7 Activities to Ease Depression Recovery
Depression is draining and challenging for the 6.2 million Americans that suffer with it. Taking time out for yourself is essential. Learn 7 activities to ease depression recovery. Most of the activities are either free or minimally priced – the biggest effort is taking a few moments out for yourself and your depression recovery.
Activity #1 – Read a book
Reading is a wonderful activity to ease depression. It helps to take your mind off depression and allow for imaginative thinking. It also drains the mind of excess energy that would otherwise go towards negative self-talk. Depression causes a loss in concentration for activities while reading encourages concentration.
Activity #2 – Get out of the house
Walking outside will get your eyes in contact with sunlight and reset your circadian rhythm or body clock. It will also give you a good cardio workout, and anyone who has a dog will have an easy excuse. If you have winter blues, consider getting a happy lamp.
What about hermits or people who are convalescing? It’s true that many depression sufferers stay indoors most of the time unless necessary; they also have irregular sleeping patterns. And people who are recuperating from illness or injury tend to become depressed with being sedentary. An alternative is a bright light lamp to mimic the sun’s natural rays for elevating mood and encouraging the body’s production of vitamin D — great for the five percent of Americans who suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) or the “winter blues.”
As an extension of getting out of the house, traveling or taking a vacation occasionally is great for mental health. Traveling gets you not only out of the house but the whole local area and keeps you mentally active. A staycation at home, on the other hand, gives you time to relax alone.
Activity #3 – Discover a new hobby
Sometimes you need something more mentally and physically engaging than your current hobbies. Discovering a new hobby seems impossible when you’re depressed, but there are plenty of quiet and non-demanding activities to try. Some of them, such as knitting, allows for multitasking. Gardening grounds you while cooking brings people together and gives you a feeling of community or family. If you’re into more physically demanding activities, exercise (like swimming and running) will release endorphins, improve your heart’s health and reduce stress.
Watching TV is a very easy trap to fall into and it’s bad for depression. When we watch TV, we are in a passive state and our minds are not fully conscious. It is necessary while you’re experiencing depression to mentally engage in an activity. Try listening to music, podcasts, audiobooks or radio for a change and you’ll notice your active listening skills improving. Music increases emotion regulation. If you’re very creative, art therapy is something to investigate.
Activity #4 – Keep your friends close
Remember, they’re there for you, even when you don’t want to be social. A quick message letting them know is enough. Loyal friends understand when you’re depressed and why you don’t feel up to the company. Pets are also your friends and have shown to have helped many people through depression and other challenges.
Activity #5 – Meditation
Just 3-10 minutes a day will aid your concentration and breathing. It can help calm the negative self-talk of depression.
Activity #6 – Mindfulness
Often used as an adjunct in meditation, mindfulness is about awareness of one’s environment and senses by teaching self-regulation and attentiveness to tasks. It is incredibly useful for people to bring themselves out of the slump of depression.
Activity #7 – Counseling
Always an available choice, it as an ongoing and active approach for deep-seated depression you cannot let go of on your own. It’s okay to visit more than one counselor or to get second or third opinions. There are depression counseling therapists and methods like CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) or DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy). Either practice allows people with depression to examine their thoughts and have a more realistic belief of themselves and their abilities. They are integrated with mindfulness meditation techniques.
Coping skills for depression enable you to deal with depression more easily on a day-to-day basis. Try one or many of the mentioned 7 tips to ease depression recovery, you might find a few that work for you! Remember, you don’t have to be stuck, Real Life Counseling can help in your depression recovery. For information on our services, contact us.