Empower Yourself When You’re Down

Whether you experience seasonal depression in the fall and winter due to gray days or cope with depressive thoughts every day, bad days can feel overwhelming. Many people struggle with dealing with these feelings and feel they are helpless. Today I’d like to discuss concrete actions you can do to make bad days better.

After my surgery in April, I was confined to my home for most of the last two months. Now I can go to the local grocery store or several small stores close to my home. I am restricted in driving until I get the neck brace off in a few weeks. As I told my sister on the phone a few days ago, I feel out of sorts and antsy half the time. I’m bored with computers and television. I want to go somewhere and be with people. So I made a plan to help with my recovery and support my happiness. I’m going to the store several times a week and walking the store. After my driving restrictions are lifted, I will be scheduling activities out of my home weekly.

Keeping good contact with friends and family is really essential for your mental health. Try to arrange to eat dinner nightly with your family. Make an appointment for lunch with a friend. Switch off the TV and play a game with your kids, spouse, or friends. Visit a family member or friend who needs support right now. Volunteer at church, school, or a community organization.

Here are a few other tips to help you when you feel down. 

Be Active With Treatment 

If you are just going through a bad time and feel stressed and have the blues, understand what is happening. Stay connected with family and friends. Talk about it with someone. If you have a lot of stress in your life, find ways to reduce it, such as learning a few time-management techniques. Introduce regular exercise and time for yourself. These are positive changes. Taking control of your time in this way can effectively reduce stress. If you have feelings of anxiety along with your stress, breathing techniques can help. Try this breathing exercise for stress.

If your depression is a daily battle, face up to the issue and be more active in your treatment. Seeking therapy or even signing up for inpatient treatment for depression can be a huge step forward and help you take control of your life while also getting the best help possible. However, remember that all treatment is a journey, so be patient with the process and show willingness for it to help you.

Do Not Let It Define You

People who are depressed often consider themselves a depressed person rather than a person with depression. While this may seem like no more than mere semantics, it can alter how you view yourself. Considering yourself as the former can even lead to problematic behavior where you use your depression as an excuse, yet recognizing that you are someone where depression is a facet of you can alter your perspective and help you approach your life with a more positive attitude. Yes, you have depression, but this is not the only thing that makes you you.

Be Physically Active 

One major issue that sad people encounter is the lack of motivation to do things. Being active is not only great for your physical health and fitness, but research shows it can also improve your mental wellbeing . Being active can cause chemical changes in your brain which can help to positively change your mood. Set physical goals and challenges. Don’t lock yourself in a gym. It’s best to find activities you enjoy and make them a part of your life. Swimming, hiking, gardening, running, playing tennis, and countless other activities can help you heal. You can celebrate your progress and make new goals to maintain momentum for a more positive future. 

Learn New Skills 

Research shows that learning new skills can also improve your mental wellbeing by boosting self-confidence and raising self-esteem, helping you to build a sense of purpose, and helping you to connect with others. There are lots of different ways to bring learning into your life.

Try new hobbies that challenge you, such as writing a blog, taking up a new sport or learning to paint. Expand your cooking skills with a cooking class. Try a DIY project like painting a room, fixing a bike, or working on your car. Need more information on a home improvement skill? Sign up for a class on laying tile, fixing your toilet, or another basic home maintenance skill.

Feel Comfortable Talking About Depression

Despite all the progress made in recent years, there is still a stigma surrounding mental health struggles. But talking about depression with friends, family, and people at work can be a positive experience that benefits everyone. The more comfortable you are talking about your struggles, the easier it will be for others to understand. This can be a huge help if you are struggling at work or have ghosted friends and family recently. While it doesn’t always excuse your behavior, it can provide context and people can speak to you about it fairly.


Empowering yourself and knowing what you’re capable of can remind you that you can win. Take responsibility for your actions, make a plan, and reach goals. Keep busy with family and friends. Make time for yourself and feed your soul. I’m wishing you bright days ahead.

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I was raised in Tennessee but have lived in Florida for many years. Love my small home in the Tampa Bay area and its developing garden. My decorating style is eclectic - some vintage, some cottage, all with a modern flair. Pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Spent many years in social services but am happily retired.

3 thoughts to “Empower Yourself When You’re Down”

  1. So sorry you have been feeling out of sorts. I hope when you can drive again you get some of that freedom back and feel better.
    Fantastic advice. When I am feeling down I have always found getting up and doing something active helps instead of just sitting around moping.

I love to make new friends and get to know you.

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