As someone who has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), I often have to deal with bouts of depression. Depression can be debilitating, if you let it. It doesn’t have to be, though. I have found that if I can just take that first step, to get up off the couch, and do something, that before too long I feel better. I have more energy, and I am ready to face whatever comes my way. Here are just a few simple suggestions for things that you can do to chase away the blues.
Take a walk outdoors. It really helps me to get outside and walk. It’s even better when I take the dogs with me, because they like to make sure that I go for a brisk walk. I like to get out and walk for at least thirty minutes. For some reason, taking a brisk walk outdoors always makes me feel better. When I’m finished, I’m in a better mood, and have more energy to get things done.
Phone a friend. This isn’t just a help option on a game show. Friends and relatives can provide exactly what you need in times of sadness just by listening. Make sure you call someone that is capable of listening. We all have those well-meaning friends or relatives that can only talk about themselves. Don’t call one of those. Save that call for when you have the energy. Call someone you can pour your heart out to, and then do just that.
Dance. Put on your favorite music and shake your moneymaker. I’m Hispanic, so I get lost in the music any time I hear a Latin rhythm. I’m not saying that you would want to see me dance to it, that wouldn’t be good for anyone. But the music is so in my blood that I can’t help but move and groove to it. That’s why I like Zumba, which is an exercise sensation right now.
Start a new hobby. Or pick up an old one. A new or rekindled interest can take your mind off of your problems for as long as you will let it. I love to knit, and one thing that really helps me is knitting gifts for other people. Knitting gives me something to do, both with my hands and with my mind. It reminds me that I have a skill, albeit simple, that can give joy to other people, because everyone seems to enjoy my hand knit gifts. Surely they are not all just telling me that.
Clean the house. I’m not talking about deep detail cleaning. Although feel free to do that, it’s never a bad idea. Just straighten up, dust, vacuum, you know what needs to be done. To me, there is nothing like a bleach clean kitchen. I know it won’t stay that way for very long, but for that moment in time, my kitchen was perfectly and completely clean. Tell me that’s not a pick me up. (Remember – OCD.) Cleaning makes me feel more organized and more in control of my surroundings.
Play with animals. If you don’t have your own animals, play with a friend’s. Animals enrich our lives in so many ways. Just throwing a ball to Bobo, our one and a half year old Great Dane, and having him jump up and catch It in mid air is so much fun to me, and I want him to do it again and again and again. He wants the same thing, of course. Before I know it, I’m having fun and getting fresh air, things that I know will make me feel better.
Depression doesn’t have to keep you down. Make a decision to feel better. Take action to beat the blues, and get up and get moving. Just do one or two of the simple things I have listed above, and you will take your first steps toward combatting depression – and winning.