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Motivating Yourself When You Are Depressed

Updated on September 11, 2016
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Admit That You Are Feeling Down

Look through your posts on blogs and social networking sites. Do many or all of them contain statements of being sad or feeling down?

Are many of them negative thoughts, sarcastic comments and biting statements to others?
This may be an indicator you are feeling down.

Some questions to answer:

  • Do you know that you feel down?
  • Do you feel sad, angry, hurt, or alone?
  • Have others mentioned that you seem down or depressed or angry?
  • Have friends and family members asked repeatedly if everything is alright or if everything is okay?

If you have determined that you are depressed, that is fine. Now you can work on getting better. The first part towards getting well is to know that you are not well. Don't be ashamed or afraid. Loads of people have felt the same as you have before. You can get past this feeling. Admitting that there is a problem is the gateway to getting better.

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Get Help NOW if You Want to Harm Yourself or Others

If you are reading this and considering harming yourself or others, stop reading my post. Get help now. There are many places to call. Look up Crisis Hotline in your area and phone them. Someone there can help you with what you are going through.

The Suicide and Crisis Hotline is an excellent resource. They offer local assistance and can really get you the help that you need quickly.

Please know that you are very valuable as a person.

You have worth. The gifts that you have to use for yourself and share with others if you decide to are unique and worthy. Some of the most gifted and talented people I personally know are among the most amazing friends. The sad thing is that they believe their worth as an artist of any kind is lacking. Don't give up on yourself!

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Make a Happy List

Make a list of things that make you genuinely happy. Don't name specific people as reasons to be happy. List the things that you do, see, or feel that make you happy.

Are there certain movies that you like to see that make you feel happy? Certain books, poems, passages in books that make you feel happy? Steer towards those, and avoid viewing, seeing, listening to, or experiencing things that deepen your feelings of woe.

I adore looking at works by certain artists, and I have saved a file to my desktop. When I am feeling down, I change my screensaver to these images, and some positive quotes mixed in. It makes me feel better and calmer.

Make a list of things that you would like to do, and set a timeline to do them. When I was in the depths of a depression, I decided that I wanted to go back to Paris. During the time I was planning the trip, creating the budget and getting it organized, I could feel the depression slipping away because I now had something to look forward to and plan for. Depression can consume us if we allow it, but if we take control back, we can beat depression. Make a short term, medium term and long term goal for yourself. Tell me in the comments what it is if you want someone to hold you to your progress.

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The Do-Able List....You Might Need This

If you are especially down, even simple lists can seem overwhelming. I once made what a friend called a "Do-Able" List. What exactly is that? It is a list of things that you know you can do. Want to see my original Do-Able list? Here it is,complete with original typos:

  1. Get out of bed.
  2. Use restroom
  3. Brush teeth
  4. Drink water
  5. Get dressed
  6. Eat something
  7. Stand outside for a moment
  8. Comb hair
  9. Stay out of bed for at least 3 hours


That was my original list. For a few days, it was all I could manage to do. I did manage to get a shower after a few days, but even that was a challenge. Soon, the deep black and grey feeling I was experienced began to dissipate. I began to feel slightly better and slightly better. I began to make different lists, not the do-able list. If you are very sad, the do-able list lets you check things off and feel a small sense of accomplishment.

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Share Your Feelings With Others About Your Depression

Telling others that you are sad is good. It allows them to let you know that you are loved and cared for, and it lets you have people who care for you look out for you. Let them know what you are sad or depressed about. They may have insight that can help you to start feeling better.

If you don't feel that you are getting help and support from your friends and family, don't be afraid to reach out to a professional for help. They are trained to help people get through the rough patches in their lives.

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Feeling Better Can Be a Simple Decision

A long time ago, I went through a very bad break up. I was stripped of my self esteem. I was so deeply saddened. All I could think about every moment was the break up, and I seemed to be stuck in a rut. Thankfully, I had dear friends who told me that I sounded like a broken record.

After one friend told me how she had logged in precious hours of listening to me, she said words that would forever change me. "Decide to be better. You've made the decision to wallow in self pity. Now decide to be better."

I decided after I got off the phone that in the next week, I would go for a swim, take a walk, get a shower, and go eat out in a restaurant. When I went to bed that night, I decided that tomorrow was going to be less bad than today was. You know what? When tomorrow came, it already was better, because I decided it was better.

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Keep a Gratitude Journal

In our darkest times, it can be hard to find things to be grateful about. I was determined to find 10 things minimum every day that I could be thankful for.

My first list was this:

  1. I'm happy and grateful I had the relationship experience with X. Without it, I would not have had the good times we shared.
  2. I am grateful that the weather was so pretty today. The cold and rain were cleansing to me.
  3. I am grateful that I have a cold. It forces me to take time for myself.
  4. I am grateful that I walked around the block one time today. It got me out of the house.
  5. I am grateful that I have friends who do love and cherish me.
  6. I am grateful that I have a place to sleep at night.
  7. I am grateful that I am able to be free to my schedule, without worrying of the scheduling of someone else.
  8. I am grateful that I am feeling sadness at the relationship ending. It means I am grieving the end of something that was real.
  9. I am grateful that I am able to see and experience beauty.
  10. I am grateful that I have so many things to be grateful for.

It was hard, the first few times that I wrote in that journal. I surely did not FEEL grateful, but over time, I began to look at the end of the day, writing in that book as a reward for the day.

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  • BestCrispAir profile image
    Author

    Dixie 4 years ago from Texas

    Thank you all for the wonderful comments. I was in a deep and dark place, but with help and a lot of good helpful tips, I was able to make it past. It was a lot of hard work, but I am so grateful for coming through the experience whole. I am glad that so many of you have found the article to be good! Thanks for all of the positive ratings and comments!

  • JakeFrost profile image

    Jake Frost 4 years ago from London, United Kingdom

    Very good hub, lots of clear information and some very good tips, I have a few friends suffering from depression and will be definitely sending them this way. Great hub!

  • LucyLiu12 profile image

    LucyLiu12 4 years ago from Boise, Idaho

    Excellent, achievable advice. I've experience these issues - wish I had read your advice earlier!

  • Wendell Patterson profile image

    Wendell Patterson 4 years ago from Alabama

    Thank your hubs as been very helpful. I have a friend that suffers from depression and this is great advice for me to share with her when she is feeling extremely depressed.

  • innerspin profile image

    innerspin 4 years ago from uk

    All very good points there, BestCrispAir. I'm glad you chose to challenge the way you thought about things. It takes effort, but the results are so worthwhile. Well done.

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