When battling depression, it’s not always about medications and therapists.
Of course, you should always seek professional help if you need it. And, you should never stop treatments on your own, either. However, taking care of your mental health goes beyond that. You should also be getting enough sleep, eating a nutritious diet, and sometimes giving yourself a little extra dose of self-care.
Boost your battle against depression with some of these simple, everyday activities.
Doing something good for others can really lift your spirits. No really — it’s been proven in psychological studies! Helping others boosts happiness, increases life satisfaction, provides a sense of meaning, and can even reduce stress.
The best part? You don’t have to be rich to do good for others. We can also give our time, ideas, skills, or energy. Raise awareness for a cause you believe in, support your community, or get actively involved in a cause close to your heart.
Learn Something New
You should never stop learning and growing. Learn or improving a skill or ability, like getting better at cooking or finally getting around to learning Spanish, can help you feel accomplished and confident. Besides, achieving goals and building a good skillset helps people feel more happy and content with their lives in the long run.
Break a Sweat
There have been plenty of studies done that prove exercise increases feel-good chemicals in the brain, reduce stress hormones, and relieve depression and anxiety. But don’t worry — if you’re not a big fan of cross-fit, I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be a big, high-impact workout, either. Even just an easy 20-minute walk around your neighborhood can give you mood-boosting benefits for up to 12 hours afterward.
Nothing will boost your mood quite like getting creative. It’ll help you express your feelings, plus there’s something extremely satisfying about crafting something tangible. Take advantage of Pinterest and blogs to find an easy craft using supplies you already have. Just be reasonable about the project you choose. Picking a lofty idea outside your skillset might backfire.
Soak Up Some Sun
Heading outside for some fresh air is guaranteed to boost your mood. Time outdoors has been proven to lower your levels of cortisol, a hormone often used as a marker for stress, and decrease your heart rate. On top of that, exposure to sunlight might help increase the brain’s release of serotonin.
Write a Letter
These days, we’ve all gotten so used to texts, social media, emails, and DMs. It makes staying in touch super easy. However, old-school, legit letters can feel like a special surprise. Take the time to handwrite a letter and send it to someone. Snail mail is sure to put a smile on their face — and as a result, yours!
Speaking of staying in touch, I know that social media is a great way to stay in contact with friends and family who don’t live nearby. Unfortunately, it can also wreck your mood. Studies have proven time and time again that social media is bad for mental health — and no, you’re not immune.
It’s giving you FOMO (fear of missing out!), inhibiting your ability to sleep, and it’s really doing a number on your self-esteem. Stop spending so much time scrolling. Or, even better, take a much-needed detox.