20 Things To Do When Having A Bad Depression Day

Last Update on August 10, 2022 : Published on August 13, 2022
Things To Do When Having A Bad Depression Day

Depression is more than just prolonged sadness. When you live with depression, there’s no telling when the symptoms would manifest or how. Some days you might feel hopeful and motivated but on other depression days, you might experience a sense of hopelessness or a loss of interest in your day-to-day activities.

Some depression days can be filled with light sunshine but on other days – bad depression days can be filled with clouds with a chance of thunderstorms. Well, that’s my experience but those bad depression days can make it harder for you to go about your day.

Having an “off day” once in a while it’s OK but when those days turn into something intense and harder to pass, then you might need a slight intervention. In this blog, I’ll be sharing with you some of the best (and effective) things you can do when you’re having a bad depression day.

What Do Bad Depression Days Feel Like?


Like I said, having an “off day” once in a while is OK but it isn’t necessarily a sign of depression, it could just mean that you’re stuck in a rut and might be looking for a change in routine to feel OK.

It’s normal to feel disheartened and discouraged and you may feel like you’ve taken a step backward instead of a step forward. Unaddressed depression can be one of the factors you might be feeling this way.

If you are getting help for your depression then other factors might contribute to your bad days. One factor can be that your antidepressants are not working or you have recently experienced a major life change that you were not expecting.

In any case, you must remember that what you’re feeling or going through is not permanent. Knowing what you’re feeling can help address one thing at a time.

Depression, more often than not, shows up as hopelessness. You might experience a feeling where you might think what’s the point of moving forward? Well, this could be your depression talking. Along with hopelessness, depression can manifest as loneliness.

You may feel like you’re all alone in your struggles and no one can understand what you’re going through. You may think that shutting yourself off from your loved ones may be the right thing – for them. But remember, it’s your depression talking.

Good and bad days are a part of depression recovery so don’t let the feelings of discontentment linger. These feelings aren’t permanent.

Here are a few things that you can do when you’re having a bad depression day.

20 Things To Do When Having Bad Depression Days


1. Take A Social Media Break

Calm down! I’m not asking you to delete your apps. I’m merely suggesting taking a break. While social media can help us connect with our friends and family all around the world, it can also make us compare our lives with others. Social media is a carefully crafted version of someone’s best days, memories, and moments. When you’re having a bad depression day, it can be good for you to take a break from social media.

While social media has helped me get social support from the right people and groups, it also made me spiral downwards into a cycle of comparison and negativity, worsening my depression symptoms. If your symptoms of depression are triggered by social media, then maybe it’s time to rethink the people you’re following or maybe limit the time you spend on the app.

2. Get Out Of Your Bed

A really bad depression can make you burrow deeper into your blankets and leave you feeling empty – mentally and emotionally. On those days, it can be hard to find the motivation to get out of bed let alone go to work. If it’s that day where you would rather stay in bed curled up, think again. Lying in bed all day might make you feel better but it can’t help you.

If you don’t feel like going to work, it’s OK. Just get out of bed and sit on the couch. Lying in bed can signal your brain to think you’re sick and these thoughts can only work to worsen your symptoms of depression. Get out of bed and move to a different room.

3. Get Your Move On

I know how hard it can be to move when depression hits but believe it or not, it’s the best thing you can do to work through your bad depression day. You don’t have to choose an intense workout but just try to walk around for a few minutes. The idea is to get the blood flow in your limbs and get those endorphins activated.

Don’t want to go out of the house, it’s OK. Walk around your living room, jump rope, or do some jumping jacks. You don’t have to do anything vigorous if you don’t want to. Start slow but get moving.

4. Question Your Self-Talk

When the bad depression days hit, they can bring some negative self-talk that can become destructive and make your symptoms of depression worse than they already are. With some right steps, you can learn to challenge your negative self-talk. Depression can make you feel like you don’t matter so question this thought. Ask yourself the reasons why you’re thinking this.

Negative self-talk is the inner critic we all have that can affect your self-esteem. When you question that critic, you’re looking for loopholes. So instead of going along with whatever that voice says, challenge it. You can also use affirmations here to counter the negative thinking.

5. Connect With Your Loved Ones

Reaching out to your loved ones can also help you get through the bad depression days. While depression may make you think you’re all alone, connecting with a loved one can erase that thought. When the inner voice gets too loud or when you feel alone, talking to someone you admire and love can help.

Even if you’re having a good day, try to incorporate a call to a loved one into your day. When you create a routine that involves talking to a loved one, you can feel better at the end of the day, keeping depression away. You can talk to a friend, a family member, a support group, or your support system.

6. Engage In Laughter Therapy

They say that smiling is contagious and it’s also true when it comes to laughter. Laughter can make you feel better, and reduce feelings of sadness, anxiety, and hopelessness. Moreover, laughter can release the happy hormone – serotonin. Even on the bad depression days when laughter is the last thing on your mind, try to tune into a comedy show or watch some funny videos online.

Just be aware of what kind of content you’re consuming. The energy of the show you’re watching or the book you’re reading should be positive and not negative. It should not trigger your symptoms of depression further.

7. Get Some Fresh Air

When you’re having a bad day, when you don’t feel like going outside or doing anything, I ask you to get some fresh air. Just sitting in your garden and not doing anything is also good. Getting some fresh air and spending time outside can lift your spirits and make you feel less isolated and depressed.

Did you know that spending time in the sun can boost your happy hormones and improve your mood? Well then, what are you waiting for? Go outside and get some fresh air.

8. Find Your Happy Place

Looking back at negative experiences or memories can intensify your symptoms of depression but finding your happy place when having a bad day can make everything feel better. To overcome the feelings of negativity and depression, it’s recommended that you look at your happy memories and happy experiences.

Take out that album and go through the many happy memories you have. If not that, close your eyes and picture your happier times or instances that brought you joy.

9. Get Creative

Doodling, drawing, or painting can also help lift your spirits on bad depression days. Creative expression has proved to improve mood and release pent-up feelings. So if you’re feeling down and depressed, try something creative. If you have nothing, then get plain paper and crayons and start coloring.

Creative expression can help you express and process your feelings and can also give you a positive mood boost. It can also be a good distraction from all the negativity surrounding you at the moment.

10. Listen To Some Music

Listening to music also activates happy hormones and can calm you down. Music has always been my go-to activity when I have my bad depression days and it never fails to make me feel better. Listening to music can reduce anxiety, and symptoms of depression, and can help release muscle tension.

Try to create a playlist, especially for your bad depression days. Add the songs that will make you feel better and lift your spirits instantly.

11. Try Emotional Catharsis

When we have a lot of emotions and no way to express them, they can manifest as symptoms of depression. For those days, try emotional catharsis or emotional expression. Emotional expression is when you choose to release your pent-up emotions and tension through ways that are not conventional. For example, yelling into a pillow or going to a rage room.

Letting go of your pent-up emotions can make you feel lighter and can also help you manage your depression symptoms such as irritability and agitation.

12. Practice Self-Admiration

Well, be honest. When your friend is feeling down, you help them feel better by listing their admirable traits, right? So when you’re feeling down, why not give yourself the same consideration? If you’re having a bad depression, list things about yourself that you admire. Remind yourself of what makes you unique, what you find wonderful about yourself, and what you love about yourself.

Write these things down and read them out loud. This can help you combat feelings of low self-esteem and self-doubt. Remember, we all need a reminder now and then about how wonderful we are.

13. Practice Gratitude

Again, gratitude is a practice that you can add to your daily routine. Just list down all the things you’re grateful for, even on the bad depression days. You can be grateful for anything; the air you breathe, the food you’re eating, or the friend you talked to.

Practicing gratitude is a tool that can eventually help change your perspective from negative to positive. It can also have many physical and mental health benefits such as improved resiliency, improved self-esteem, and better relationships.

14. Snuggle With Your Pet

Did you know that cuddling with your pet has proved to improve your mood and lower symptoms of depression? Petting an animal or playing with them can lift your mood and make you feel better when you’re down and depressed. This activity can also help lower stress levels and make you feel lighter.

If you don’t own a pet, you can always volunteer at a pet shelter or ask to walk your neighbor’s dog.

15. Treat Yourself

Treating yourself is an experience unique to all but the gist of this activity is to spend some time caring for yourself and loving yourself. This can either be taking a well-deserved nap, going out for dinner, taking a warm bubble bath, or binge-watching your favorite TV show all weekend.

On a bad depression day, treat and pamper yourself. This can help you improve your inner monologue and also improve your relationship with yourself.

16. Understand Your Feelings

Recognizing and processing what you’re feeling can also be a good step in helping you cope with a bad depression day. Again, this experience can look different for everyone. You might be lying on your bed and feel sad but then you still go through the day as you normally would. This is just an example.

The idea of this activity is to let yourself feel whatever emotion you’re feeling but then understand it and move on rather than letting it fester. If you must, then set a timer to explore the feelings and when the timer goes off, carry on with your routine.

17. Prioritize Your Meals

Among other benefits, choosing the right meal can help you cope with the symptoms of depression. If you’re having a bad day, try to avoid processed foods, sugary foods, red meat, and refined carbs.

Try to consume more fruits, vegetables, and anti-inflammatory foods to avoid increasing the symptoms of depression.

18. Try Meditation Or Yoga

With the right meditation, mindfulness, and yoga practice, you can turn a bad depression day into something positive. These practices can help you feel connected to your mind, body, and spirit and can also reduce negative thoughts.

If you’re having a hard time controlling your emotions, try this exercise:

  • Sit in a quiet and comfortable spot in a lotus position
  • Close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing
  • Place both of your hands on your belly and feel the motion as you inhale and exhale
  • As you inhale, breathe to the count of 5
  • Hold your breath for 5 seconds
  • Exhale through your mouth to the count of 5
  • Repeat until you feel relaxed and comfortable

19. Give Yourself Some Pep Talk

When your friend or a family member is having a bad day, don’t you give them a quick pep talk? Well, it’s your turn now. Tell yourself that you’ve got this! Remind yourself that this is just temporary and it’ll pass. Make sure you give yourself the same motivational speech you would give a loved one.

This pep talk can instill confidence and motivate you to move through another depression day and can remind you that good days are around the corner.

20. Consider Seeking Professional Help

Sometimes, none of the self-help coping techniques can work, no matter how hard you try. Sometimes, negative thoughts can take over. If you’re experiencing those days, then it’s OK (and recommended) that you seek out professional support. Having professional support can let you know that you’re not alone, no matter what your depression tells you.

If you don’t want the support of a therapist, you can still reach out to a support group or someone you trust to make you feel better.

I hope these above things to do when you’re having a bad depression day will help you now or in the future. For more, you can write to us at info@calmsage.com or drop us a message on our social media.

You can also share your tips and ways with us on what to do on a bad depression day in the comments below!

Take Care!

About The Author

Swarnakshi Sharma
Swarnakshi Sharma

Swarnakshi is a content writer at Calm sage, who believes in a healthier lifestyle for mind and body. A fighter and survivor of depression, she strives to reach and help spread awareness on ending the stigma surrounding mental health issues. A spiritual person at heart, she believes in destiny and the power of Self. She is an avid reader and writer and likes to spend her free time baking and learning about world cultures.

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