We all have down days. Whether you are diagnosed with depression, or just having a down day, some of these suggestions will help you care for yourself.
1) Practice Self-care and Nurture Yourself
I think top priority should be making sure you are clean and dressed. You just feel better if you have that covered. So, pamper yourself with a long soak in the tub, or at least grab a quick shower. Then get dressed in some comfy clothes. Psychologically, it helps to wear real clothes, so lose the PJs if you can.
Now do something you enjoy, and makes you feel pampered. Have a cup of hot tea. Get a massage or a manicure. Take time to read that book or magazine you’ve been wanting to dive into. Listen to some music, or just take a nap.
2) Engage Your Brain
Do something that really makes you think. It can help you to interrupt those negative thoughts. You might do a crossword, word search, or Sudoku. Perhaps you might want to learn a new skill. Try a new recipe with a cooking technique you haven’t used before. Learn how to knit or crochet. Try your hand at a new sport.
Journaling is another great activity for engaging your brain. You can write about what’s bothering you, focus on more positive things, or look up writing prompts to use.
If you enjoy it, planning can be great way to distract yourself. Plan a dream trip (even if you might not take it), what you want to do this weekend, a party for a fun event coming up, or anything else you would like to plan.
3) Get Moving
It can be tempting to hang out in bed, or on the couch, all day, but you are much more likely to feel better if you get up and get moving.
I think everyone knows that exercising can help your mood due to the endorphins it releases. Give it a shot, and go on a walk or for a bike ride. How about dancing to your favorite music? If you aren’t up for that, just try some gentle stretching. If you can bring yourself to do it, doing some dishes, or a load of laundry, will get you going and also give you a feeling of accomplishment!
4) Be Social
When you are depressed, or feeling down, it is easy to isolate yourself. That isn’t very helpful though, so try to get out of your head and have some outside contact.
One if the most obvious ways to do this is to call a friend to talk. Bonus if you can invite that friend over or out for lunch.
If you don’t have someone you want to call, try chatting online or texting. Maybe now is a good time to write someone a letter.
Another way to get some social interaction is to bake some cookies, and deliver them to someone. Perhaps you have a friend or neighbor who would appreciate them, or maybe a local nursing home would like a visitor.
5) Get Creative
There are so many ways to cover this one. We have already covered some of them (journaling, knitting, crocheting, baking/cooking, planning something, etc). You can keep it simple with coloring, drawing or just doodling even. There are many types of crafts out there to try, but if you are short on ideas, visiting a craft store might give you inspiration. If you aren’t up to creating something yourself, try visiting an art museum.
6) Be Spiritual
I, personally, am an atheist, but if you aren’t, and feel better when you pray, then do it.
Other activities that I feel can fall into this category include getting outside, deep breathing, meditation, and mindfulness.
If you find any of these suggestions helpful, please let me know in the comments, and feel free to add in your own ideas! Perhaps I’ll make a later post detailing what my readers find helpful on their down days.