5 Steps To Enjoy Life More (When You Have Depression)

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t depressed. Of course, there are times when I feel less depressed than others, but for the past twelve years at least, I’ve struggled with both anxiety and depression.

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At first, it was just an overwhelming sense of sadness.

I still got up and functioned (the best I could anyway), but within the past three years or so, it’s been more crippling. I stay in bed longer on my days off, use sleep as an escape from the world, drown in TV dramas to avoid my own life drama, and put off doing the things I used to love (the gym, drawing, sewing, etc.)

I know I have a problem, there’s no denying that.

It’s just whether or not I have the energy to confront it and allow myself the space to do something about it. I want to be happy, of course, so that is why I have made myself a list of things I can start doing on a daily basis (and just in general) to try to enjoy life more.

I sometimes feel as though the key to defeating my own sadness is simply trying to enjoy the little things because it’s the small moments that take up the most space in our hearts, yet we often fail to notice them.

1. Make A List

At the end of every day, write down all of the things that made you happy or made you smile; laugh.

At first, when I started doing this, it was hard to think of things because my thoughts were so negative. But nothing is off limits here.

Really just jot down anything at all that made you somewhat enjoy your day. The dog was happy to see me when I got home, my boyfriend made me dinner, etc.

Doing this, although small and seemingly insignificant, will help you realize that you do have happiness in your life. Small things add up to big things.

2. Celebrate

Take time to celebrate the things you’ve accomplished.

Did you get a promotion at work? Did you find a new job? Pass a test?

Is it your birthday but you downplay it because you don’t think you’re special enough to deserve a celebration? I typically do this with holidays.

I used to hate the holidays because people would freak out over decorating and celebrating but now I know why.

People are enjoying themselves, enjoying life. Start decorating for the holidays, enjoy the process.

Put up lights, make a Christmas card, hand out Halloween candy. It’ll help you get involved in life and in the process, enjoy life as well.

3. Take Time For Yourself

Some of my depression comes from other people or more specifically their actions and how I perceive them.

If I don’t take time to spend by myself I get lost in the world of comparison, taking things personally, feeling like I’ve lost myself, etc.

What do you love to do, yet feel like you have no time for? In my case, it’s writing and sewing.

I’m still in the process of finding time for these things, but when I actually do take part in them, my mood skyrockets.

My happiness is greater than my sadness.

4. Move

Do something. Even if all you want to do is lay in bed and sleep, get up and make something, go for a drive, do anything besides falling back into the depression. I’ve fallen victim to this many times.

Telling myself I’ll only sleep until eight and then all of a sudden it’s past eleven and I feel terrible.

The more you give into your depression, the deeper it gets and the harder it is to pull yourself out of it. Busy hands are happy hands.

Have you ever heard that saying before? Well, it can be true. Take a walk, go to the gym. I know it seems hard, but it’s worth the effort.

5. Be Patient With Yourself

Living with depression is depressing. It’s hard. Enjoying life seems impossible, so that’s why it’s important to give yourself space, time, and be patient.

Things won’t improve overnight, but with a constant effort to better yourself, you can and you will.

From my own experience, most weeks, even days are still rollercoasters. Filled with emotions and anxieties, yet I continue to plug away at enjoying the life I have, one small moment at a time.

One of the most important things about depression, though, is knowing you are not alone and that it is okay to not be okay.

So many people have told me, ‘why can’t you just be happy?’ or ‘just think better thoughts’ and of course that is the goal, but it’s easier said than done.

I try and that is all we can ever do; try our best and remind ourselves that we are enough and deserve an awesome life.

How do you enjoy your life? What brings a smile to your face?

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