6 Ways to Pull Yourself Out of Depression

When I talk about depression, I’m not talking about the 7% of the U.S. population that is currently diagnosed with depression.

I’m talking about “the blues”, the low points found in the common human experience. You know, the valley experiences, the opposite of the mountaintop experiences in which you feel elated, excited, and stoked to be alive!

In depression, you want to pull the cover over your head and stay in bed. All day. Don’t you want to get back to living on the tops of mountains? The trouble is: a lot of us have gotten used to walking through these shadowed valleys while singing the blues. The darkness has become our friend. When did that happen? When did sorrow become valued over joy? When did you decide to park in the valley and just exist, instead of fully embracing life? I always say,

“Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.”

Yes, be thankful for the insight and maturity that you’ve gained during your blues in the valley. But if this period of blues has gone on long enough, and you’re ready to kick darkness in the teeth and say, “I’m here to clim! Valley of darkness, get out of here!” If that’s where you’re at today, here are…

6 Ways to Pull Yourself Out of Depression:

Serve Someone Who Needs You:

Don’t climb so far inside of yourself that you can’t get out. Get out of your own head. Get out of your own emotions. There’s nothing like finding someone who has a need and meeting that need to help you get perspective on life.

Be Nice to Yourself:

I know this one isn’t easy. We’re so hard on ourselves. Start paying attention to the words, phrases, thoughts bouncing around in your head: Are they kind or unkind? Most of us have hardly anything good to think or say about ourselves. Stop it. Start being nice to yourself. Start identifying those lies and counter them with the truth. What does God say about you? What does God think about you? His thoughts are nothing but loving-kindness toward you. Practice thinking those thoughts. Be nice to yourself.

Drink a Beer, but Not 7:

Moderation. Relax. Grab a Dogfish Head or a glass of pinot noir. Let your hair down. Get a massage. Invest in something that relaxes you, makes you stop, take a deep breath and enjoy the one and only life that was given to you.

Stop Working So Freaking Hard:

See number three. Also remember: “All work and no play makes Jack (and Jill) a dull boy (or girl).”

Change Your Scenery, Literally:

I don’t mean go on some big buck vacation, although that would be nice. What I mean is this: start looking around your life and recognizing ruts. You know, those well-worn pathways that you just, keep plodding along. Where do you always go? What do you do every day? Are you sick enough to be sick of them at this point? Won’t change do you some good? Change your scenery today. Go someplace new. Even though it feels scary, do it.

Repeat After Me:

“I’ve not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of sound mind”.

Then act like it.

What has helped you beat depression?.

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21 Responses

  1. Just admitting to myself and some times someone else (most times my husband bless his heart!) that I am “depressed” or having a low spot help me to get out of my head.

  2. Maybe this works for people who are going through a rough patch but this is definitely not a good list for people who are actually clinically depressed.

  3. I started eating healthier. I notice when I slip on my diet, I start to get gloomy again. I know I was to a point I should’ve gotten help for 2 years, but was too stubborn. As I started learning about better nutrition and practicing it, I started noticing great results.

  4. Thanks for the Bible verse! I am definitely memorizing that one for times I feel down or when others feel down! Love your blog and God bless!

  5. When I am feeling down and thoughts of ending everything to escape my state of discontent. When I was younger I would convince myself that one day there would be something positive in my life, a reason to live, Faith. Faith that one day life would be Better. I guess it didn’t help me lift my depression, more helped me carry on. Now that my life is better, I have a wonderful husband and two amazing children, I still find myself feeling that way a lot, which makes me feel worse cause I feel I have no reason. But when I get there now I think of how far I’ve come And how ridiculous and selfish it would be to end it now. So I focus on my kids and try to do something fun with them or just hold them close and feel grateful for them. That will usually pull me out for a little while, but i never escape the weight of it on my soul.
    Just think of what’s positive in your life and let it carry you through and if there isn’t anything right now, have faith that one day you will have a reason to live for. 🙂 at least it worked for me.

  6. Cry. Just let it out. Even if you don’t why you are crying, which is usually the case. Just cry. It always helps me.

  7. Going thru a depression I haven’t felt in five years. Want to sleep & eat and not be around anyone. Over five years ago, I went to a councellor and he told me if you are tired of the way things are going, Make A Change. Just one and that will lead to others. I did just that and my whole life changed. I had never been as a peace with myself. I am trying to make a change now. I know it is what I have to do. Just don’t know what to do.

  8. You were/are right: prescribing wine or beer (both depressants) to someone who is feeling depressed is a terrible idea.

    1. Hey marchbreak, I actually have to disagree with you on this one. I do agree that alcohol is not a good advice for anyone who’s not feeling well emotionally. However the not does say “drink a beer. Not 7” and expresses the uses of alcohol for recreation and also moderation on its consumption. Maybe it doesn’t translate as it should but I don’t see it as a way to consume more alcohol.

  9. I suffer from depression and I have no idea how on earth this can help because it certainly doesn’t. If anything it makes me angry to read it because those seem like the kind of things that people who do not understand who don’t see it as what it is think. I am currently going through my bad days and it has hit really hard this time, here I am thinking this could help me only to anger me, well at least my sadness has moved to anger and it will be like that until I meet my friend. The author just does not know a thing.

  10. If you don’t mean actual depression, then don’t use the actual word “depression”. You are contributing to the misunderstanding of mental illness. Too many times people who are clinically depressed receive cliche advice from people who say “oh I get depressed sometimes too”, when those people have no clue what depression really is. By using the word “the blues” when you mean “the blues”, you would help to clarify the discussion; instead, by misusing the word “depression”, you are muddying it further. It’s a question of integrity.

  11. This is an awful list and an awful post. More than anything else, I hate when people call depression “the blues.” All this does is diminish a very serious issue. Depression is not the same as having a bad day or a bad week…

  12. For anyone desperately looking for advice to help with depression comes across this rubbish

  13. Being a psych nurse helping others , exercise yoga meditation martial arts belly dancing and caring for my animals …. also bringing awareness to the fact that Depression is an actual illness and not just a mood that one can ‘snap out of ‘

  14. When a person loses a spouse, has several health issues, feels rejected and unloved, doesn’t want to do anything or go anywhere, and feels so alone, I know it’s more than the blues. The problem is what to do. It becomes so hard to have positive thoughts instead of negative. The terrible thing about it, no one can understand unless you’ve been there. We don’t lose hope. I go to the Bible and the Psalms; so many written by David when Saul was trying to kill him speaks to depression, also Elijah when he wanted to die. Depression is not something new, and we will get through this.

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