Thursday, 7 May 2015

How to get through low days in depression

How to overcome low days in depression

I've written posts on here about how to help others with depression and general depression self-help, but I haven't done a post on how to overcome a particular day when you are feeling low. I haven't been feeling that great recently, so I thought I would share some of the things that I do to feel a little better with you. They may not make you feel completely better but they do put you on the path to recovery. Plus it is the perfect excuse to use a photo I took of the horrible weather yesterday.

Get out of bed
Getting out of bed when you suffer with depression literally feels like you're preparing yourself to ascend Mount Kilimanjaro with 100kg strapped to your back and no companions to keep you company. But you know you'll feel better if you take a shower and keep yourself relatively busy. Doing something to distract yourself from your negative thoughts can be really helpful - I always feel much better after spending 8 hours on placement in hospital, rather than 12 hours in bed. See my tips on how to get up in the mornings if you really find yourself struggling.

Take it one step at a time
As I sometimes find it so hard to get out of bed due to my depression, I try to make sure that I take things one step at a time on these days. Focus only on what you have got to do next and it will make the whole day seem a little easier. You'll find that getting out of bed and brushing your teeth doesn't seem so hard when that is all you're thinking about doing.

I knowww it's so obvious - but just talk to someone. Talk about why you're feeling down, or if there's no reason like there often isn't with depression just talk about something. Anything to distract yourself from the way you're feeling, and to get a little human interaction to make you see that you're not as alone as you think, can never be a bad thing. I found last week that I bottled things up and it just made me feel worse - getting everything out is always so much better in the long run. I often just ring my mum and talk, or sit with my housemates for a while, to take my mind off my horrible thoughts.

Do something you enjoy
For me, this is just binge watching Netflix series. Don't make yourself work too hard - you won't be productive on days like this. Instead do something that you really enjoy - whether that's reading a good book or going for a long walk, or even just listening to your favourite band, it's important to do something that you want to do. Again, it can be really difficult to motivate yourself to do anything, but take little steps and work yourself up to it. It really won't be as bad as you think.

Treat yourself
Strict diets and money bans do not work well on low days. Give yourself a little slack and treat yourself to some chocolate, or those jeans you've wanted for a while - it will make your brain release a few more happy hormones to help make your mood slightly more positive. I'm not saying go mad, just allow yourself something that you wouldn't normally and don't beat yourself up about it.

Write it down
I have so many unpublished post on this blog, where on down days I have just ranted as I just needed to get all of my feelings down. I have found that my blog has really helped me overcome my depression as I understand a lot more about it due to writing about how I feel. Writing can be very therapeutic - it doesn't have to be published to the whole world, even just your own private diary can be really useful.

Spend time with a pet
I love being home and being able to spend time with my dog - he really does help to cheer me up when I'm having a down day. Stroking a pet can reduce stress and just knowing that they love you enough to greet you at the door is really positive.

If all else fails, sleep it off
I know I said to try and get out of bed if possible earlier, but sometimes the only option is to go back to sleep and hope for the best. A lot of my mental health sick days are spent sleeping - a lack of sleep can affect your mood too, and a nap will probably help with that. Maybe use this one as a last resort though if you literally have no energy and need to stay in bed.

There's all those cliches about going and doing some exercise, but honestly for me it's hard enough to get out of bed, let alone get dressed and go outside, so I'm not even going to suggest it as I would just be lying to you. Exercise probably would help - and if it does for you that's great - but for many depression causes such de-motivation that it would be near impossible to expect someone to do so. I hope some of these help, anyway!
- The burn in your muscles the day after exercise
- Receiving a surprise text off someone you haven't heard from in a while
- Lighter evenings

PS Please donate towards my sponsored skydive for Mind here, or text MIHV99 £1 to 70070 - thank you for your support!


  1. Some great ideas there and I hope they help. I try to do many of these things on my off days, I find you tube helps a lot too and reading blog posts like this :-) It's terrible weather here in Wales too at the moment, but it's actually quite therapeutic just watching and listening to the heavy rain.
    I wrote a post yesterday about things that inspire me to feel more positive, like certain you tubers and positive quotes, you can have a look if you like, I hope you like it :-) Dani

    1. Thanks Dani. Yes I love the rain when I'm inside, but not when I have to cycle into uni every day! Ah I will definitely check it out! :) xx

    2. Ahh thank you, hope you liked it. Yes that's not so good when you get drenched in the rain, not quite as nice then! :-/ lol

  2. Great tips Hannah! I usually try meditating or yoga and treat myself to some dark chocolate or antioxidants like blue berries!

    1. Thank you Donna! Ah yes meditating works really well too if you can concentrate, and chocolate is always helpful!! xx

  3. Completely agree with all of these, especially the write it down one. I find this really helps me when I am feeling down. Also doing something you enjoy, I love reading blogs & colouring in, so that is what I do for a few hours :)

    1. Yes writing things down really helps me. Reading blogs is always good, and colouring in is something different and fun! :) xx

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