Easy steps to help you weather every storm.
Depressive cycles lasting more than a few days are the worst. It feels like the storm will never end. The darkness creeps in from every side. It’s a struggle to hold on to hope, no matter how hard you try.
On these menacing days, it’s vital to remember every trial has an expiration date. Yes, things are tough right now, but they won’t stay that way forever. Keep your head up and hold on to hope; it is the light that will guide you through the darkest of times.
I get it. Holding on to hope is tough when you feel like you’re alone in an ocean of black ink. What do you swim towards when you see nothing on the horizon? You create your own mirage and head for it. Even if you can’t see it, there is an island there. Just keep swimming.
“Every storm runs out of rain.”Maya Angelou
Here are 11 ways to stay positive and hold on to hope, even on your worst depression days:
- Look for a role model who has gone through the same thing. If they can make it out of the storm, so can you. Ask them how they kept going and put their suggestions into use in your life.
- Talk to a friend or professional who will understand and give useful suggestions. A colleague, family member, psychotherapist, or even a helpline might help you hold on to hope. Start talking and see how it helps.
- Write your thoughts and feelings in a journal. This can be therapeutic and help you see your progress. My journal spans nearly four decades and is one of the most essential tools for managing my mental health.
- Make a list of things you’re grateful for. Don’t focus on the negative. Think about all the good in your life, no matter how small. A clear glass gratitude jar will give you a tangible object to look at that will remind you of your blessings.
- Focus on your breathing and do some relaxation exercises. This will help to calm your mind and body. Be mindful of all your senses. Try to be fully present in the moment.
- Turn off the news. Sometimes, it’s helpful to take a break from all the negativity in the world. Most days, the news is overwhelming, so turn it off.
- Take a break from social media. When everything on Instagram looks like everyone else is living a better life than you, it’s time to step away. Those selfies only show a moment in time, not the whole day. No one’s life is as perfect as it appears in the feeds.
- Spend time outside, surrounded by beauty and peace. Look for butterflies, watch ants at work, or just close your eyes and count how many sounds you can identify. Your mind can rest when you immerse yourself in a soothing environment.
- Do something nice for someone else. Helping others can make you feel good and remind you that there is still kindness in the world. When you focus on what another person needs, your mind switches from the gloom that’s been keeping it stuck. Kindness is one of the best ways to hold on to hope.
- Listen to uplifting music or watch a funny movie. Laughter really is the best medicine. I shared 15 music videos of my go-to songs in this post.
- Volunteer your time to a cause you care about. Giving back is fulfilling and helps you to see the world in a different light. Your efforts will lift others and help you find joy again.
Remember that this too shall pass. Every storm runs out of rain eventually, and so will this one. You will make it through this depression cycle if you hold on to hope.
No matter what storms you’re facing in your life, remember all storms have an end. Every trial has an expiration date. Holding onto hope will help you see the light at the end of the tunnel. Stay positive and never give up. You can make it through anything life throws your way.
What are some other ways you stay positive and hold on to hope? Share in the comments below!