Unfortunately, depression is all too common in women. In fact,according to the Mayo Clinic, one in five women develop depression and are twice as likely to develop the condition as men. Of those women, some are chronically depressed and need treatment, either through medication or through therapy. Others will simply experience the occasional funk that gets them down in spirit. For those women, the key to getting out of a mild depressive state is proactive living. Here are several ways that you can pull yourself out of a funk when it hits.
1. Take Responsibility for Your Happiness
When you’re feeling depressed, happiness may seem like a far away dream. But it’s often right around the corner, if you could only catch it. The good news is that you can if you try! Recognize that nobody can make you be happy but you.
When you feel yourself wondering why you can’t be happy, and wondering if there’s anything you can do to change it, tell yourself that it’s your decision. Say aloud, “I’m choosing to be happy now,” and keep thinking about that phrase and things in your life that’ll make that possible. Consciously embrace an attitude of optimism. It won’t happen immediately, but you’ll gradually begin to feel your mood lighten and hopefully return to your normal, happy self.
2. Get Involved with a New Enterprise
For some women, a depressive episode can be spurred by a feeling of uselessness and inferiority. It’s a man’s world out there, and it can be tough to rise to the top. Perhaps this is the time to start a new enterprise. You might start a small business revolving around something you love, or volunteer some of your time at an organization you admire.
For example, you could get involved with investment properties, in which you purchase a property and then rent it out for profit. Being a landlord of such a property will give you something more worthwhile to do, which can alleviate the feeling of uselessness. Remember, whatever you do doesn’t need to be a booming success. It only needs to keep you busy and make you happy.
3. Take Five Minutes for Yourself
On the flipside, some women have so much on their plates that they can’t find time to do the things they want to do. If that sounds like you, you might benefit from cutting something out of your daily routine so that you have a little relaxation time.
If that’s not possible, then make sure you consciously take a 5-15 minute break every now and then to do something you actually want to do. When you feel your mood dropping, step away from the busy task at hand, and check Facebook, call a loved one, read a book, ask someone for a shoulder rub—whatever you do, revel in the time for yourself and take it as often as you can, to restore some sanity.
4. Help Someone Else
Oftentimes, the best way to get over your funk is to take the focus off of you. Selfishness is depression’s best friend, and your worst enemy. It causes you to think about all of the injustices in your life and dwell on all of the reasons you’re not happy.
Helping someone else takes the focus off of your bad mood and puts it on someone else. You’ll be able to see the good things in life again and feel uplifted knowing that you did something for someone else.
5. Look at Today
Sometimes, you can’t help but think of your overwhelming responsibilities and past failings, or your “listless” future and great days past that you’ll never get back. When that happens, make it a point to shut out the past and the future and only look at today. Make a list of your responsibilities for just the next 12 hours, and don’t think about anything else.
You can’t guarantee your future, but you can make choices in the here and now that will shape that future. Focus on today and the decisions you’re making regarding your happiness and well-being. If you’re doing well today, you have no reason to worry about tomorrow.
Though these techniques won’t work for the deepest of funks, they can make a significant difference in how you handle the lighter episodes. By mastering these skills, you can pave the way for a happier, healthier you.