Our natural instincts make it so much easier to step away and stay away when we start to feel depressed. Those instincts seem to override that you have friends and family that you trust. But you do, and you can and should reach out to them. Making sure you get the support you need is huge because, when depressed or down, it becomes increasingly more challenging to maintain perspective. From there, it also gets harder and harder to reach out for help and support.
The best thing you can do? Avoid it! Kick those natural reactions to the curb! Reach out to someone right away before it feels to totally overwhelming and make sure you keep up with your social obligations even if you don't feel like it.
Little Voices Can be Jerks
Your mind is going to try to convince you to stay home, that you'll be a burden or a bother to your loved ones and in general, put a negative spin on pretty much everything. That's the depression talking and let's be honest, depression, and the little voices in our heads are jerks.
Thinking positive may not be easy for you but it is how you break the cycle. To think positive, step outside the box (or your head) and try to decide what you would be saying to friend of yours who was coming to you with the same issue. We're always so much less hard on others than we are on ourselves. Pretending you aren't the one with the problem long enough to do this could help you feel more compassionately and move through the cycle faster. That little voice in your head may try to convince you otherwise, but no one is perfect. Why should you expect yourself to be?
Taking care to take care of yourself is a big factor in fighting off depression. A balanced, healthy diet coupled with exercise and other activity is no joke when it comes to wellness but there are other things you can do.
Get sunlight: Sunlight is a natural way to fight stress. It also boosts serotonin which, as you may or may not know, regulates things like appetite, memory, sleep and you guessed it - mood.
Get Sleep: Sleep can be an elusive dream when you are already feeling depressed but you can make sure to get plenty of it before depression hits which will help fight it off in the future. Sleep is pretty much a golden ticket. It has plenty of health benefits (like a longer life span, improving memory, helping maintain a healthy weight and lowering stress) but also helps spur creativity and indeed, does help you steer clear of depression.
Get Meaningfulness: Meaningfulness is a beautiful thing. You might know some parents experiencing it right now. It's about doing something you feel is greater than yourself. You shouldn't wait to get on board with some meaningful activity until you already feel glum, but it may provide you with instant gratification if you need it. Pick anything from volunteering at a soup kitchen to researching Panda bears. It doesn't matter what it means to the rest of the world, it matters what it means to you. If it matters, it makes you feel like you're contributing to something great, and that meaningfulness will help you avoid depression going forward.
Get Experience: Experiences are a truly amazing way to ramp up the general quality of your life. What would you like to experience? This can be anything from the day you tried Go-Karts, or test drove your favorite car, to the time you took a dance class or wen to the zoo. The experience itself is up to you. Only you know what's going to resonate with you. And you should start doing those things ASAP. They'll make you happy now and provide you with some really great things to think about when you do start to feel bad. How could you not smile when you're thinking about the time you held a baby monkey or mastered the Samba?
Get over it! That's the best part really. Getting over it. And you will. I believe in you.