Feeling Depressed? It’s a rough time. I get it. I think we all get it. 2020 has not been…anyone’s year. During a rough time when most of us are caged inside, wondering if life we’ll ever be close to what it once was, we can go into the downward spiral of depression.
You don’t have to go down that rabbit hole. It’s not easy to stay away when all you have for entertainment is the latest Netflix show that you’ve already binged, Tiktok challenge, or your scary thoughts.
Finding happiness when your feeling depressed, stressed out, or just down right sad, is a tough task and no one should undermine it. Here are some ways that can help you find your pep to your step.,
Research has shown that getting outside has dramatic effects on the mind and body. A daily walk can help decrease cortisol levels, a hormone that judges your stress level. Less stress can significantly reduce to symptoms of depression.
It really helps if you live near a hiking ground, but if you live in an urban area, that’s fine too. Go for walk. Plan a picnic. A run. Or sit out in your front lawn. Just get outside.
The sun gives off Vitamin D to our skin which among other activities, Vitamin D helps control our moods, leveling off our anxiety and depression.
I personally live in an area where the sun doesn’t come out to play during the winter too often, so I find myself taking Vitamin D supplements to give myself balance.
You can check your Vitamin D levels by getting your blood tested by your doctor who can tell you if your levels are off.
Go for a walk and be among nature and I promise you feel you a lot better than you did before the walk when you’re done.
I think in every blog I’ve ever written I have given you the excuse to meditate. What. Are. You. Waiting. For!? Meditation is massively effective for reducing or eliminating the signs and symptoms of depression. When you’re feeling depressed, the goal is to shift from that state of sadness to a higher state of mind quickly and effortlessly. The longer you linger in depression, the harder it is to shift out of it.
Actually, ALL the benefits of meditating are through the roof! Controlling your mood, patience and giving you energy to stay focus on the tasks at hand are just some of the comforts you will gain.
Already meditating? But not feeling the effects? I promise you, even if you’re not feeling it right now, it’s working.
If you’re just starting off, for many of my students meditating takes around four months to start seeing real results. So stick with it!
I actually consider running a form of meditation. So look at the previous tip, getting outside. It’s not as strong but is considered very therapeutic and is a reason why it’s one of the most popular hobbies in the world. When you’re all by yourself running a trail, your brain starts automatically sorting out your thoughts and images. Give it a try!
Want more information on the benefits of meditation, or how to get started? Check out one of my recent articles here.
Which leads me to Working out!
Oh! I know it’s tough! It is often even harder to get motivated to work out when you feeling depressed. BUT, you need to push past that hard to get to the other side…which is happiness.
You might hate working out, but it’s a great form to not only getting your body healthy (A healthy mind leads to a healthy body and vice- a-verse) but is a great tool for stress-release. Find the sport you love. Is it running? Or walking? Boxing? Rowing? Zumba? Maybe a HIIT class? Whatever it is, you can start working out right now thanks to technology and online classes or apps.
Dust off your bike. Or get an indoor cycle and sign up for an online cycling class joining a community of thousands who workout with you.
This stress-release lowers your cortisol, increases your stamina and focus leading to a happier life. There is tons of research that shows working out can give you a release of endorphins. These are the same endorphins found in anti-depressants. So instead of taking pills, go work out.
When You're Feeling Depressed, Find a New Hobby
Is there something you’ve always said you wanted to do but never had the time? Well, time is on your side now. Pick up that instrument, learn that language, gain that green thumb! Whatever it is, finding a new hobby and challenge often gives the brain a new focus.
Al Pacino is quoted as saying “When you are focused, you are happy.” Think about the times you were truly focused, nose deep in your task. Negative thoughts, and states of depression, couldn’t penetrate your thick walls, they couldn’t do it with a mega bomb at their side.
There are meditation apps that use focus to help the mind come to ease. Like the ones that say “Stare at this circle for eight seconds.” You think it’s counterproductive, but it’s not. It’s helping the mind find one thing to focus on, comparatively to 13,487 things to think about at once.
This actually allows the mind to relax. Maybe this new-found hobby, will lead to a new love of yours!
Don't Beat Yourself Up
During this pandemic, the quarantine has allowed all of us to reflect on our lives. More so than ever since we no longer have the usual distractions to keep our thoughts away from the positives and the negatives.
Maybe you’ve reached out to old loved ones, estranged family members, friends who you lost touch with. Apologies were made with the hope that time has healed and a new beginning can start.
Maybe some rejected your olive branch…you still have a feeling of remorse. The key is when you come across those thoughts of embarrassment, regret, misbehavior, is to not get down on yourself.
Take the pressure off that you made a mistake, or even better, think the positive, how you grew from that person!
Feel confident that you’ve grown as an individual and that you’re only human. We’ve all made mistakes, no one is perfect. So stop beating yourself up and forgive yourself.
Instead of Focusing on Feeling Depressed, Shift Your Attention
Results. Results. Results! We all want results now more than ever. And, when we feel like we are not where we want to be, we allow negativity, sadness, and depression to consume us.
Thanks to technology we expect everything quick and efficient. One reason you might be feeling sad is you’re not where you think you should be in life.
Perhaps instead of focusing on what you don’t have or how far you still have left to go, celebrate what you have and how far you’ve come.
But take a step back and see where you are? If you visualize your life as climbing a mountain, look down, can you see the ground? Is there clouds hovering around you? Are you 70 feet high? 120 feet high?
I’m willing to bet you’re a lot further a long than you give yourself credit.
GIVE YOURSELF CREDIT!
A better question, can you see the top of the mountain? Very few people and I mean in the history of mankind, has anyone reached their pinnacle.
The secret for those people who reached the top…they stopped thinking about the top. They simply enjoyed the climb. They didn’t compare their climb to others. They didn’t keep asking why they lost their footing and had to start over. They climbed. Focusing on themselves. Focusing on the challenge and task at hand.
Enjoy the journey and you’ll find happiness
It is easy to find your self depressed in today’s landscape. It’s a tough time in 2020, but this is when you can truly find out what your made of and who you are. Being mentally strong is key to Surviving. No, wait.
Being mentally strong is key to Striving.
Get outside, meditate, workout, find a new hobby, don’t beat yourself up and enjoy your journey. These are ways to relax, be confident and find happiness during your slump.
I have created a free guide to help you reframe your negative thoughts into positive thoughts allowing you to cultivate the habit of happiness. Your state of being: Happy, Depressed, Sad, Angry, Joyful…whatever it might be is a habit. I encourage you to get started here with my guide.