18 tips on how to overcome a depressive mood

18 Tips On How To Overcome A Depressive Mood (according to level of energy)

It’s hard to remember a time in my life when I lived without depression.
Since I remember myself as a person, I remember being curious about the meaning of life and falling into deep sadness about the harder aspects of existence. Something that can be considered quite natural in a society that’s so disconnected from our essence, and suffering from very poor mental health.

At the same time as having a deep appreciation for the beauty of life, the contemplation of death always seemed to me to be a somewhat romantic and as important as the contemplation of life.

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However, while experiencing a wide range of emotions is a healthy part of being alive, spiraling down in a depressive episode certainly isn’t the kind of fun one wants to dwell in for long.

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If you’re not diagnosed with depression but you still find yourself now and then in a state of hopelessness, lacking the energy and the disposition for anything else rather than crying, seeing all the reasons to despair, and nothing to look forward to, then, keep reading. Here are some tips that work for me, on those days when I wish the most absurd things and think the most absurd thoughts.

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At least, that’s how I experience depression these days. My rational, optimistic self transforms into a complete hopeless pessimistic, as if two completely different philosophers were living inside of me, and showed up at different times without ever meeting each other.

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Both, in fact, have very reasonable ideas, but, like Einstein said, ultimately: “I’d rather be an optimist and a fool than a pessimist and right.”

So here’s what I do to overcome a depressive mood:

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Lowest Energy

The deepest down. When the feeling is that all there’s left to do is to hide from life in bed and sleep the sorrows away.

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1. Let it be

The most important difference between when I was clinically depressed vs. having a depressive mood for a couple of days (no more than 2 or 3), is the recognition that what I’m feeling is temporary and that I will feel happy and satisfied with life again. Even if I have no idea of how or when that will happen, I just know it will happen.

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2. Offer no resistance

If I feel like crying until my face is completely red and my nose is a snot tap, I do it. If it happens, I might well kneel and cry with my arms and face down on the floor. Or I may cry silently in bed, or while looking at the mirror. Whatever the urge, I ride the wave and let it pass through. Never swim against the sea.

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3. Test the waters & practice no judgment

Depending on the depth of my depression that day, I’ll find myself with some energy to go outside, or take a bath, or put on some interesting and distracting video or film and that alone will take me out of the darkness. But sometimes the cloud is so dark and dense that there seems to be no energy for anything else except to keep me afloat. It’s important to make no judgments about how low we feel and how little we feel like we can do.

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4. Take a sweet, long nap

In those cases where there’s not much energy or will power, I like to take a nap as soon as possible. Sometimes I wake up with a new disposition; sometimes I don’t. But my body and my brain appreciate the little break and the coziness of a safe place to rest for an hour or two.

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5. A generous plate of yumminess

Food is medicine, and there’s an enormous healing power in a delicious and colorful plate of food. If there’s enough energy to do the cooking, even better. Then there’s the pleasure of also undertaking and accomplishing a project, and enjoying the result. Cooking it’s a win-win.

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Cruising energy

When you have slept and feel like now it’s time to do something, but you still lack the power to go outside and face the world.

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6. Get rid of something

The mental impact of decluttering is no joke. The simple, yet strongly symbolic, gesture of determining what gets to stay and what needs to leave your life, creates a sense of control and change that’s significantly mood altering.

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7. Tidy

Even if just your bed, the bedside table, or the kitchen balcony. And one of my favorites when it comes to seeing things differently: clean windows! No matter what you clean or organize, apply the power and creativity to transform some small section of your environment into a pleasant and organized space and you’ll start to feel how much power you have to change other more significant areas of your life too. Tidying can be magic.

8. Self pampering

Take a long warm bath, put on those beautiful clothes (or that freshly washed pajama, and some new bed sheets), get a new haircut, and treat your nails nicely. All that self-love will remind you of how much you matter and, if nothing else, will keep your attention well entertained while you keep your boat afloat and the storm passes.

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9. Day-dreaming

While the most reasonable advice is to pay attention to all that’s good in your life at the moment, sometimes keeping our focus in the now may not be the most uplifting strategy when surfing some down wave. Thinking and planning or even talking about some exciting plans can take us a long way away from a depressive state of mind.

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10. Paper and pen

Are the best friends to deal with a clouded mind. The simple act of writing down what’s happening and what’s running through our mind gives a new perspective on what’s the current situation and what needs to be changed to make things better. Having the time to reflect on what’s on your mind and transferring that information to a piece of paper is often an amazingly effective way to a clearer mind and a better mood.

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Rising Energy

When you’re feeling like there’s a new spark growing in your and you want to channel that energy into something creative or particularly nice.

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11. Start a new project

Anything, preferably small. The start of a project is always an exciting time, and the perspective of walking a path from beginning to finish is an uplifting one. In periods of depression, it’s best to start with something small, like a DIY project that can give you a somewhat quick gratification once you manage to finish it in a short amount of time. Leave the big projects for when you feel your energy stronger, as they need a little more investment, persistence, and patience from you.

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12. Finish an old project

If you have the habit of starting but not finish your projects, take this time when you’re feeling low (on an upward direction), to get your hands on something that was once an exciting project and needs now some loving attention to finally come to life as a finished work. It is gratifying to accomplishing something, no matter how small the accomplishment. It raises the levels of dopamine in your brain, leaving you more confident about yourself and the purpose and meaning of your life.

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13. Plan a trip

You don’t need to plan to go to the Bahamas to increase your mood. Even a small trip to discover a new coffee shop or restaurant in your area can get you looking forward to something. Invite a friend for that fika (the Swedish national coffee-time pride) you’ve been meaning to have or set up a lunch appointment. Having that marked down on your agenda is a sure way to make your week look a little brighter.

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14. Help someone (or something)

It is well known that helping others boosts wellbeing, increasing our sense of purpose and meaning. If you don’t have anyone around you in need of help (you can always look a little closer), then you can apply this concept and energy into, for example, watering your plants, maybe replanting them into bigger vases, or fixing something that’s broken and you’ve meant to fix for a long time.

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15. Do some very comfortable yin yoga

There are dozens of YouTube videos you can choose from with nice yoga classes. Roll out your yoga mat, get some pillows, lit up some candles and give your self 45 minutes of gentle yin yoga stretching. Your body and mind will love it, and your mood is 100% sure to be stretched out to a higher state.

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16. Meditate for much longer than usual

Besides after waking up, the best time to meditate if after yoga. That’s when your mind has been calmed down by the postures, and your body has been comfortably stretched. If you sit down then and give yourself the time to meditate, you’ll see that sitting in stillness can be a very comfortable place to be.

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18. Drink hot chocolate

Here’s a super mood booster for when you feel you have the energy to do good things for yourself. You can try out to pump up the recipe and rejoice in the wonders of a delicious creamy cacao and what it does to your mood. Plus, it’s pretty much sugar-guilt free! Oh yeah.

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As you can see, there’s a lot you can do to get yourself out of a funky mood. Navigating through low moods isn’t something strange or something to be worried about; we all have them, and it’s just a part of being human. But if you feel down regularly, and you’re more often in a state of hopelessness than you are able to see the good side of life, then I strongly recommend you to seek professional help. Life is meant to be appreciated, and there is nothing that’s not changeable. Even those things that are permanent can be experienced differently if we change the way we see and respond to them.

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Ultimately, the time you’re spending on earth is not meant to be some kind of punishment. Your life is meant to be lived with joy and appreciation. You, like everyone else in this world, have a talent and purpose, and light that shines from within. Devote yourself to discovering it and you’ll soon find yourself living a life that makes you happy.

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Until then, hot chocolate!

Dealing with Negative Emotions .PDF

Dealing with negative emotions

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