Everyone feels depressed from time to time; the dictionary classifies depression as having the blues, or feeling down, for a time period extending past two weeks. The first thing to look at is: are you depressed?
An easy way to tell is to look at your life, and see if anything has been decreasing steadily, either your performance in work, wanting to spend time with friends, grades in school, or any other number of things. If you find yourself depressed, the first thing to do is to talk to a professional, either a psychologist, or a doctor. Professional help is the most important, and successful way to defeat depression. Next, talk to someone you trust, tell him or her how you’ve been feeling lately; keeping it to yourself is probably the worst thing you can do; chances are, the person you chose to tell has noticed this, but didn’t want to say anything to you. After this, if you still feel like you need an extra something to keep you from falling into depression again, this article will be looking at symbolic ways to say good bye to depression.
Looking at your reflection:
The first step is to look in the mirror. A change in appearance, such as cutting your hair, or growing it out, can help a lot, especially if the new hair style, or facial hair, was grown after you became depressed. By changing hairstyle, you will feel a lot different. Every time you look in a mirror, every time you run your hands through your hair, or somebody asks you if you got a haircut (even though its quite obvious you have), you will be reminded of the resolve you made.
What not to wear:
The next step is to look in your closet. If you have been depressed for a long time, chances are you have bought some new clothing at some point. The clothing you bought during your time of depression, minus work clothing, should all be taken out of your closet and donated to Goodwill, or sold to a second hand store. Even if you love the shirt, donate it, and buy a new one. The object of this exercise is to commit an action that says: “I am done with depression.” Replace the clothing with new clothes, preferably with color to it, something you would have purchased before you started being depressed, or would never have purchased during depression. The Salvation Army and Goodwill are excellent places to purchase affordable clothing.
Starting a new life style:
The third step is to clean out your CD collection/itunes library. Throw away/delete any songs that you bought during your depression, or at the very least, give away/uncheck them until you are safely out of depression, in which you can either recheck them, or ask to borrow them and burn a copy. Self-help requires sacrifice, and while it seems absurd to get rid of music that you spent money on, it’s what you need to do to feel better. Affordable ways to rebuild the music collection you just trashed are to borrow CDs from your friends or from the library. These should be by artists you did not fall in love with after you were depressed, but new ones, or ones you loved before you became depressed. Pick a song, and make it the theme song of your new resolve to live a happier life.
Do something symbolic:
The final step is to decide on a physical reminder of your resolve. Spend some time in the mall browsing around for something you can wear as a reminder of your resolve. An inexpensive watch, or ring, works quite well, and can be worn in almost any environment. Take time each day to contemplate what wearing this new accessory means to you, and to your life, before you put it on. Make a small ritual of it, rather than just throwing it on. Every time you glance at it, or feel the weight of it, you will be reminded that you are living a new life, with a new resolve to be happier, and more productive.
It won’t be easy, following all these steps will take diligence, strength, and motivation. The best thing you can do is have your support system know about these steps, and have them help you out with it, something as small as them helping you pick out clothing can be extremely helpful, or reminding you to wear your ring if you forget one day. Eventually, if this works, it will also prevent you from falling back into depression, with a daily reminder of your resolves.