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10 Activities For Depression

If you have come here searching for or in need of activities for depression, then you are in a good place.

I have tried numerous activities and hobbies throughout my journey with depression and anxiety, and I can tell you for sure that some of these help big time! Stay consistent with these.

Keeping a healthy routine and a healthy body leads to a healthy mindset. Throughout this page, you will find various activities that I find work best to combat depression and ultimately elevate our moods.

Leave a comment below if you have an activity I did not mention that you find useful when fighting depression or another mental illness.

List of Activities:

  1. Set Goals
    • Setting realistic and achievable goals is your first step to a healthier lifestyle. If you are depressed, you may find yourself hopeless and unable to achieve anything. You might constantly be saying “What’s the point in doing this?” There is a point. Achieving your goals whether they are as simple as making your bed everyday or going out for a run twice a week can gain you the satisfaction you need for a healthier mindset.
    •  I recommend you to take action by doing this – make a small list of goals you can see yourself accomplishing. Once they are done, make new ones and so forth. This will not only keep you busy, but boost your morale. Try it. It definitely worked for me. I find myself still constantly jotting down things I need to accomplish during the day. It feels good writing out that check-mark after a certain task.Set Goals - Activities for Depression
  2. Eat Healthy
    • One of the best things you can do to combat depression naturally is eating healthy. Not only does eating healthy produce a healthy body but it also produces a healthy mindset. Your body and mind are very closely linked. Ever heard of “you are what you eat?” Well that applies to the mind too. There are plenty of natural foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, folic acid, healthy vitamins, probiotics, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatories – all which help elevate mood and improve brain function and chemistry. In fact, inflammation and oxidation contribute to many mental and physical diseases. Healthy foods combat this inflammation you need to get rid of. Here is a list of healthy foods to start you off:
      • Apples – high in antioxidants and soluble fiber
      • Beans – good for anti-diabetes and blood sugar levels which help elevate mood
      • Walnuts – great for omega-3 fatty acid efficiency
      • Dark Leafy Greens – (ex. kale, spinach, swiss chard) – rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K
      • Berries – (ex. blueberries, strawberries, raspberries) – high in antioxidants
      • Avocado – high in oleic acid, vitamins, and fiber
      • Tomatoes – high in folic acid and alpha-lipoic acidEat Healthy - Activities for Depression
  3. Exercise
    • I am not asking you to sign up for a gym membership or a triathlon. Just walking each day or going for a light job here and there will boost your mindset. Exercise has proven to boost chemicals in your brain called endorphins which elevate mood and brain power. I found that lifting weights and running on my treadmill elevated my mood. Exercise not only makes me feel better about my body, but makes my mood happier knowing that I am taking the steps towards a healthier lifestyle and mindset. It really gives me a sense of satisfaction. I now exercise 3-4 times a week.
  4. Reading
    • I find with reading that it often keeps me distracted from the present world. Distractions are great in combat with depression because you find yourself in a situation unrelated to your current problems. Reading puts me in a whole new world. I can sit and enjoy a good book without having thoughts racing through my mind. In turn, you will no doubt feel better about yourself. Reading also enhances brain power both intellectually and socially – a problem most people find themselves in when battling common mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety.
  5. Meditation
    • This activity serves as a healthy, natural remedy to combat depression. Putting yourself in a completely different mindset, destroying all negative thoughts, and really focusing on relaxing the mind goes along way when elevating your mood. I often find an empty space like my room or a field where I can put in my headphones, listen to some relaxing tune and just sit there meditating. Do it for around 30 minutes at a time. Trust me – it really helps.
  6. Yoga
    • Yoga serves as a huge relaxation. Not only does it relax your muscles and the entire body, but your mindset. It serves as healthy stretching and strengthening exercises as well. It puts your body into deep meditation with controlled breathing and thoughts.Yoga - Activities for Depression
    • There are plenty of yoga exercises you can research on the net to get you started if you are a beginner. I have done yoga many times and it truly does serve as a mindful relaxation improving your mental health.
  7. Create a Journal
    • If you find yourself depressed, chances are you may feel lost in some way. You may not know how to start your day or even begin your daily tasks. Creating a daily journal – writing down your actions for the day helps. This could be checking off your chores list, going out for a run, eating proper nutritious foods, and so forth. Not only will this make you more organized, but it will develop a sense of satisfaction in your mindset knowing that you are completing your necessary, daily tasks.
  8. Get a Massage 
    • This activity is extremely relaxing. It puts you out of ongoing thoughts and calms you for a little while. When you are done, you will no doubt feel relieved and delighted. If you are depressed, you might feel a sense of loneliness or isolation. Having someone work on you by giving a massage makes you feel connected in a mindful way. Someone working on your body and its tension relieves not only your muscles and pain but your mindset. Please give it a try!
  9. Practice Order
    • Everyday, try to become a little more organized. This could include making your bed, cleaning your room, tidying the kitchen, or even cleaning out the closets. Practicing order gives you the satisfaction of being organized thereby rewarding the brain. Having a clean house or area also makes your mind more relaxed leading to elevation in mood and behavior. Do you ever have your room a complete mess and just sit on your bed, thinking, “wow this is a disaster!” but there is no urge to clean it. Just clean it, trust me. After you are done, sit on your bed and look around. This will make you feel relaxed.
  10. Take a Bath 
    • Sometimes a simple activity like this is what you need to help elevate your spirit. It is soothing, distracting, and extremely relaxing. Poor some nice warm water, maybe put bath bomb in the water if you like, and just lay down, shut your mind off, and relax for as long as you want. As long as you need until you feel elevated. Think about your mind and your body as you lay there, all positive aspects. No negative. Think about how great and worthy you are. People appreciate you and need you in their life.

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If you have a comment, concern, or ever just want to talk, feel free to leave a comment below!

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Robert Sherwood

24 Comments

  1. I get depressed sometimes. It’s never really gotten too bad or too far. But your suggestions here make sense. Eating healthy and setting goals are important. Bit I also feel that it helps to keep busy and while meditation is good, I feel that exercise is the best remedy for depression. When I feel low, I go to the gym or hop on my bike with my music and let go of everything else.

    • Hi there, I definitely agree with you. Everyone is different with their coping mechanisms. Exercise is definitely one of the best natural remedies to combat depression. It stabilizes body health, releases good chemicals, and overall makes one feel better! Thanks for your comment.

  2. Hi Rob,
    Very nice article. I am glad I come across your site and see what I am looking for.
    First, I must admit that the depression is come and go with me. I don’t know how to stop it. After the depression strike, it takes me several weeks and sometimes even months before I got back to normal.
    I like best you #7 here. ” Creating a daily journal – writing down your actions for the day helps “. I never hear of creating a daily journal could reduce the depression.
    I definitely try it out this one. Any suggestion?
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Maun. Thanks for your comment. Throughout my journey with depression, I have kept a daily log in a journal form. I write what I do for the day and even write what I should do the next day. I don’t only write actions too. I sometimes find myself writing my thoughts for the day or even engagements with people. It really does help. It increases intellectual ability, mind power, and gives you the sense of satisfaction and completion you need. Please give it a try. Thanks!

      • Yes, Linda you are right. Journaling definitely helps with stress. It organizes the mind and puts it into place. Thanks for sharing.

  3. What a great article. Along the lines of the setting goals suggestion, I used to make a list with just a few items on it, and stick it on the fridge. When I did the things on the list, like get dressed, brush teeth, wash dishes, I could cross them off and feel like I had achieved my goals for the day. Seems like such a simple thing, but at the time it was important and helped.

    • I completely agree with you Anika. Crossing something off your list whether it is as simple as brushing your teeth goes along way with providing you with the satisfaction you need. Thanks for your reply.

  4. I feel like everyone, if not most people, experience a little bit of depression throughout their lifetime, most people aren’t always fully happy. Being said, I absolutely agree with all the activities you mentioned above, my favorite that I do every day and absolutely love are meditation, A MUST! and exercising. Great post, very helpful, thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks for reaching out. Glad I could help with this. All of these natural activities help in combat with depression. Meditation is a great one and I am so glad you practice it!

  5. Great suggestions for dealing with depression. Omega 3’s like you suggest can really help. Something I enjoy doing is puzzles, they really keep your mind distracted so you can focus on something other than your issues. I think meditating is great! I heard it actually changes your brain if you do it consistently. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you for your insight Linda. I am actually going to add doing puzzles to the list. I think that is a great coping mechanism.

  6. You are quite thorough in explaining methods to combat depression. I’ve also found that camping, fishing, and hiking are wonderful ways to set the mind free. These are the things that relax me the most. Also having an order in my life like a clean house, car, etc. I believe that order is important because it keeps me focused on my goals. Meditation above all is my favorite and is great for combating negativity of all kinds. I’ve heard that by burning different types of incense, it can be beneficial to you as well. What are your thoughts on this?

    • Thank you for reaching out Deborah. I think fishing, hiking, and camping are great ways to combat depression naturally. It is important to get out doors and visit nature. It is soothing and relaxing for your body and mind. I like your idea about order and I am going to add it to my list as I think that is a great activity. As for burning incense, I have heard it can be beneficial but I have not tried it. I can definitely see how that could be soothing, rewarding, and relaxing however.

  7. This was truly a great read. I’m a United States Army Infantry veteran and depression has been a huge battle for me. I really appreciated the fact that you took time to put this article together. I found everything of great use. Taking a bath is something that i have not done in a while. It would be nice to just relax and chill without any BS on my mind. Thanks again for the great read

    • Glad I could help Justin. Yes, take a bath, You’ll find it does wonders to the mind and body.

    • Meditation is great. I absolutely love it. It calms my mind and just takes me out of the world for a while. It is so soothing and relaxing too. I will read your article. Thanks for sharing.

  8. I can relate to goal setting because when I had depression a few years ago, it felt like I had no direction in life. It was just work, work and work.

    I was overwhelmed by the whole situation and there seemed to be no way out. Then I discovered blogging and the science of online marketing. The idea of having a platform to express my thoughts and to provide me a second income got me excited and focused.

    Frankly, I’ve never looked back since.

    • Hi Cathy, thank you for reaching out. Depression can feel like an endless tunnel with no light. Sometimes, it is extremely difficult to vision yourself getting out of it. But it is possible. Glad you found your safe haven with blogging and online marketing which is what I found mine in too. I love to help people in this field. I love to help those with similar struggles of mental illness. It is so important and needs much awareness. 

      Glad you are doing great!

  9. I really enjoyed reading your article with regards to activities. I have tried almost all of them except meditation, but that is not for me.
    I use to exercise/work out a lot until I hurt my neck and back from trying to squat too much without a spotter. So basically all that muscle turned into fat, which makes me very depressed.
    I also take Prozac for my depression, I honestly don’t know what I would be like without the medication…..and let me tell you I take about twelve medications for my other disorders.
    Thanks for the inspiring article, once I get this last procedure on the left side of my back I will try working out again.

    Regards,

    Matthew

    • Glad to hear Matthew! Sorry to hear about your injury. Sometimes it is difficult to recover from something we lost but loved so much! Medication is sometimes necessary I believe if worse comes to worse. Did you start off with medication from the get go or did you try ntural remedies first? I sometimes find people jump too fast to medication before at least trying natural ways first such as supplementation or activities. I know medication does work, but I just feel like it’s so hard to get off of them. How would you feel if you tried to stop taking your meds?

      I understand that some of us need them depending on our own scenarios. I like to stress natural remedies first. All in all, I am glad you are coping well. Take care Matthew and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

  10. I will definitely try some of these activities and practices, as well as share them with others. Thanks

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