Depression: Low-Effort Surival Guide for Dummies

If you have depression, you know it’s tough. Have you ever searched things like “ways to deal with depression” “how to fight depression” or “how to deal with depression? When you’re feeling the effects of depression, loads of ‘normal’ things can feel like huge missions, steps too far for which you’ve just not got the energy at the moment. These are low effort ways to deal with depression, aimed at helping you practise some self help with depression, which could help you regain some of your footing, maybe even help you on your way to overcoming depression. This list consists of 12 ways to deal with depression, but all are on a comparatively easy to achieve level.
Of course, with dummies we do not mean anything malicious, we mean ‘those who do not have much experience in handling these things’.


1. Sweep the floor

It seems mundane and small, but it could help coping with depression if you’ve accomplished even the smaller tasks in your house as opposed to nothing in particular (which could make you feel worse).


2. Brush your teeth

Small acts of self-care can help you feel a little less like you’re giving in to the depression. Mint is scientifically proven to have an uplifting effect, and the freshening sensation might help relieve some of the annoying physical sensations that come with depression a little bit. (Sore throat, unpleasant taste in the mouth etc.) This will subconsciously re-instill even the smallest amount of self worth, which might just give you a little push in the right direction.


3. Take a walk outside

Vitamin D deficiency is linked to increased occasions of depressive moods, and even if the walk doesn’t necessarily up your vitamin D levels, the fresh air in your lungs could just revitalize you a little bit.


4. Paint one or more nails

A small act of self-care that gives you something pretty. Pick a colour you feel could help fight depression and lighten your mood.


5. Rub some cream on your hands or legs 

Again, a small act of self-care.  Self help for depression can be extremely hard, but it’s all the more important, because even though you do not feel like it, overcoming depression is also accepting that you do have at least a little bit of self-worth. This one could help because it takes less effort than drawing yourself a pampering bath (which, when you’re feeling deep down in the dumps, could be a step too far).


6. Make yourself some tea or have another warm drink

Luke-warm milk is a good option too. There are also some studies that suggest a cup with a warm drink can mimic human warmth, which is nice when your are not feeling like seeing people but still looking for ways to deal with depression


7. Make some art

Even if it’s just a few scribbles in pleasing colours,  this is good self help for depression because you are creating something, doing something with your hands (which is nice and tactile) and perhaps even distracting yourself from the unpleasant feelings. Art therapy is proven to help people express and get in touch with feelings and experiences in a new way, making them easier to talk about.

8. Watch movies or if you can’t focus right now…

Something shorter like a funny youtube series, go to netflix and download a comedy (-series). You might feel like the last thing you want to do is laugh, but the distraction is good. Even though you might feel like you are just going through the motions, and not really “living it” the centres in your brain will be activated.


9. Jigsaw puzzles

It gives you something to focus on, which doesn’t require much thinking and initiative. Particularly colourful patterns are stimulating for the mind, which could help drive out some of the numbness that is commonly associated with depression.


10. Put on a little citrys scented lotion or perfume

Especially citrus-y scents can have a mood lifting effect. A study in which cirtus-y oils such as lemon, bergamot and orange were vaporized slowly in the houses of people with depression two-week period. Patients exposed to this fragrance were able to reduce their dose of antidepressants (Komori et al 1995).


11. Try to eat something, however small

It can be very hard when depression’s got it’s claws around you, but hardly eating (a common effect of depression) can worsen your situation. Even if it’s not the healthiest thing you’ve ever eaten, try to eat a little bit. It’s been proven that eating less can worsen your situation, as your body will quickly lack key nutritional substances.


12. Text someone

You do not necessarily have to talk about ways to deal with depression (though you can if you want to, of course) but the contact can help distract you and it’s been proven that people with a web of people they can contact and fall back on tend to do better under the pressure depression can cause.

So what did you think of these ways to deal with depression? Do you know any more? If you’ve experienced depression, what helps you in difficult moments?

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  1. THANK YOU SO MUCH for this! This is exactly the kind of especially catered content for depression we need! Most posts are either too generic, with stuff that even people on a mild crisis can’t handle, or too ridiculous, like “paint the walls” (I’ve seen it around, yes).

    As someone who’s battled depression for quite a while, stuff like brushing my teeth, for as hard as it seemed at the time, felt like a blessing. I’d also add in bake or cook something you love, or if baking stuff from scratch is too hard, buy a ready-to-go mix. I’d also say buy flowers, if you can go outside, or if it’s too hard order them for yourself!

    I’d also say be careful with overspending, because I ran into it a lot, so maybe give yourself a money limit in your card, or freeze your card and just cash out a fair amount.

    Do finger painting! Do a collage! Buy cool and uplifting magazines! Watch the funniest vines on youtube!


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