Depression can feel very isolating, which can amplify depressed feelings. However, depression is a disorder that doesn’t discriminate – it affects people of all ages, races, genders, orientations, classes, and backgrounds. NIMH’s website states that “An estimated 17.3 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode.
But even knowing all of that–knowing that if you struggle with depression, you are not alone–managing bad days can still feel impossible. How do you get through a day where even getting out of bed seems like it will take all of your energy?
While there is no quick fix to depression (unfortunately) there are a few small things you can do to help you cope with those really bad days.
1). Get out of bed.
Since it’s the first thing you’ll have to do that day, it might feel like the hardest. It might even feel impossible. Especially if you have a typical morning routine. When your normal days are: get up, make the bed, brush your teeth, get dressed, make breakfast, etc. getting out of bed can make it seem like you need to do all of those things now that you’re up.
Give yourself permission to get out of bed, leave the sheets messy, and transfer somewhere else–even if it’s just the couch. Even if all you’re able to do that day is move from the bed to the couch, that’s okay! Just shifting your environment can help manage the overwhelming feeling that comes with those bad days.
2). Keep some water and easy snacks nearby
On hard days, the basic ways we take care of ourselves are usually the first to go. There’s no energy to cook or clean or move our bodies. But your body still needs care, even when you don’t have the energy for it. You still need food and water. So to make it easy, fill up a few water bottles to keep by you all day long.
Grab easy snacks from the cupboard (granola bars, cheese, crackers, any fruit you have on hand) so that you don’t have to worry about neglecting your body all day. It might even feel hard to get yourself to eat–that’s why it’s good to keep small snacks around instead of big meals. When your body signals that you’re hungry, take a bite of a granola bar, or eat a few crackers. Just getting started can help give you the energy to eat more.
3). Let someone know you’re having a bad day
It can be really helpful to talk it through with someone when you’re struggling. But if you don’t have the energy to call someone up, or invite someone over–send a quick text to a trusted loved one! Let them know you’re struggling more than usual, you might not be as responsive, but you would still appreciate it if they could check in with you later in the day. Knowing you have a support system for when you need it can help relieve the feeling that you are in all of this alone.
4). Remind yourself this is temporary
Bad days feel like they will last forever. They feel so overwhelming and overpowering that it can be hard to imagine getting back to “normal”. But you have had bad days before, and you have had good days before too! You are not broken for having bad days, and it will not be like this forever. Even if you can’t imagine what it looks like, you will have good days again. Give yourself permission to rest on these bad days. Punishing yourself for feeling down won’t help you get over it quicker–show yourself some compassion.
5). Spend time on something that brings you comfort
Is there a movie that makes you feel better when you’re down? A book or an album that always comforts you on bad days? Any joy and comfort are good on bad days! Spend some time with something that makes you feel good, even if it’s just turning the tv on or ordering your favorite comfort food.
If you think you are depressed and you are ready to reach out and get support for your depression in Houston, look no further. Grief Recovery Center is here. You can reach us at 832-413-2410 or by filling out the form on our website.