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10 Things Not to Do If You’re Depressed

From time to time I sneak in some funny things on Resilient (pug pictures, etc), so today I thought I’d make a tongue-in-cheek list of 10 things not to do if you’re depressed. It’s kind of sarcastic but it would be helpful if you didn’t do these things. They are things that may or may not make you lose faith in humanity. 😉

From time to time I sneak in some funny things on Resilient (pug pictures, etc), so today I thought I'd make a tongue-in-cheek list of 10 things not to do if you're depressed. It's kind of sarcastic but it would be helpful if you didn't do these things. They are things that may or may not make you lose faith in humanity. ;)


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10 Things Not to Do if You’re Depressed

1. Read the comments section of Youtube

Reading the comment section on almost any website, but especially Youtube, is a BAD IDEA. Even worse if you’re depressed and emotionally vulnerable to other people’s negativity. Just don’t do it, folks. Even radioactive material doesn’t decay as quickly as the arguments on Youtube do.

2. Engage in political discussions over Facebook

There’s no quicker way to make yourself depressed than to engage in a debate about gun control or the war on terror with random strangers on the internet. Probably should avoid this one.

3. Watch the nightly news.

This isn’t news. This is a murder report. I didn’t really need to know that there was a serial killer living next door to me, thanks. And neither do you.

4. Read the news in general.

Most news isn’t written to be educational – it’s written to get people’s attention and make money. Same with tabloids, a lot of magazines, gossip sites, etc. You might think it’s a mindless form of entertainment but it’s probably dragging down your mood when you keep hearing about bad things in the world.

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5. Watch violent movies and tv shows.

I’m a little torn about shows like Game of Thrones. On the one hand, it’s a very good show, but on the other hand, wow is there a lot of violence packed into that show. It kind of makes me anxious watching people get beheaded, so if you’re sensitive to things like this, you should probably avoid watching the Saw movies (I’ve watched them. Big mistake). Same with violent video games.

6. Scroll through Facebook searching for the meaning of life

I’ve spent many hours on Facebook and I can confirm that the meaning of life is, in fact, not found on Facebook. Don’t worry, I’ve already checked. You can probably find the meaning of life if you read enough articles on Resilient though (just kidding 🙂 … or am I?).

Get a free list of 26 things to do when you have a bad day

7. Compare yourself to people’s “perfect lives” on social media

Social media is very deceptive in that we usually use it as more of highlight reel than anything. That means when you have a normal boring day, you’re probably not going to post about it on your timeline.

Instead, you just see people on vacation at the beach or gallivanting through Europe on a study abroad trip and then you feel bad about yourself. Just remember that everyone has their own struggles, regardless of what they post publicly. You’re just not seeing the bad stuff.

[Recommended Post: How to Make a Happy Box for Bad Days]

8. Watch commercials

With Netflix and Amazon Prime and a million other options, you might not watch commercials at all anymore. But if you do, (and it’s not the Superbowl), just mute them. You don’t need someone to make you feel bad about yourself.

9. Compare your appearances to celebrities in magazines

Magazines are Photoshopped, and so are the celebrities in them. They also have bigger budgets for beauty treatments and it’s practically their job to look good all the time. So comparing yourself to an unrealistic standard is only going to make you feel depressed and inadequate.

10. Follow politics or current events

Your history teacher would get mad at me for saying this, but I am SO MUCH HAPPIER now that I don’t follow any sort of politics or current events. Some people say that it’s our civic duty to be informed about world matters and it’s ignorant otherwise, but I say that I’ll vote for people who can do a better job of this than I ever could.

They can change their little corner of the world, and I’ll change mine, and the world will be much happier with everyone doing what they love. 🙂

Note: If you think not following current events means you don’t care about other people, think of it this way: I used to be super into “activism” and saving the world and making a difference when I was in high school (vegetarian, eco friendly, free hugs events, that whole bit) but I realized that you can still have compassion for what happens in the world without constantly exposing yourself to negative things that are ultimately just hurting you.

You can’t help other people if you’re depressed from worrying so much about the state of the world. Do what you can to make a difference in your corner of the world, and be a beacon of hope and light with your own life. That’s all you can do.

Ok, we’re done! Those are 10 things not to do if you’re depressed that I used to do and many people still do that could be making you depressed, whether you know it or not. In general, social media and the news can be very depressing, so instead fill your mind with positive and uplifting input.

Do something you’re passionate about, take up a hobby, watch documentaries about the universe, or read blogs like Tiny Buddha or Zen Habits (or Resilient!). Just don’t waste your time following Justin Bieber’s DUI records and other worldly drama.

Good luck.

If you’d like to learn more about negative things to let go of in your life, check out our 30 Day Negativity Detox class.

From time to time I sneak in some funny things on Resilient (pug pictures, etc), so today I thought I'd make a tongue-in-cheek list of 10 things not to do if you're depressed. It's kind of sarcastic but it seriously would be good if you didn't do these things. They are things that may or may not make you lose faith in humanity. ;)

Sometimes managing your depression is less about what you add to your life, and more about what you take away. Here are 7 more things I don’t do that help my depression. These have all become such ingrained habits in me that I don’t even have to think about them anymore.

Related Posts:

7 More Things I Don’t Do That Help My Depression

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1. Worry

Worrying makes you stressed out but doesn’t actually change anything, as much as we wish it would.

So then you have two options: either do something to actively change the situation, or don’t worry about it.

Either way is going to be a lot more productive than ruminating over things you might not even be able to control.

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2. Keep a spotless home or cook from scratch

Some people love cooking and cleaning, but I am not one of those people.

I’m a minimalist so my apartment is usually organized and not messy, but I only spend maybe 10 or 15 minutes a week total actually cleaning things.

As for cooking, it just seems like a whole lot of time and effort for something you’re going to spend 5 minutes eating. I microwave something tasty or make pasta or a sandwich in just a few minutes, and then I use all my free time to do what I love. (And I have a LOT of free time :)).

Related Post: 8 Anxiety Hacks to Lower Your Daily Stress

3. Compare myself to other people

Everyone is on their own unique journey. Wherever you are right now is exactly where you need to be. Just trust that.

Keep putting one foot in front of the other and taking baby steps every day and your time will come.

Related Post: How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Other People

4. Check my phone a hundred times a day

Checking your phone constantly just gives you anxiety because either something needs your attention (like an email or text) or you’re stressed out because nothing needs your attention and you’re wondering why people aren’t texting you.

A lot of people are glued to their phones throughout the day, but I usually have my phone in my room plugged in and only check it a few times a day (unless I’m talking to someone).

If you’re out and about, check out your surroundings or do a little people-watching. It’s not that scary to not always be on your phone. 🙂

Get a free list of 10 Ways to Be Happier

5. Use social media obsessively

This is similar to the one about checking your phone all day. If you find yourself constantly scrolling through Facebook, maybe it’s time to replace that habit with a new one.

If you’re alone in public and don’t want to look that way, maybe you can read an inspirational blog. Or maybe you can do some journaling in the Notes section of your phone or write out a list of goals for this month.

Looking at Facebook one more time (more like the 50th time) today is just going to make you depressed if you start comparing yourself to everyone else on there.

6. Play video games

I’ve always been terrible at video games, but I guess that’s a good thing because I’m happier for it. 🙂

For some people video games are a way to release stress, but they’re really violent and seem to cause you more anxiety than they relieve.

If you play a lot of video games, consider reading a personal development book or watching an inspirational TED talk instead. A lot less violence and a happier you.

7. Complain

Finally, the last thing I don’t do that helps my depression is that I don’t complain (or I try not to ;)).

Sure, there are times when I just want to whine about things and vent to someone, but I keep most of that to journaling on my computer (and I definitely don’t save that writing).

Complaining is just a bad habit, like anything else, so try going a whole day without complaining and see how your attitude changes.

Related Post: 5 Ways to Be More Positive

Well, there you have it!  Seven things I don’t do that help my depression. Do you do any of these things already, or are you going to try not doing them?

If you’d like to learn more about negative things to let go of in your life, check out our 30 Day Negativity Detox class.

Sometimes managing your depression is less about what you add to your life, and more about what you take away. Here are 7 things I don’t do that help my depression. These have all become such ingrained habits in me that I don’t even have to think about them anymore.
Sometimes managing your depression is less about what you add to your life, and more about what you take away. Here are 7 things I don’t do that help my depression. These have all become such ingrained habits in me that I don’t even have to think about them anymore.
Sometimes managing your depression is less about what you add to your life, and more about what you take away. Here are 7 things I don't do that help my depression. These have all become such ingrained habits in me that I don't even have to think about them anymore.
Sometimes managing your depression is less about what you add to your life, and more about what you take away. Here are 7 things I don't do that help my depression. These have all become such ingrained habits in me that I don't even have to think about them anymore.

Dani

Friday 6th of October 2017

Can I get an AMEN!!! This is incredibly helpful! What a great and simple way to keep yourself in check! I know every single one of these has sent me spiraling into the pit of despair! Thank you!!

Katie

Friday 6th of October 2017

Glad you found it helpful! :)

Cyn

Thursday 24th of March 2016

Thank you for this. While all of our experiences with depression will be unique, I feel these are good reminders for all of us of some things that may unexpectedly/unknowingly sap our energy. I've spent a lot less time on social media and current events lately, and forced myself to turn off the commercials that make me sad. Usually for me, those are either animal related, since I recently lost my dear cat, Fritz, or they are human rights related, since those ads tend to make me feel more depressed about the world and human nature in general. Thank you for such a great article! It's a much more helpful than those I've read lately, which concern themselves with making our bed, expressing gratitude through random acts of kindness, and creating to-do lists. Not that there's anything inherently wrong in those things, but when just getting out of bed is an accomplishment for me, the other articles' suggestions have been counterintuitive.

Katie

Monday 28th of March 2016

Good for you! Keep going :)

Bernadette

Monday 29th of February 2016

Why commercials?

Katie

Monday 29th of February 2016

Some commercials are designed to make you feel bad about yourself, like makeup companies making you feel like you're not "pretty" unless you're wearing enough makeup. That sort of thing. :)

Stephanie Burkard

Thursday 11th of February 2016

You hit home with this article. I suffer from anxiety/depression and although I am still a vegetarian (and an environmental science major), I used to follow tons of vegan rights/animal cruelty pages and would HATE myself every time I gave up and ate something that wasn't dairy/egg free or I would constantly think about something upsetting that I saw on Facebook. Over the past few years I've minimized my social media time and delated my Instagram (talk about comparing yourself to others). Although depression will always be a struggle of mine, trying to keep a positive outlook on my life along with doing many of the things you mentioned here helps. Thanks for this article, it's nice to know I am not the only one who feels this way.

Katie

Sunday 14th of February 2016

So true. :) Thanks for commenting.

T. Riley

Saturday 23rd of January 2016

Love this article. So accurate. I suffer from anxiety and depression and I find all of those tips help me maintain a healthy mindset as often as possible. I hate when I wander into the comments section of any media article. People can be very negative and spiteful and the energy can radiate off the pages and its horrible when complete strangers can cause your mood to shift in negative ways, so you're very right about that . Loved the article.

Katie

Sunday 24th of January 2016

Very true sometimes. Thank you! :)

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