10 Best Daily Routine Activities For Depression That You Must Try
“Depending on what they are, our habits will either make us or break us.” – Sean Covey
I wish I had this quote to follow when I was recovering from depression. The value of following a daily routine is precious and you won’t know how effective daily routines are until you try. Speaking from experience, I can say that practicing a healthy routine can make a huge difference to your recovery from depression.
Depression can (and has) made it impossible for many to get out of bed or find the motivation to start the day. However, having a healthy daily routine can make things infinitely easier. Even when you feel like you’re being sucked into a void of darkness, following and practicing your daily habits can help you get out.
When you’re struggling with depression, every minute thing becomes harder and the symptoms leave you feeling unloved, unworthy, and alone.
Did you know that almost 5% of adults struggle with depression? So no matter how much depression makes you feel alone, remember, you’re NOT alone.
With professional intervention, therapy, medications, or a combination of talk therapy and medication, treating and recovering from depression is possible. But these treatments take time to work so what can you do in the meantime to keep your symptoms of depression away?
Well, routine! Sticking to a healthy daily routine can help you overcome depression. Here are the 10 best daily routine activities to help overcome and keep depression at bay.
Daily Routine For Depression: Things You Must Try
1.Your Alarm Clock Is Your Best Buddy
The connection between sleep and mental health is important to remember. Sleep deprivation has been linked to an increased risk of depression. Even if your sleep pattern is irregular, it can increase the chance of depression. The quality as well as the amount of sleep we get matters so make your alarm clock your best buddy!
Try to wake up and sleep at the same time every day. Having a regular sleep schedule can help you overcome the symptoms of depression. Set an alarm and commit to a time. After all, if you snooze, you lose.
2.What You Eat Matters A Lot!
Again, what you eat also matters when it comes to dealing with depression. Did you know that eating processed foods can increase the risk of depression? Well, if you eat them in moderation, then it’s all good but it’s not good when an unhealthy diet becomes a part of your daily routine. You need to keep track of what you eat.
Add some fresh fruits to your breakfast meal, some proteins to your lunch, and some veggies to your dinner. You can also add Vitamin D and zinc-based supplements to your daily routine as they can ease your depressive-like symptoms.
*Please note that before taking supplements, speak to a professional to discuss potential risks and side effects. Taking too many supplements can also be harmful.
3.Move! Move! Move!
Well, when you’re struggling with depression, convincing yourself to move can be quite the challenge. Even so, it is another great activity for depressed people to add to their daily routine. Exercises such as yoga, running, and cardio can help increase endorphins and reduce the symptoms of depression. And you don’t need a gym membership to move your body.
Wear your running shoes and go for a 10-minute jog every day. When you feel comfortable, you can increase your exercise to moderate-intensity ones, for at least an hour. You can also add activities like gardening, playing with your pets, or dancing like no one’s watching to your daily routine to ease your depression.
4.Water Is Life, Quite Literally
One of the simplest activities to add to your daily to-do list is drinking water and keeping yourself hydrated. It might not look like it but drinking water throughout the day can result in a decrease in the symptoms of depression.
To follow this daily routine, you can carry a water bottle or set up a notification on your phone to remind you to keep yourself hydrated.
5.Make Journaling A Habit
A big part of depression that we go through is the onslaught of negative thoughts and beliefs. Journaling can help you express those feelings and thoughts. Did you know that even listing things on paper can help? You don’t have to create a journal for this habit. I find this daily routine quite effective as you get to choose when, where, and how to journal.
Just add journaling to your daily routine – either in the morning or before bed – for at least 5 minutes every day. Here are some quick prompts to help you get started:
- List three things you want to tell your loved ones.
- List the most difficult emotions you experience frequently.
- List three things that bring you joy.
6.Close Your Eyes And… Meditate
It is hard to slow down and just be. Taking a break from all the overwhelming things and overthinking can be hard but you can do it for your better mental health. In between your therapy appointments, make it a habit to add meditation to your daily routine. All you need to do is sit in a quiet place, close your eyes, and just…be.
To add this practice to your daily routine, you can decide on a time – when you’re least distracted – and just focus on your breathing. You can practice meditation in the mornings before your day begins or you can unwind with meditation at the end of the day.
7.Don’t Forget To Say, “Thank You”
Focusing on the negatives can be easier than focusing on the positives, especially if you’re experiencing depression. Well, negative thoughts are quite common but you can’t let them take the lead all the time. So to decrease their intensity, let’s add expressing gratitude to our daily routine for overcoming depression.
All you need to do is to acknowledge the little things that you’re most thankful for. This can include saying, “Thank you” to the barista you get your daily coffee from, a flower that made you smile or just to the universe. We all have things and people to be grateful for so take some time every day and express your thanks.
8.Kindness Is A Virtue, After All,
I know that when one is struggling with depression, taking care of others’ needs and wants can be the last thing on the mind but did you know that being kind to others can speed up your recovery? Instead of only focusing inwards, share your kindness outwards too!
Plus, it will put a smile on your face when you make someone else’s day with your act of kindness. Simple acts of kindness such as saying thanks, holding the door for others, or buying a cup of coffee for someone can help improve your mood and lift your spirits too. Kindness is always worth it.
9.Self-Care Is The Best Care
Another activity to add to the daily routine for a depressed person is quite simple and one of the most effective ones: self-care! Self-care techniques such as relaxation exercises, meditation, and even a warm soak in the bath can help reduce symptoms of depression.
- Reading a chapter of your favorite book
- Taking a hot bath at the end of the day
- Taking care of your skin and body
- Playing with your furry friend
Pick anything that helps you relax at the end of the day. In self-care, the only rule is to enjoy your company and relax.
10.Lastly, Take It Easy & Unwind
Depression is a condition that can visit unannounced and can throw off your daily routine out the window. It’s important to remind yourself that just like other physical ailments, you can’t control how and when depression manifests. Treat your symptoms of depression as you would any other physical condition; with care and kindness.
Take it easy and if you can’t follow your daily routine for depression, then don’t be too hard on yourself. Give yourself some time and try to unwind on your terms. Remember, you can always seek professional help and counseling. Focus on taking a break and caring for yourself. That’s what keeps us going.
Recovering from depression means frequently feeling overwhelmed and sometimes disappointed. Depression often makes us feel like we are incapable of doing the simplest things. But always keep in mind that you’re not alone in your struggles.
Don’t listen to that annoying little voice and create (and follow) a healthy daily routine to overcome feelings of depression. Trust me, even when following a new daily routine seems scary, it is not. And while it can be challenging at first, it is not impossible.
Take one thing at a time and when you completely feel comfortable with following the daily routine, then you can slowly move forwards with more. Having a daily routine not only reassures you that you’re capable of feeling better but it can also help you create new, healthy habits to keep depression at bay.
So when you face the days where you’re not so sure of yourself, stick to your daily routine and take it from there. Let your routine, your habits, guide you.
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You are strong. You are loved. You are worthy.
Take care and stay safe!