107342.jpgFrom time to time, we all get a little down, maybe even a little depressed. Maybe we are feeling overwhelmed, or feel bad because we’re not doing well with our goals. There are many reasons for feeling down, and I’m not qualified to discuss all of them, their implications, or clinical treatment.

Feeling a little depressed can interfere with achieving our goals. We know we should be doing something, but we just don’t feel like doing anything. This can last for a long time if you don’t head it off as soon as possible and take action.

Here are some of the things that work best for me:

Make a list:
Sometimes we are depressed simply because we are overwhelmed with all the things we have to do that we haven’t gotten around to doing. So all the “stuff” that’s in our head can overwhelm us. Start simply by picking up a piece of paper and a pen, and making a list of the most pressing things you have to do. Sometimes it’s work stuff, sometimes it’s stuff around the house that’s bothering us, sometimes it’s goal tasks, or a combination of these and more. Simply making a list can be a big relief — you’re getting things under control. You can see, right in front of you, what you need to do, and that alone can pick up your mood.

List what you love about yourself:
When you make a list of the things that you’re proud of, you’ll be able to see how great you really are and whenever you’re down in the dumps, you can remind yourself that life isn’t all that bad.Do the same thing with short term and long term goals. Tell yourself that you will achieve them. Think of some good ways you can make progress towards them.Remind yourself of everything you’ve accomplished over the years. Give yourself a pat on the back for each accomplishment.

Take action:
You’ve made a list, and you still feel overwhelmed? Well, get started on the first thing you need to do. Is it a big task? Break it down and just do the smallest task, something just to get you started. Once you get started, once you get into action, you’ll feel better. Trust me. You might still feel overwhelmed, but at least you’re doing something. And once you start doing something, you’ve got momentum, and that feels much better than lying around feeling sorry for yourself.

Focus on the positives:
When life is a challenge, it can seem as though nothing is going right. Overgeneralizing is something people do often because they look at the world through negative lenses.The truth is that there are still a lot of great things about your life. 
If you have a roof over your head and food to eat today, you are doing much better than many people in the world. If you have friends and family members who care about you, that’s something to be thankful for right now.

I know, you might not be in the mood for exercise. But just do it! Taking a walk, going for a run, going to the gym, whatever it is you do for exercise — get out and do it now! You don’t need to do a real hard workout, but the simple act of exercise can lift your mood immediately. Just do it!

Shower and groom yourself:
Simply showering, and feeling clean, can do wonders for your mood. Brush your teeth, comb your hair, shave, do whatever it is that you need to do to feel clean and good about yourself. Instant pick me up!

Get out of the house and do something:
Sometimes, if you stay home lying around, feeling depressed, just getting out (after showering and grooming) will change your mood. Staying home all the time can really get you down, and you may not realize this until you go out and do something. 

Play some lively music:
Whichever music it is, crank it up, and let yourself move to the beat. 

Talk about it:
Got a significant other, best friend, family member, co-worker you can talk to? Bend their ear. That’s what they’re their for. Getting things off your chest makes a big difference, and can be a huge lift. Journal about it if you have no one to talk to. It can also help you work out the reasons you’re feeling down.

Journal about the good things in your life:
Journaling has a positive effect on your physical and mental well-being.When you journal about all of the great things in your life, you will start to remember many more of them. As you start to gather all of the positives in your life, you may just start to feel better about things because you will remember your life is not so bad.
It’s best to journal a little each day. That way you can go back and look at all of the great things that have happened in your life.

Live moment to moment. Let’s be thankful for what we have, for what we have accomplished and for being alive.