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A Long List of Things to Keep You Going When You Feel Lost to Depression

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Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

Sometimes in the midst of deep depression, you may experience suicidal thoughts and ideation, and it is not pleasant. You may not want to feel that way, but the suicidal thoughts might tell you that ending it all is the only way out, and they are so persistent this is all you can believe — because depression takes away the motivation to even let yourself think about positivity.

I’ll never find an accurate way of describing every little bit of depression, but for me, it is a little bit like trying to build a house when I’m given a different set of tools every day. Sometimes, the tools I need just won’t be there. This means that some days, I can’t do anything — I just have to watch the minutes pass by. I have no energy to do anything else but wait for the day to come when I get the right tools to finish each job. Sometimes this can go on for a day, even a few hours, sometimes a week, a month, sometimes six months, or longer. On those days when you just have to watch the world go by, it can give the depression time to swallow you up in its dark thoughts. This can be overwhelming. To the point where you just want to end it all.

When I found myself lost in the dark of depression from time to time, I found it helped to remind myself of what I had to live for. It was a tough thing to do, because the depression took away my energy to think of positive things — so to help you out, here is a long list of things that could help you to keep going:

Your family.

The summer days.

Getting into a warm bed when it’s been raining all day.

That new book that is coming out soon.

The next season of your favorite TV program.

Your dog/cat/any other pets.

Seeing your best friend.

Making plans with your best friend.

If you work — pay day.

Going shopping and spending your money (wisely).

Reading the last few pages of that book you wanted to save (you can always read it all again).


Spending hours on your computer watching funny videos.

Doing your hair in a new hairstyle.

Doing your makeup differently.

Getting new stationery.

Writing with a new pen that you bought.

Making things from fun DIY videos.

Redecorating your room.

Being able to teach somebody something that you enjoy.

Going to the zoo.

Watching your favorite film on repeat.

Listening to your favorite song on repeat.

Climbing to the top of a hill and taking in your surroundings.

Rolling back down the hill.

Taking a long walk and then snuggling up on the sofa and watching TV.

Going for a run (sensibly).

Wearing that new outfit you bought.

Making dens with friends/family/just by yourself.

Sleeping under the stars.

Playing a family favorite board game.

Telling a funny joke and making people cry of laughter.

Going on holiday somewhere sunny/really cold.

Making a meal you’ve never made before.

Trying new foods at a takeaway.

Playing hide-and-seek and finding a new hiding place (you’re never too old).

Making Christmas decorations.

Making Halloween decorations.

Making Easter decorations.

Just making decorations in general.

Going sightseeing.

Taking pictures with your friends and making collages.

Making a scrapbook.

Buying flowers and making the house smell nice.

Having a relaxing day at home with only close family or friends.

The list could go on, but hopefully this gives you the idea that sometimes we just have to take life by each hour, minute even, and live for the little things in life — for one day we may realize the little things can be the biggest things. Living with depression or any other mental illness can be exhausting, and even a single day can take sheer strength and power. Remember this: So far, you have survived 100 percent of all of your worst days. The days when you struggled, the days when you thought you could no longer go on, you kept on going — and if that doesn’t define strength, then I don’t know what does.

I’m proud of you.

Image via Thinkstock.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

A version of this post originally appeared on Rediscovering Happiness.

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Originally published: December 9, 2016
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