I've been going back and forth trying to decide if I wanted to write this post and decided on posting it in the hopes that maybe it can help someone.
Those close to me are aware that I struggle with depression. It's more of a chronic thing with me rather than situational, so it's not something that really will ever go away. That being said, I want ME to be in control, not the depression. Sometimes it's more work than others. I put together this list of things that have been helpful to me.
Go Out-If you're sitting at home doing nothing it's far easier to get into negative thought patterns that go in circles and can be consuming than it is if you're out and about.
Exercise- As loathe as I am to admit this, I do feel better mood-wise if I've been more active. I love going out on my bike, so I can kill two birds with one stone by going out AND exercising.
Sleep- It seems a bit cruel that one of the symptoms of depression can be insomnia, because a good nights sleep can really put a new perspective on things! Be careful with this though, too much sleep isn't a good thing either.
Therapy- Finding a good therapist can oftentimes be incredibly frustrating, but if you are able to find one that you click with I think it can be very beneficial. It's not easy, and if you don't want it to work, it won't.
Medication- I don't ever think medication is 100% effective by itself, but if you can find something that works for you I think it can be an invaluable tool to feeling better about life.
Use a Lightbox- Seasonal depression (Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD) hits a lot of people. It's especially hard here when even the non rainy days are often rather gray and gloomy. There are several options available. I use this little guy:
If you feel like you suffer from the "wintertime blues" I HIGHLY recommend looking into one of these. I use mine throughout the year, depending on the weather (sometimes I swear we go weeks and weeks without ever seeing blue skies) but I know a few people that just use them in the winter time when the days are shorter.
These are just some of the tips that work for me. I'd love to hear what others have to add to this list.