Woke Up Depressed? Here are 8 Tips to Help

We all have those days where you walk up and notice, oh hey, I’ve been depressed recently.

Woman lying in bed, depressed.
Sometimes life is too much at once – source

Or maybe you woke up with low energy, sad even.

Maybe something happened the night before, maybe you’re worried about something happening tomorrow.

Whatever the reason, take a deep breath, and listen. It’s ok to not feel ok.

We like in a society that pushes us to compare ourselves to others, that punishes us when we’re not 100% productive, one that forces us to get up and work (we got bills to pay).

Well, though you may feel like staying in bed, we can’t, and that might not be the best option for our mental health either!

Here are 8 small ways you can improve your mental state on a day when you feel extra down.

Tips to Feel Better When You Wake Up Depressed

These tips probably won’t cure depression, but if you’ve ever struggled with that persistent feeling of overwhelming sadness weighing you down:

Anything to make you feel a tiny bit better helps.

Becoming your biggest ally is vital, and these tiny little steps are a huge start.

Make your day a little better today.

Wash Your Face

At the very least, splash some cold water on your face in the morning.

This will help wake you up and give you something to focus on physically and mentally.

And don’t underestimate the importance of skincare in making you feel better.

Instead of it being a chore, remember it is a ritual, a small reward for yourself, to support your skin health and wellbeing.

A morning skincare routine, even a simple one, can be a daily gift to yourself.

Do Something Productive 

When we complete an activity, our brains produce a chemical that makes us feel good, dopamine.

This is the reward pathway of your brain. It’s also the reason people become addicted to social media. A like makes you feel as if you accomplished something good and are being rewarded.

So, instead of social media, find small tasks you can do in real-time to feel productive.

Make your bed, clean an area of the house, make some coffee.

You don’t have to go into full spring cleaning mode. Maybe just fold that clean laundry still in the bin.

Appreciate the tasks you are completing, and let yourself feel accomplished for doing so, no matter how small the task is.

Journal for 5 minutes

Journaling for at least five minutes can help clear your mind.

Putting thoughts down on paper can make them feel more valid, more real, and less intimidating.

Plus, you can try journaling in a way that feels good.

Try writing down three things that you are grateful for or three things you are happy about.

Gratitude is an incredibly powerful way to increase baseline happiness, meaning the more appreciation you have for things in your life, the better you will feel in general.

And focusing on things that bring you a little bit of joy can help you find more things to be joyful about!

It can be small things, like enjoying the coffee you drink, or loving your pet, or that movie you saw last week.

Just write down things that make you happy, make a list, add to it, and come back to the list when you need reminders that joy exists.

Place Yourself in the Present

Much of the time, our feelings of sadness, of regret and remorse, of desolation, can come from ruminating about the past.

Our feelings of worry or anxiety may be due to thinking about the future.

Place yourself in the present moment. List three things you see, feel, smell, hear, taste.

Use all your senses to ground yourself.

Mindful movement, mindful thinking, and mindful meditation can all reduce symptoms of mental illness if made into a habit.

Dress in Something that Makes You Feel Good 

Dress is something that makes you happy. Again, on days where good feelings feel out of reach, it’s important to help yourself in any way you can, however small.

There’s comfort and power in dressing in a way that makes you feel good.

Maybe you wear that leather jacket that makes you feel stronger than you think you are.

Maybe it’s those boots that let you walk with confidence.

Maybe it’s a tank top that’s silk and satin and starlight.

Go Outside

Otherwise known as go touch some grass.

No, but seriously, exposure to the great outdoors can have significant effects on your mental attitude. Find a park, a bench, a tree, and touch some green.

OK, but maybe you don’t have the great outdoors close by. Maybe you don’t have the energy to make a trip.

That’s ok too. Even just opening a window, going out on your balcony, or stepping into your backyard can help. Change your scenery, get some sunlight and fresh air.

Maybe go on a silly little walk. You can’t exercise the depression away, but moving your body can help get rid of some of that restless stagnant energy.

Eat Something Delicious yet Healthy

Treat yourself to something nutritional, something that will give you energy, vitamins, minerals, and all that good stuff your body needs. But it should taste good too, something you actually want to eat.

Healthy and delicious? An impossible combo? Try some eggs and whole-grain toast, some epic oatmeal with fruit and chia and nuts, and some amazing wrap with all the greens.

Fueling your body well is wonderful, yes, but if you’re depressed, you might not have the energy to do so.

It can even be a challenge to throw things in a blender and make a smoothie.

That’s ok.

Order takeout from a restaurant that is vaguely healthy.

Fast food will make you feel more tired and sluggish, so try to make sure you’re choosing vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and a good protein for a take-out meal.

Talk to Someone

Sometimes you need need need to get it off your chest.

Talking to someone on days where you just can’t muster up happiness can really help sort out your thoughts and make you feel less alone.

On days like this, it might be good to phone a friend.

Call your parents, a sibling, a friend. Mental health matters.

Remember, there are always people that want to hear you. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach a 24-hour crisis center or text MHA to 741741.

The Takeaway 

One day, we might wake up, look at the laundry we haven’t done, the dishes in the sink, the clutter on the floor, and think, hmm, my mental health hasn’t been great for a bit.

On days where we wake up on the wrong side of the bed, when everything feels wrong and raw and heavy, it’s important to take the time to feel better, in small ways.

Eat something nice, get some fresh air, take in the sun. Write down your feelings to declutter your mind and maybe declutter that one corner of the room.

Find joy in something that’s happened and try to ground yourself in the present. Remember that when you need help, when you need to talk, there will always be someone to listen to you.

Remember health starts from within, and that includes mental health as well.

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