My “survival” list of 20 things that actually help when I’m depressed

It can be really difficult to get out of a slump—and when you’re in the middle of it, it can feel like it will never end. With depression, I know it can feel like doing anything is too hard…but just surviving the moment looks really hard, too.

Recently I realized that I have some things that really do help with a low mood, and that getting myself to do something can help me survive the moment—and can even help change how I’m feeling. I’ve put together a list of these things (in part just to remind myself!), and I’m sharing them with you.

1. Taking a walk

2. Meditating

3. Looking at things that make me smile on Pinterest

4. Going to the gym

5. Talking to someone I love

6. Spending time outside

7. Focusing on the moment: Thinking about what I see and hear, and trying to let thoughts just “drift” past

8. Going to a workout class

9. Looking at my to-do list and picking anything that sounds even remotely appealing, and working on it

10. Watching a comedy

11. Working out at home

12. Hanging out with a friend

13. Naming things I’m grateful for

14. Looking up jokes online

15. Journaling

16. Taking a hot shower

17. Trying a grounding exercise

18. Listing the little triumphs of the day and what’s gone well

19. Taking some deep breaths

20. Listening to happy songs

Of course, these are things that work for me. I hope you try some out the next time you’re especially low, but also that you start making your own go-to “survival” list.

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