Do you feel overwhelmed by the darkness of depression? Are there days when it feels nearly impossible to pull yourself out from beneath life’s stormy clouds and enjoy the sunshine? You are far from alone in this struggle. It is estimated that one in 15 people will experience major depression at some point throughout their lives and so many more will feel its crushing effects daily. But while depression can be an incredibly difficult thing to wrestle with, there are things we can do to help fight against it. Here, we explore 6 creative ways to fight depression: tried-and-true strategies that have been found effective to foster resilience, mental clarity, and ultimately happiness over despair.
Find a Creative Outlet
Finding a creative outlet is one of the most powerful strategies in combating depression, like going for a jog or talking to a friend. But, it might not be as obvious when it comes to solving that internal gloom. If you’ve experienced the indefinite sadness and apathy associated with depression, consider reaching out to your creative side. Whether it’s writing, painting, playing music, gardening, getting depression tattoos, or crafting – find something that engages and energizes you. When searching for your new studio of creation don’t limit yourself to what has worked in the past – experiment with the particulars until something resonates. By engaging these passions you can refocus your energy in a positive direction and build healthier habits that help create more joyful days.
Make Time for Yourself
Making time for yourself is key when it comes to fighting depression. It can be difficult to carve out that “me” time in our jam-packed lives but if you want to break free from feeling constantly down, it’s important to prioritize taking care of yourself, as well as your mental health. Finding ways to relax and unwind doesn’t have to be complicated, or even expensive. Dedicating even small pockets of time throughout the day just for yourself by doing activities that you enjoy can help you start feeling better, both mentally and physically. You could grab a book and read for 20 minutes during your lunch break, pick up a new hobby or artistic pursuit such as drawing or painting, or start a brief meditation and mindfulness practice before bed – the possibilities are endless.
Connect with Friends and Family
One of the best ways to fight depression is to reach out and connect with friends and family. We all understand that it can sometimes be difficult or intimidating to open up about how we’re feeling, but even small efforts like messaging an old friend or calling a family member can provide comfort and connection. Sometimes speaking your truth helps us realize we are not alone in our struggles and hearing words of encouragement from the people we care about can make all the difference in our mood. Feeling connected, especially if you are living in isolation due to current events, is a key step in fighting depression.
Exercise doesn’t just help us to lose weight and stay in shape; it has also been proven to boost mood and help combat depression. Regular physical activity can help reduce inflammation associated with depressive symptoms, provide a distraction from negative thoughts, and foster an overall improved sense of well-being. Research indicates that sustained workouts of moderate intensity can be especially beneficial for managing depression. You may not feel like getting off the couch when you’re feeling down, but setting a routine with your exercise of choice can be very beneficial in the fight against depression.
Practicing gratitude is an effective way of fighting depression and enhancing your outlook on life. Living with a mindset of appreciation for what we have can transform our attitude and ultimately bring us joy. Try taking a few minutes each day to list all the things that you are grateful for—it could be anything from a beautiful sunset to your close friends or family. Doing this each day will help deepen your sense of gratitude and remind you of the little strengths and joys that life has to offer. As you focus on the positives in life, you’ll likely notice a difference in your mood.
Take Advantage of Technology
In the modern age, technology has revolutionized how we communicate, process information, and even tackle difficult mental health issues. There are various creative ways to use technology to fight the symptoms of depression. For instance, there are apps to encourage healthier habits and mindfulness exercises for managing stress and anxiety. Additionally, many therapists now offer online counseling sessions to work through your feelings and develop coping techniques in a more private setting. Finally, social media can be used as an outlet to share your progress with friends and support systems who may be able to provide help or advice as needed.
Depression can be a difficult battle to fight, but there are many ways to promote your mental health. You can take small steps each day toward fighting your depression, and soon you will begin to see the positive effects of your hard work.