‘Ask Ophelia’ Question #1: What Can I Do When I’m Depressed?
Here’s What I Think:
I find that it’s mostly about distraction. First it’s important to evaluate why you’re depressed and what’s causing it, if anything. I believe that something I call “Mental Health Predictive Maintenance” is extremely important for easing and preventing depression. If you can figure out a specific reason for the depression, it’s helpful to try to address it head on and conquer it. Once that weight is lifted off, things are much brighter. If you’re depressed for no reason at all, that’s totally normal but it’s up to you to take control of it and do everything you can to get yourself out of it. While it’s great to have the support of others, they have really no idea what we’re going through or how to help us, so it’s our job to get ourselves through the ‘lows’ independently because we know what works the most. They don’t know how our brains tick. We know best, so it makes sense that we’re the only ones in control.
I find that distracting myself with things I enjoy really helps. Nature is huge for me too – it’s hard to be sad around such beauty. Maybe plan a day trip for yourself and go on a hike, see a waterfall, take a canoe out if you know of one – spending time in nature alone to think or listen to music is extremely therapeutic. I also find that volunteering, helping others, and seeing people in a worse situation than me really helps put my life in perspective – especially the times when I’m depressed for nothing.
When I’m sad and then talk to someone whose grandfather just passed or someone who has a terminal illness, I feel like such an idiot for being depressed over nothing or something rather trivial. It’s important to realize that it’s not our fault that we get depressed, and it’s a good reminder to see that things aren’t as bad as they could be. Just try to be positive, think of things that could be worse, be thankful for what is right and good in your life, take care of yourself, socialize, make time to be alone, and treat yourself to something you enjoy. Some days will be tough, but you’ll then appreciate the others.
You’ve made it through 100% of the times you’ve been depressed so far, and you can make it through the rest too.