First step of helping depression is knowing that most everyone on earth gets depressed, fails and at one point hates their life. From the seemingly happiest people you know to the richest, they all battle their own demons and have sad days, weeks or months.
Understand you aren’t alone, that each day is a new day, remind yourself how much potential you have, set some goals and use the ideas and techniques below to get back on track.
Below is a great list that I’ve brought together to help you battle depressed moods or sadness, get a smile back on your face and add hope in your heart. While not all ideas will be perfect for you I know you will identify with some and hopefully it will help you turn that corner towards seeing how talented and important you are.
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Note that any long-lasting funks affecting your life might be more serious and please consult a doctor.
Eat an elephant
As my friend Stronz always said… how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Like Full House, take things step by step.. day by day. You aren’t going to change your world tomorrow. However, write out a couple things to improve it and make your life better today. You can write a list out of short term and long term things to make yourself happier but make sure you work on 1-3 things you can cross off right away and get going on the right foot.
Your time is money
Realize that your mental stress or fatigue, time, effort, thought processing costs you money and depletes daily mental capacity! Think of your mind as a gas tank, don’t spend half the tank revving your engine in neutral all day not going anywhere. Every minute you worry about things you shouldn’t be is time you could be working towards your goal.
Depending what you do or your obligations, you are worth $30-100+ an hour and you need to remember that before wasting an hour on hold with Sprint arguing over $5, arguing with someone on Facebook about their political views, looking through coupon books for 30 minutes to save $7 or anything trivial that is less hourly than you worth. This example sounds lazy (it’s more I hate cleaning) but a cleaner costs me $15-20 an hour and I put my value over $30 an hour so it just makes sense to not waste 4-5 hours doing a deep clean of my place.
A prerequisite for success is failure
Everyone fails and if you aren’t falling down you aren’t trying hard enough. You may currently be depressed because you failed at something or don’t feel good enough.
Google “successful people who have failed.” Failure happens and any “successful” person will tell you it is the failure that made them who they are today. Walt Disney was fired from a job that said he lacked creativity. Albert Einstein didn’t speak fluently until age 9. Tom Brady was the 199th pick in the draft… over his career 3,500 players have been picked higher than him. Did he quit, or did he become arguably the greatest of all time? Oprah lost her son as a 14-year-old mother and was told she was unfit for television. Bill gates failed multiple times in business. Michael Jordan got cut from his high school team and reminded the coach in his Hall of Fame speech. These are just a few examples some of the most successful people on earth who failed, felt worthless and had days where they wanted to give up. They didn’t give up, used their failure as motivation and kept working to achieve their goals.
It’s cliche but you truly learn from your mistakes, as hard as they may be. Whether you are trying something in business and failing, learning a hard lesson at school (I almost got kicked out of school) or a relationship breakup you need to see what happened and how you can improve and educate yourself for the next time.
Watch The Secret or practice the Law Of Attraction
People swear by this lifestyle including myself. You can call this Karma or The Law Of Attraction but regardless it is essentially that you will attract what you put out into the world. Being a good person, being positive and manifesting your goals is what the world is attracted to.
Yes, there will always be bumps in the road but I truly believe in this and it is a GAME CHANGER if you believe in it and practice it. Think about what you are attracted to, it is normally happy smiling people that attract others and what advertisers use to sell products. 95% of commercials are people smiling and happy “attracting” you to that product.
Are you eating enough balanced meals, getting enough sleep, getting all your vitamins and nutrients, how are your stress levels? I am not a diet pusher at all but you are what you eat so make sure you are getting enough energy from your food. If you are eating processed foods over and over, think of that as putting sugar in your gas tank. Your body needs energy and nutrients of which you get from what you are eating. Sleep is extremely important as well so try to fit that into your schedule where you can. Work and your life is important but so is resting your body and taking your foot off the pedal for a little so you don’t run yourself into the ground.
Listen to this
I have listened to this 100x… it will get you going if nothing else does.
Create a goal and accomplish it.
Some people’s reason for being in a funk is feeling stagnant, such as that feeling where tomorrow is going to be the same as the next day and a month from now and nothing is going to change. IT IS TIME FOR YOU TO MAKE THAT CHANGE!
Not much feels better than working towards a goal and achieving it. It doesn’t have to be starting a business or something crazy… plan a trip, get tickets to an event or create an athletic goal so you have something to look forward to. Maybe it is taking a day off to get out of town for a 3-day weekend; sign-up for a marathon and have something to train for; start saving $50 each week and reading dog books so you can buy a puppy; start working on an exit plan to quit your job or an unhealthy relationship; or actually use your vacation days and buy a $500 flight to Bali.
Whatever you do, go do something… the only thing stopping you right now is you. Take hold of your life and put just one goal or more down on paper to have something to accomplish and look forward to. You can even take this one step further and make a bucket list to start crossing things off the list!
Create a vision board
This takes manifesting your goals a step further and even combines The Secret as you are manifesting your own destiny and goals that you will achieve by writing things down. Invite the friends over with some wine for a girls night, do this as a date night or just do it yourself. This is a great way to provide yourself motivation, set out your goals and start to manifest your amazing future.
Treat your mind like a battery
Each day you are at 100% in brain capacity and some things take more out of it than others… does driving an hour to work take out 10%? Does your boss take out 20%? Does some meaningless work and the same annoyances take out 30%? Does arguing politics take out 10%? Does a poor relationship take out 20%? I can go on but the point being is do you come home at the end of the day with no energy to go workout if you wanted to, be attentive to your children, smile and give energy to your spouse or plan for a life goal? Or do you go home and collapse and not want to do anything but watch TV then go to bed and do it all over again?
Delete social media for a week.
Similar to ideas above, stop procrastinating and living vicariously through someone else’s life and go live your own. I love social media from an entertainment perspective but it can also be awful as we know. Maybe you are checking up on an ex’s life too much, comparing your life to others or just spending way too much damn time procrastinating on social media. People spend an hour to three hours a day on social media and this is time that could be used towards working towards your goals vs. watching other people flaunt theirs.
Stop worrying about everyone else
You know what’s a sure thing? There’s always going to be someone with more money, nicer things, cuter kids or a better life on social media. Wishing you had someone else’s life will drive you insane and won’t help you be happier. You need to be happy with your life, what you are doing and your personal growth. Stop comparing yourself and watching other people on TV or social media live their dreams and go live yours. It may take a bit of effort but put down the remote or your phone and start living. If you are just living your life for a promotion or material things that others have then you will never be happy.
Happiness is also relative, one person is happy living in a rustic old cabin in the woods and another is happy in downtown NYC. The crazy rich person has just as many daily stresses and breakdowns as you do if not more… heck look at the Kardashians, their lives are daily emotion and drama and they have “everything.”
Worry about things only you can control
The same idea of not comparing your life to others applies here. There are a million things that could go wrong every day in your life, you can’t live each second thinking the worst. I do believe in being prepared if something bad could go wrong but don’t let it ruin your day over and over. You could get hit by a car tomorrow, are you going to stress about that every day. The second you stop stressing about things you can’t control whatsoever is when you’ll drop 1/15th of the weight off your shoulders.
Do something for someone else and make them smile.
Think about that feeling of giving a gift for Christmas and how it feels better than receiving one.
Apply that concept to life… the second you give someone else joy or make someone else’s happiness a priority over yours consistently is when the world can change. Furthermore if you help someone less fortunate it will show you how potentially trivial your issues are. If you choose to do charity work there are amazing side effects that happen as well such as networking, maybe a new job opportunity, your resume goes to the top of a pile and you instantly instill trust in your name as a brand. Think of yourself as a brand and the more good you the more world could open up to you.
Do something you love, even if it costs money
If you’re in that bad of a funk spending $200 to get out of it is worth it considering. You’ll make $200 10,000 times or more in your life and if you’re really in that big of a funk spend some of your hard earned cash to get out of it. Buy a gym outfit, hiking shoes or yoga clothes to get back into the swing of things; get a new computer to help your career; buy a flight somewhere; go buy an amazing meal or just do something to remind you of the hard work you have put in and spoil yourself.
Tap into your friends! Who makes you feel like you’re at home, who inspires you, who makes you smile, who wants to go get dinner and catch up, who is successful? Surrounding yourself with positive or successful people can have amazing effects on you especially if it has been other people bringing you down.
Do something nice for your significant other or something positive for your relationship
It’s so crazy we spend 40-60 hours a day working on our jobs, maybe 5-20 hours working on our bodies but when do you truly “work” on your relationship vs. just go through the motions.
Imagine if you just went through the motions at work and you were the CEO and never did anything new or tried to put in a great effort. Or better yet, imagine how much you dislike your boss who doesn’t motivate you, doesn’t try to help you or give you guidance, make you better or inspire you… then why would your significant other be happy if you’re doing the same thing to them… and you might hate your job!
This goes along with deleting social media but take it a step further. Turn off the phone, get away from electronics for an entire weekend or a day and just live. The outdoors can be an amazing revitalization space and can help you re-charge and focus. Writing or drawing could also be its own line item but can fall under here. Writing and drawing can be extremely therapeutic especially if you start writing out your issues and ways to overcome them or just write whatever comes to you mind whether it be a story or poem or anything, just write.
This feeds off other ideas in this article but takes it a little further. While you should volunteer for selfless reasons of course… a selfish reason to volunteer is you find out quickly how lucky and blessed your life is. There are people out there with absolutely nothing, people who have a family history of drugs for years where kids have the smallest of chances to break it, people from abusive histories, people without a meal to eat or a jacket to stay warm. Yet, here we are stressing about or cell service, wishing you could have designer things, being upset with service at a restaurant, a long line at Starbucks or any of the other trivial stresses we have that really don’t matter at the end of the day.
Go for a run or hike
Taking time to unplug completely from reading your phone, listen to some music and daydream is my favorite therapy as well as my best time for brainstorming.
Meditate or have a recharge nap
There’s some amazing theories on meditation and how quick naps to help recharge you to take on more of your day. Taking 10-20 minutes to turn away from phone, close your eyes and just tune the world out, or think/plan things you’d like to do can revitalize the rest of your day… there’s a reason Google’s offices have nap pods…
Quit your job or press reset
I wish I could tell you that making money is not important… it is… but at some point you need to realize money is not everything and there will always be someone with more. It is maybe the toughest struggle in life to want to grow your empire but also not take your amazing life for granted. Ask yourself what is more important… Making $100,000 at a some potentially boring job you hate and drive 1-2 hours to each day… or make $50,000 doing something you enjoy, getting 2 hours of driving back and gaining 2 hours a day of your mental happiness and lack of stress back?
Buy experiences not things
This is cliche but it is so true as people max out their spending or go into debt on things. You could maybe afford a Range Rover at $800 a month vs. a $300 vehicle payment… but over 3 months that is a 5-day all inclusive trip to Mexico for two! People spend $100-300 all the time on meals or thousands on bottle service at a club… it just comes down to priorities.
If you have a dog, take your dog to the dog park and watch their enjoyment from the smallest of things
I guess you could do the same if you have a kid :). This aligns with a lot of the other points but seeing your dog or child run around and be happy from the smallest things or be goofy can’t help but bring you happiness.
Cut out toxic people or get out of a toxic relationship
Just like surrounding yourself with positive or successful people can help the opposite is that negative or toxic people can bring you down or even worse. It can be as simple as unfollowing someone on Facebook, distance yourself from someone who brings everyone down, or stop hanging out with the person doing drugs every weekend that you used to go out with until all hours of the night.
Remind yourself how amazing are, how much you have accomplished in the past or just great memories you have had with friends and family.
Send loving text to family member or good friend
Maybe you haven’t talked to them in a while and you get on the phone. It’s amazing how much opening up to someone or telling them you love or miss them can feel and spark a conversation or bring out some truly great emotions.
Do not go get blackout drunk
It’s a great idea at the time and that night is fun but the next mornings anxiety and depression from the alcohol quickly eliminates that. If you’re old it ruins also ruins 1-4 days from you getting something done on your list due to being hungover and feeling less than inspired.