(step by step) what to do when you're feeling depressed.
Updated: Feb 18
Over the years, I have compiled a list of things I do when I am feeling down and out.
These steps aren't always easy to do, but when we're able to show up and do a few of them, we can feel a whole lot better.
Let me know which steps resonate with you and if you have any other tips you want to share, share them below!
Steps to take when you feel depressed, unhappy, confused, etc.
A lot of people feel resistant to writing/journaling, but that is usually a good sign to do it. Change is hard.
Creating a new habit is also hard,
but if we can own up to how we're feeling and do it anyways, it can help us feel better.
You would be surprised how easy it feels after you make the decision to write and you have your journal and pencil in hand.
One page a day.
2.). Talk to friends/mentor/coach/etc.
I will admit, this one is hard for me. It is scary to talk to someone when we are in the heat of our own shit storm, which is why so many of us resist doing it. However, a few weeks ago, when I was having a really hard day and feeling down about myself, my friend called. I glanced at my phone as it began to ring and debated whether or not I wanted to answer her call.
We don’t want people to see us when we are having a hard time.
For me, it’s because I want people to think of me as someone who has her shit together and lives a great and perfect life. Dream on, right.
But this time, I gathered the courage and answered her call, and guess what? I felt SO MUCH BETTER after talking to her.
Sharing our feelings with someone we love and trust can feel super scary and vulnerable, but the pay off is worth it.
3.). Let it take it’s natural course: Surrender and accept!
This seems counter intuitive, but from what I have experienced with myself, clients, friends, etc., is that when we are IN IT and feeling bad, a lot of the time we are also beating ourselves up for feeling bad. As you know, this does not work. Instead, I like to offer it over to the Universe.
Here is a good mantra to use and practice when we feel swept away in fear, loss, confusion, etc:
“Dear God, please take over. This no longer belongs to me, its now yours. Please show me the way. Remind me of my true worth and value. I am you, you are me, we are one.”
4.). Get outside/Exercise
This is a no brainer. When we are overthinking or overwhelmed by our thoughts and feelings, getting outside is one of the best and (free) resources we can use.
Go take a walk.
Sit by a tree.
Go to the ocean.
Emerge yourself in nature.
Here is one of my favorite poems that could provide you with comfort:
"Lost" by David Wagoner
Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.
-- David Wagoner