This year has started really bad for me. My 6 months old cat died in the middle of the night in the middle of my room. Right in the middle of the happiest holiday of the year: Christmas and New Year celebrations. I was hanging every day at the vet but nothing helped. My precious cat died and in a horrible, horrible way.
So as you can guess I had some very sad days. Waking up from nightmares and calling it’s name, looking for it on its favorite, now empty, place. Dreaming it was sleeping on my arm, almost feeling it’s warmth and waking up realizing that my cat is really gone.
It’s hard to get over it.
So I decided to write some of my recipes for lifting myself up when feeling depressed. It’s what I do and it helps me feel better. It even helps just writing about it in a strange way. Hope some of them can help you too.
Water Is Your Friend
Water has amazing healing powers. Many times when I feel bad for no obvious reason I take a shower. Even the shortest shower rejuvenates your body and clears your mind.
It’s almost impossible to stay in a bad mood after taking a shower. First of all you will feel cleansed, more relaxed and almost like washing the bad things off. Like a new mini start. Like a part of the burden has been lifted off from your shoulders.
Water will help you no matter in what way you use it: go to the nearest pool, plan a weekend getaway to a sea or lake, prepare yourself a long, relaxing bath. If you have no time or money for this use the easiest solution: take a shower. You will feel better I promise.
If you find it hard to get up in the morning then the first thing you need to do is to position yourself under the shower. And that’s all it takes to start the day feeling more energized and ready to face it.
Some people use alcohol when coming exhausted from work to relax themselves. But using water can also help tremendously and it will help you feel healthier and better about yourself. Prepare yourself a spa night. Your body and your mind will be thankful.
Some inexpensive little bath accessories can go a long way and I bet you can afford them (spending small money will be my next point):
Now I know when you feel depressed you really have no will for pampering yourself. You need instant boosters, something to shake you up and bring you back to life. To make you feel good things and turn your mind to some positive thoughts. So I believe these products will help you achieve exactly that.
A Little Gift For Yourself
Oh shopping is also one of the greatest therapies for women. As much I have resisted this I have to finally admit: it works.
I hate spending too much on things I consider unnecessary. But desperate times require desperate measures.
So I made a compromise: when feeling low I go out and buy little things, not too expensive. It is usually some home decor or a book. I especially enjoy books based on true stories.
Here are some books I have enjoyed very much:
About “Touching The Void” or “Wild” you can also watch the movies if in a hurry – what powerful stories you will see. It will energize you to the maximum. For “Wild” I recommend you read the book. I think it is stronger than the movie.
Some other products may work better for you, you buy whatever works for you. Even the smallest new thing will make you feel better. Just be careful not to overspend as it is a very easy trap to fall in :).
Art is a great soul saver. It makes you forget about the cruelty of this world and makes you find a new world full of joy and beautiful things. Beauty always helps, that’s why people seek for beauty in life. Beautiful photos or reading a good book will instantly makes you feel better. Whatever form of art works for you: you go and get some dose of it.
My number one place to go and see some art and beauty and inspiration is Pinterest.com. There are so many great things there. Usually it wakens up my imagination and I start thinking of all the projects I could do. Now I end up not doing them (there is always something else to finish before) but it’s a great kick to get your brain moving.
It’s unbelievable how much a 2 hour walk can do for your mindset. And I know how hard it is to make yourself go for a walk when you are not feeling good. But here is how I manage it:
Don’t think. Just do little steps to get you to your destination point. Just focus on doing one thing after another. Like get out of bed, wash your teeth, check if all electricity in your home is switched off, put your coat on. Simple things and the major thing is not to allow yourself to start thinking negatively. Push yourself to concentrate only on the next step you need to do to get out of the house.
And maybe the first half an hour you will feel awful. But after that – oh it’s only joy. You will start feeling the nature, feeling good about yourself.
The best thing is at the end. You will feel so proud and accomplished that you pulled through it. And that feeling will last a few days.
Do A little Project
And by little I mean really little. Like a one or two hour project. It can be anything that fits that time frame. It is important that the task can be finished in that time.
What I usually do is clean some part of my apartment. Or I find an easy recipe online, get the ingredients I need and bake something. I am awful in the kitchen but even in such case it helps. It’s best if the project includes some physical activity as moving around helps more than sitting. Don’t ask me why. I just know that it does.
I also find a video on GIMP and try to draw something easy. GIMP always makes me feel good although I am an anti talent for drawing. There is in fact a rising trend of coloring books for adults. Drawing somehow makes you feel good. I am sure it can be psychologically explained but I am just telling what really works when you are down.
So why does such a mini project help? For me it’s mostly because I start feeling in control. I start feeling satisfaction and accomplishment. And you really can’t feel bad when you feel those things. It is contradictory and impossible. Basically you need to shake off the negative feelings and replace them with positive. By doing something small but completed you will shift your emotional state.
Here is another technique that works for me. I have heard somewhere that therapists tell depressed patients that they don’t have to do anything they don’t want to. So I started practicing it. When feeling extremely bad I just tell myself: I don’t have to do anything I don’t feel like doing. Well this is of course in my free time as it is not really possible if you have a job. And funny the same second I finish thinking this sentence I get an urge to do something. But something I love. It’s really strange. But it helps.
Take Comfort In Family And Friends
These people should definitely be your greatest supporters in life. There must be at least one or two from these groups that can offer a crying shoulder at any time.
Music Is A Great Healer
There are so many great music videos online. It is best if you play something calm and soothing. It will transfer your mind to another state literally. It’s the power of music. For me it is chill out music or beach music. No matter how low you feel at the moment the music goes deep and changes you. It may be a subtle change but it is a positive change.
I leave you with one of my favorite music compilations for “getting high”: