It is normal to find it hard to get up and get things done when feeling depressed. However, you have more control than you may realise to do something about your mood. Here are 5 things you could do to help lift your mood. Start by taking small steps and build from there.
1. Reach out.
Share your feelings with someone who is a good listener. When depressed the tendency can be to isolate. In addition, feelings of guilt and shame can make it difficult to talk to others. It can be really self affirming to feel heard non-judgementally. If you can’t reach out than journal your feelings. Make a decision not to believe your mind’s negative thoughts about yourself.
2. Eat something at least every 3 hours.
You may crave for comfort foods that are fatty or sweet, or stimulants like coffee or alcohol, but focus on eating nutritious food that include plenty of vegetable and fruit every 3 hours. Include proteins that contain the B-complex vitamin like chicken, eggs, leafy greens and beans.
Minimise your sugar intake and drink a full 2 litres of pure water daily. I find drinking mugfuls of hot water tricks my mind into believing I’m drinking coffee.
Exercise is a powerful way to lift your mood. Doing energetic exercise like running is great but if you find it difficult to find enough energy to run then go for a walk. Any physical activity that is rhythmic like walking, running, swimming, weight lifting, martial arts or dancing will help. Notice what your body feels like as it moves. If outdoors focus on the feeling of the breeze on your face or the warmth of sunlight on your back.
4. Keep a regular routine.
You may find that either you are sleeping too much or too little. A good nights sleep will increase your energy and boost your mood. Aim to sleep for 8 hours every night. In the mornings keep good personal hygiene. Have a shower and get dressed even if you are not going anywhere.
List 5 things in your life that feels positive right now. If this is difficult then start with something simple like being grateful for the weather or your pet or the view from your window.
This can help you feel happier in yourself and improve your self-esteem.
If you’re in crisis and can’t do any of the above and want to talk to someone immediately contact Samaritans on freephone 116 123 (24 hours).