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9 People Living With Depression Share What's Helping Them Lately

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On Monday, June 8, a Reddit user posed the following question to the site’s Depression subreddit, a community where people can discuss depression, find help or connect with others in a safe, supportive environment:

The struggle isn’t easy and there are always dark days it seems, but what has been positive in your fight against your depression?

Reddit users responded with the things they do every day to help alleviate their depression, sharing tactics ranging from exercise and meditation to picking up a new hobby to pushing past their comfort zone. Some commenters mentioned how helpful it was to read what helped others work through a dark time, so The Mighty wanted to compile some of the responses in case they resonate with our readers too.

For 9 people living with depression, here’s what’s working.

1.Every day I write down 10 things I’m grateful for, no matter how silly. One of those things needs to be something I’ve never given thanks for before in my life. Another thing that’s been helpful is this concept of self-compassion. I’m working on being kinder to myself. It’s the first step towards developing confidence. One of my goals is to be confident, that’s a sign of strong mental health in my opinion.”


2. I don’t know anything about yoga, but I do like stretching my muscles. When [I] stretch [my] muscles, the more relaxed they are and the more relaxed [I] feel. Meditation really helps to calm [my] nerves. Journaling has also helped. It’s really cathartic and helps get [my] thoughts and emotions in order.”

3. “Writing has been therapeutic for me lately. I mostly write things for work or freelance music stuff, but the structure of the words and the paragraphs are calming. I also have a mindfulness coloring book that I use for when the anxiety starts creeping in, and it’s been more successful than I thought it would be.”

4.[Taking care of myself] is something I need to do more of; it definitely helps. I find doing small chores helps me. Not only is it exercise, but it has a positive affect on my living area and on myself fir having gotten it done.”

5.I have been more direct with my family. [I tell them] how I feel instead of bursting in anger or keeping depressing thought to myself. In a sense, I am working on my communication. I set small goals every now and then. Something like finishing a book for the week, sparing a few hours on the weekend to clean my washroom or my racks of dusty books or memorizing a few words of German. Little things help keep me occupied and make my life a little better.” 


6.I keep a checklist of things to do or that I could do, and I do one thing every day. It gives me something to feel proud of at the end of the day.”

7. I have plans to travel next year, which is something to work toward I feel better each day after finding something to motivate me.

8. “Realizing my strength and accomplishments.”

9. “Picking up blacksmithing and welding. Sometimes you really gotta shake things up to improve your life.”


What would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments.

*Some responses have been shortened and edited.

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

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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Originally published: June 10, 2015
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