5 Things That Won't Cure Your Depression (but Might Help a Little)
We have all heard about ways to be proactive in order to ward off depressive symptoms before they start. Exercise. Take your meds. Try vitamins. Blah, blah, blah. This is all well and good, but what about when you are battling your symptoms while in a depressive episode? We can try all of the suggestions to attempt to stop the symptoms, but you and I both know these things do not keep us from becoming depressed.
There is no guarantee to totally ward off depressive episodes. I wish there was. I have tried every suggestion in effort to stop depression before it starts. Frustrated, I started to think outside the box. I want to share with you some of the unusual techniques I have implemented to help battle my symptoms during a depressive episode.
These tips are not a guaranteed to work for you. You may think these steps are the dumbest things you have ever heard, but they work for me. I only ask you try them and see how effective the techniques are for you. Ready? Here it goes:
1. Brush your teeth.
Seriously? Yes, I am very serious. Not only will this get you out of bed for a few moments, but dental hygiene is directly related to physical health. When we are physical ill, it only feeds our depressive symptoms. Bacteria thrives in our mouths, which can affect our immune system.
I always feel better after I brush my teeth. The nasty taste in my mouth is gone. The minty flavor gives me a little boost and I get out of bed for a couple of minutes. I know, this one is weird.
2. Change your underwear.
I told you these tips were unusual. I suggest to do this directly after brushing your teeth. Much like brushing your teeth helps with physical health, so does changing your underwear. Showering is the last thing on our mind and the effort it takes to actually bathe is overwhelming. Changing your underwear, as unusual as it sounds, gives me a little boost. Even in my deepest moments, I don’t want to smell bad. Again, this will get you out of bed for a few moments.
I also suggest not putting on the “granny panties.” Find your pretty undies. Studies have shown wearing pretty underwear helps self-esteem and just makes you feel pretty. When depression hits, we don’t feel pretty. I know, no one is going to see the undies, but you know you have them on. I always feel better when I have on something lacy or shiny. Just give it a try.
3. Trash the room darkening curtains.
I am not suggesting to have no curtains on your window. I am just suggesting to use a window treatment that does not completely block out the sunlight. Sunlight is full of vitamin D, which helps battle the symptoms of depression. I have curtains on my window, but they aren’t dark. I also have decorative window film on my bedroom window. Neighbors can’t see in, but light passes through easily.
4. Wash your face.
You don’t need to completely wash your face with soap and water, but buy some make-up removing wipes. Put them on the nightstand beside your bed. You can lay in your bed and use the wipes to refresh. Even if makeup is not something that you use, wiping your face can help you feel better. If you have ever been on a long flight, then you know the stewardess provides you with a warm, wet towel for your face and hands.
5. Record a video to your depressed self.
This is probably the most effective tip I can give you. Everyone has their phones attached to their hips. We never go anywhere without it. When you are feeling great, with your hair fixed and clean clothes on, tape a video to your depressed self. Talk to yourself like you would talk to a friend who is going through a rough time. Be sincere.
The video does not need to be long and you don’t need to have a fancy camera or professional lighting. Use your phone. When you are in a depressive episode, play this video. You will be amazed how much this helps. It’s OK to watch it several times if you need to. Some days I have watched my video a half-dozen times.
In the beginning of this post, I shared these are unusual techniques to help you during your depressive episodes. My hope that you will try them and find these weird ideas will help you battle through your symptoms. I hope they will lift you up during your darkest time. Please, just try them.
Once you have utilized these techniques, please let me know if they were beneficial to you or if they were of no help. I look forward to reading your comments. Feel free to share. I know you can get through your depression. It might not ever be cured, but you can fight the symptoms. You will feel better.
This post originally appeared on Crafting Your Life Today.