Have you ever wondered how to get the most out of life whilst living with depression? This can be a rewarding and invigorating search in itself. However, the problem that many people with depression face is knowing what exactly “the most” means. This leaves many people dissatisfied, feeling like they could, and should, be doing more. While it may seem impossible to find joy in the most mundane of tasks when you have depression, there are ways to do so. Here are 10 ways to find joy in the most mundane of tasks for people with depression:
1. Make a list of things you love about yourself and your life
It's easy to get caught up in negative thoughts when you're feeling depressed. You might start believing that there's no point in trying anymore because nothing will ever change—or that there's something wrong with you because other people seem to be having an easier time than you are.
But here's the thing, those negative thoughts don't just come out of nowhere. They're often based on things we've told ourselves over and over again, until they sound like the truth (even though they aren't). And when we hear these kinds of negative messages enough times, it can become difficult for us to remember that they aren't true! But if we remind ourselves regularly about all the things we love about ourselves and our lives, then those positive messages can get through more easily than the negative ones.
Making a list of things we love about ourselves and our lives is one way we can do this—and it's also something that helps us remember those positive messages even when we're not feeling loved. This list will serve as a reminder that we are loved, important, and valued not by other people but by ourselves.
2. Make a list of all the things you have to be thankful for
Gratitude helps us accept what we have, instead of focusing on what we don't have. When we're grateful for what we do have, it helps us focus on the things that are going well in our lives rather than dwelling on what's missing or going wrong. This can help us move forward in our lives instead of feeling stuck or overwhelmed by negative feelings or thoughts about what could be better or worse.
In addition to that, gratitude helps us see beauty and positivity in situations that might otherwise seem bleak or disappointing. When we focus on what we do have instead of focusing on what's missing from our lives or focusing on negative situations that have occurred in the past (or present), it makes it easier for us to see the beauty around us and appreciate the positive aspects of our lives—even if those things aren't big life-changing events like winning millions of dollars at lottery scratch-offs!
3. Do something for someone else
It's a simple concept, but it's one that can be difficult to implement. When you're feeling depressed, it's hard to see anything positive happening around you. It's easy to feel like nothing is going right and everything is falling apart. But sometimes, even if only for just a moment, doing something nice for someone else can make all the difference in the world.
If you're feeling low or anxious, try this, start by thinking about a friend or family member who has helped you out in some way recently. Maybe they gave you a loan when you needed money, or they drove you somewhere when you didn't have transportation available. Think about how much it would mean to them if they knew that their kindness had made an impact on your life and then act on that knowledge! Send them flowers, write them a letter thanking them for their support, or offer to babysit their kids so they can go out and have some fun without having to worry about child care needs being met while they're away from home (or any other type of support). By reaching out and helping others out, you are focusing on other people’s feelings, not on yours.
4. Get out of the house and go somewhere new
It can be hard to get up and go, but it's worth it. For many people, staying at home is a comfort zone. It's safe, familiar, and easy. But for people with depression, staying at home can make them feel even worse about themselves and their situation. By getting out of the house, you'll be able to take advantage of the therapeutic benefits that come with being active in nature and socializing with others.
Moreover, getting out of the house may help you to overcome feelings of isolation and loneliness that are common among those who suffer from depression. You will also have an opportunity to engage in activities that help you feel productive again while enjoying time spent outdoors or with friends or family members who care about you enough to want you around them regardless of how well (or poorly) they themselves are doing at any given moment in time.
5. Don't focus on your past mistakes
Focusing on your past mistakes can be a dangerous thing. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking back, and feeling bad about what you did or didn't do. However, this is usually a recipe for more depression.
Instead, try focusing on the present. If you find yourself thinking about things that happened in the past, try to redirect your attention to what you're doing right now. For example, if you're washing dishes and find yourself remembering an argument with someone from long ago, try to focus on how the water feels against your hands and the smell of the soap instead of what happened during that fight.
It might seem like a small thing—just paying attention to one thing instead of another—but it's actually a big deal when it comes to combating depression because it helps you feel like you have control over your moods instead of letting them control you.
6. Take baby steps toward your goals
Baby steps are important for people with depression who often feel overwhelmed and stuck.
This is because first, it's an easy way to get started on something that you might have been putting off for months or years. When you're depressed, it can feel impossible to get started on anything, but when you break down what you want to do into small steps, it feels like you're making progress toward your goal—and that can be incredibly motivating.
Second, taking baby steps toward your goals is a great way to build up your confidence and self-esteem. As you complete each step, you'll start feeling better about yourself and more confident that you can achieve what you set out to do.
Thirdly and maybe most importantly taking baby steps toward your goals gives you a sense of accomplishment every day. You'll have an opportunity every day to feel good about yourself by crossing one thing off your list!
7. Set boundaries for yourself and others
It's a common misconception that setting boundaries is about saying no to things, or being rude to people. But it's actually the opposite: setting boundaries is about saying yes to yourself, and learning how to say no in a way that's gentle and kind.
Setting boundaries is about saying yes to your needs, so you can take care of yourself when you need it most—and that means saying yes to yourself even when you don't feel like it. It means being kind enough to yourself that you allow yourself the freedom and space to be who you are without guilt or shame.
Setting boundaries is also a way of setting limits on what other people can do in your life—and this can be incredibly empowering! When you set boundaries with others, they have less power over what happens between the two of you. This gives YOU more control over your life, which in turn will make you feel more confident, happy, and at peace with yourself.
8. Don't compare yourself to others
When you're depressed, it can be easy to feel like everyone else has it together and that you don't. But the truth is that we all have our own struggles and challenges and we're just not always aware of them until we're put in someone else's shoes for a minute or two.
Worst is that when you compare yourself to others, you might start feeling sorry for yourself and that can lead to self-pity, which isn't exactly a fun place to be! It's also important to remember that no matter how hard someone works at something or how much they achieve, there will always be something else they're trying to accomplish or another goal they have their eye on.
So, why not give yourself some credit today? Remind yourself that even if your goals seem small compared with someone else's, they are still yours and worth pursuing!
9. Don't skip meals if possible
When we're hungry, our body releases stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones can make it hard to concentrate, and they can even make us feel more depressed than usual.
In addition to that, when you skip meals, you're also missing out on the energy boost that comes from eating. That energy can help you stay focused on what needs to get done—even if the task feels tedious or boring—and it can help you keep going even when you feel like giving up.
So, if skipping meals is a habit for you, try eating something small at least once a day (like an apple or some nuts). This will help your body stay balanced and let you focus on getting through whatever task is in front of you.
10. Do something creative
Creative expression can help you connect with others. People who struggle with depression often experience feeling isolated from their peers and family members. They may not want to talk about their feelings or share their thoughts because they don't want people to see them as weak or inadequate.
But when you create something new — whether it's writing a poem or drawing a picture — there's no hiding behind any masks or facades. All that matters is what comes out on paper (or canvas). This can help you connect with others in ways that might otherwise be impossible while also helping you feel more confident in your own skin.
So if you're feeling depressed but don't know what to do about it, consider picking up an art or writing project. You'll use your creativity while also getting some much-needed self-expression out of your system!
In the end, for anyone with depression the most important thing is trying their best to get through the day. If that means dropping everything that might make a simple task into an emotionally draining ordeal and taking a break, then don't beat yourself up about it. Do what you need to do to remind yourself that you're still capable of being happy. Knowing that you had a good day, no matter how small and unimpressive it may seem in the moment, can carry over into tomorrow.
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