1. Aim to accomplish one thing a day.
It can be big or small, depending on how you’re feeling; anything from adding an extra mile to your run to taking a shower and putting on real clothes. No accomplishment is better or worse than another. On bad days, getting dressed and feeding yourself can take just as much effort as your biggest accomplishment on a good day. Your depression may not go away entirely, but you will have good days where you feel like you again, and until then you just need to keep moving.
At the end of the day, write down what you’ve done.
2. Listen to yourself and your body.
If your muscles feel so weak you can barely hold a glass of water, but you have no explanation for it, cancel anyway. It’s good to push through things sometimes, but there are also times when pushing through just makes it worse. Stop pushing through everything just to say you did, and save your energy for the things you can’t cancel. Just because you don’t have an explanation doesn’t mean what you’re going through isn’t real.
3. Get outside.
I don’t care if you go stand outside the front door for ten minutes and then come right back in. Get outside every day.
4. Nourish your body.
Your body is doing its best to be healthy and functional for you. Help it out — give it water and feed it good things, even if they take a little longer to make.
5. Stop trying to fight your emotions.
Stop clinging to happiness, stop fighting sadness, stop trying to convince yourself that your heart doesn’t feel like it’s beating out of your chest. Keep reminding yourself to let yourself feel what you’re feeling. (Note: if you don’t have practice doing this, it can be hard! A couple of good mindfulness apps to get you started are
and Calm .) Headspace 6. Read more, and read whatever you want.
If “grown-up” novels bring the weight of the world crashing down on you, that’s fine. Go read
Winnie-the-Pooh. 7. Exercise often.
It can be three squats or an hour long run. Whatever you can do, do it. This is especially important on days where you almost feel good, but not quite. Exercising might give you that extra boost you need to get going, even if it’s just for a couple minutes.
Aim for 5–6 days a week.
8. Ask for help.
A trick of depression is making you feel like you can’t ask for help. Fight this. Fight it and fight it again. Even if you feel too tired, or you feel like you’re bothering them, or asking for help just doesn’t seem worth it, ask anyway. Ask for help over and over again until you get it. Your health and happiness are worth it.
I was starting to think about my New Years resolutions for 2017 and I realized quite a few of them related to depression. Most of these are all things I’ve been doing off and on in 2016 and have found to be helpful, so I’m resolving to make them a habit in 2017. I thought I’d share them in case they could help anyone else, too. ❤