From time to time I sneak in some funny things on Resilient, 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. 😉
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 or 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 upset 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.
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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 things like gore-filled horror movies or even true crime if it’s too graphic. 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?).
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.
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: 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, online 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.
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 in order to stay happy. These have all become such ingrained habits in me that I don’t even have to think about them anymore.
7 More Things I Don’t Do to Stay Happy
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.
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. 🙂
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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.
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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. 🙂
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 feeling self-conscious, 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 some of them are really violent and seem to cause 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.
Finally, the last thing I don’t do that helps me stay happy 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.
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Well, there you have it! Seven things to stop doing to help your depression. Do you do any of these things already, or are you going to try not doing them?