough to figure out that you’re not well. If you don’t have a pet right now, then it’s time to have one. Especially, the dogs are man’s best friend, Agree?
Having a pet is of course like another job to take care of. But, talking about the positive side, also helps you to come out of your loneliness and tensions from life. When you’re feeling depressed and alone, adopting a pet is the better option, that you won’t regret.
15. Time to leave your comfort zone.
Facing such failures and challenges in life, are not actually to put down, as you perceive right now. These are just for realizing that you’re lacking something. You need to train and grow yourself even a bit.
Maybe you’re living in your comfort zone or doubt yourself, but such hard times are actually to redesign your life. More than that, this is the phase to know your mistakes and limits in life.
Don’t feel too depressed, try to collect the lesson and focus to improve yourself. That’s the right option. Try something new in life, take more challenges. But, now with extra practice and focus.
16. Follow some inspiring and motivating stuff online.
When you can’t feel inspired within, then time to seek external motivation.
Yes, getting inspiration from others, is equally important as feeling inspired within. And, right now you need such motivating resources. You can refer to positive videos on youtube, listen to mindful podcasts, or even can read thankful-quotes on Instagram.
But, the best one is, to read interesting, educational, or life-changing books. Learn something by yourself. When you spend some time in such engaging material, you start to feel good about yourself.
17. Don’t just think, Do something.
It’s easier to say than to follow it.
But, believe it’s the right approach to follow when you’re feeling depressed in life. In such a hard situation, when you keep thinking about your failures and losses, and is proof that you’re completely in control of your negative thoughts.
As said earlier, simply thinking is not the solution, you have to do something about it.
Thinking about problems, just makes your problems bigger and nothing else. So, stop overthinking and take some right move for your better. Get yourself busy in actual work, rather than in tension and worries. Moreover, you can change your work to something that you’re passionate about.
18. Stop overreacting and See what’s happening.
Sometimes, situations are not that worse as we think it is. We are following our chained thinking to any situation and that creates troubles for us, too. So, take a moment and re-think the same case, but from a different perspective.
Change your thinking and change your approach in life.
Maybe you’re wrong, maybe you’re overreacting at it, and that can be true. So, stop, give yourself some time to think. Analyze, and realize the situation better. It is also possible that you may get any productive solution by following a changed perspective.
19. Music will help. Try it.
Indeed, music is a better means to uplift your mood. Especially when you are depressed and alone, listening to your favorite music supports you greatly. Music has the power to heal your mood and to change your perspective in life.
Give your mind some time to relax and stay calm. Close your eyes and listen to your favorite music. Believe, you will feel confident about yourself. Refer to our article on Trending Spotify playlist to follow, if you can’t decide which music to listen to right now.
20. Follow gratitude in life.
Of course, the present life stage is not something that you’re wishing for. Agree, you have different perspectives and desires from life than this. But still, many things are enough to make you feel blessed in life.
Think about those positive sides of life, feel grateful for things that you’ve and have achieved so far. When you feel positive about your life, you start to feel confident eventually. Practicing gratitude in life is the better way to come out of such ‘feeling depressed’ time in life.
21. Give them morale support, listen to them.
When someone feels depressed and low at some point in life, the best thing you can do is to be with them.
You don’t need to give them advice on doing what and whatnot. Just listen to them is more important. That peson want to share their story, experience with someone.
If you make them feel heard, that helps them to went out. It’s good idea not to keep giving them advice, because that’s what most people do.
Instead when your friend, or someone in your family seems depressed just sit wtih them and make them feel heard, so supported.
Also read: 10 Ways You Can Practice Gratitude Every Day
22. Consult a psychiatrist or Mental health professional.
Moreover, if you feel depressed and lonely, it’s fine to take the help of a psychiatrist or mental health professional. When no one is around to support you, then feel free to consult the right guidance from specialists.
Don’t hesitate to share what you’re feeling right now. Depending on your situation, they have the right techniques, the better ways to bring you out of this situation. You may be advised to follow certain lifestyle changes, meditation, or any personal suggestion that works better for your case.
What to do when you’re feeling depressed?
Depression is real. You can not hide that easily when you are feeling it. It’s hard to do something when your mind is sending you negative signals only.
Of course, it’s tough to tackle the mental pressure and negativity, after facing hard moments in life. It’s tough to stay positive, but worth following because you always have the power to get up and do something worthwhile for life.
It’s perfectly fine to take some rest and do nothing when you are not in the mood to do so. But, simply stopping ownself, due to such events, is not a better option, anyway.
Aim to collect the important lessons and return with a better version of you, after a challenging phase in life. And, that’s the best thing to do in a depressing life situation. What do you say? Share your thoughts and experiences, in the comment section below?
We all need to be here for each other in these times. Helping a friend or someone you love with their depression can lift them up. While you can’t be the one who treats their depression, support is an excellent way for you to encourage your friends to get help. We hope everyone you love pulls through in these tough times and thrives.