Depression is a terrible problem, made all the more terrible by the fact that most people don’t really understand it. Certainly friends and loved ones will be supportive when the depression comes from a specific event. But the moment depression is a chronic problem, the moment depression is a mental illness that takes away your ability to trust in yourself, your ability to so much as get up and move in the morning, that support tends to wither.
Thankfully, whether it’s chronic depression that requires SSRIs and other medication or stress-caused depression that will start to clear up as you process and deal with whatever event triggered it, there are some things you can do to help feel better.
“Go Outside” And Other Dismissive Insults
This is around the time most articles on depression start talking about getting some exercise, going outside, and eating healthy. It’s true that those things can help you deal with depression, there’s no argument about that. However, they may as well be talking about throwing yourself at the ground and missing in order to fly for all the help it offers. If you could do those things, you wouldn’t be depressed in the first place!
For some people, depression is anything but a temporary problem. It’s a chronic problem, one that affects every single part of their life and will do so until they die. For some people, the best they will ever do is manage the symptoms of their depression. For those people, calling depression a “temporary problem” is straight up insulting, as it’s dismissive of the constant work one must perform in order to maintain even a semblance of normality.
Things That Really Do Count As Self-Help
Hopefully, you feel more comfortable that this article isn’t like the others. It can be difficult to accept advice from places that don’t even seem to understand the problem, after all. Not to mention, it’s always good to explain how damaging some of the common responses to depression can be since many people don’t realize it.
If you’re depressed, there are a number of things you can do to help yourself. Things that you might actually be able to do, rather than things you’d need to no longer be depressed to pull off. Things such as watching light-hearted movies and television, taking a shower, and feeding yourself. Getting outside and getting some exercise may take far too much energy, but if you can at least get out of bed and pull yourself into the shower, your body will begin creating chemicals that will boost your mood.
Another thing you can do is color. Adult coloring books have become all the rage these days and for good reason.
Overcome Depression With Adult Coloring
“Overcoming” depression may be a bit of a reach, but it can certainly help with the worst of the symptoms. Studies have shown that coloring can help reduce anxiety and increase focus.
How? And more importantly, how does this help with depression? There are several reasons coloring can help. First and foremost, it’s an incredibly simple physical act that none the less requires some amount of mental focus. This means it’s easy enough to do, allowing you to manage the act even when your depression is telling you that getting out of bed is the worst idea ever. It can even be done in bed, if that helps.
Secondly, as you color your brain will immediately begin to focus more on creating the picture and less on how terrible you and your life is. It’s not that you’re no longer depressed, of course. It’s that the human brain is designed to create and notice patterns. Coloring a picture is nothing more than creating a pattern of colors. This triggers parts of your brain that can allow you to forget about your depression, at least for a bit.
Adult coloring isn’t as good as actual therapy, and should absolutely not be used in place of psychiatric medication. But for those with chronic depression it can provide a small bit of relief, even if only for a time. And for those with stress-induced depression, it really could be a major factor in overcoming the internal upset that causes the depression-like symptoms!
Fairy stories can be a way of escaping from the current situation and finding yourself in a magical place, where your worries disappear for a while. Not all fairy stories are suitable of course, some are very dark and can make you perhaps feel worse. Some modern forms of fairy story are now called science fantasy or even just fantasy and there is plenty of fun and light-hearted magick to be found in the teenage sections of many libraries.