Some of us deal with depression more than others. The thing to realize is, just because you are depressed doesn't mean you can't do things to help yourself. I don't want to overwhelm you when may already feel that way to begin with, but I do want to point out some simple ways you can help yourself. One aspect of depression is that you feel like most things are impossible. That isn't a reality and I want to show you some actions you can take to feel better. With that it in mind, here are five things that can you can do to help you when you are depressed.

1. Make a gratitude list
Make a list of 10 things you are grateful for. You decide what those things are. There is nothing too big or small. Maybe you're grateful for breathing or your sandwich. You could be grateful for your family, your kids, the sky or the smell of evergreen trees. Whatever you appreciate in your life, go with that.

2. Call a friend and ask them about their day
I know it can be hard to reach out to others when you are feeling down, but you can distract yourself from depression when you call someone you care about. It takes you away from the repetitive intrusive thoughts you may be experiencing. You may not be able to stop those but you can take an action to make yourself feel connected to someone else. Ask that person about how their day is going and it will get you outside yourself.

3. Do something creative
Creativity stimulates your mind and it's also a great way to self-soothe. That's why there are so many adult coloring books out there! You don't have to be an artist to do something creative. Doodle in a notebook, write a story, make a collage, bake some cookies even. Whatever makes you feel like you created something, do that.

4. Journal
The best time to do this is in the morning. A friend of mine calls them her "morning pages." Write three pages in your journal. Don't think, just write. They don't have to make sense even. Write what you are feeling in a stream of consciousness way. Once you get it out of your head and onto paper, you'll notice yourself start to feel freer. 

5. Animal therapy 
Snuggle with your cat or walk your dog to the dog park. If you're up for it, take a walk in the woods with your dog. Getting out can be great therapy. Play with your bunny or watch your fish in the fish tank. If you don't have an animal, visit a shelter or even volunteer at one. Another possibility is to go to the park and feed the birds. Being around animals can be so therapeutic.

These are a handful of tips that can help you while you are feeling down. Try them and see if they make a difference in your mood!

Unsplash 2017
Source: Unsplash 2017

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