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  • Dena Lampert

8 Positive Things to Do When You're Feeling Negative

It’s been a bad couple of weeks for me.  I’m sitting at home (on the first full day of Spring) and waiting out the fourth nor’easter that the New York area has experienced in the last month.  I’m also trying to adjust to a new normal in my life after losing my mom to leukemia.  I’m feeling a little depressed and I don’t like it.

I am writing this blog today today to remind myself that I have some control over my depression, and I have strategies that will help me feel better.  My hope is that some of these tools will be helpful to you too.

  1. Sleep.Your body and brain heal when you are sleeping.  8+ hours of sleep will help your focus, energy level and performance throughout the day.

  2. Wake up at the same time every day. Behaviors and body functions tend to run on a cycle that coincides with the 24 hour day.  When we sleep too late or wake up too early, it has a negative affect on our mood.  Regulating our sleep/wake cycle will do wonders for your mood and help you to feel stable and energized.

  3. Eat…but not too much.  Simply put, your brain needs balanced nutrition to feel good.  Food keeps your body and brain fueled in order to accomplish the tasks for the day.  I have a tendency to overeat when I’m depressed, others will restrict their eating.  Neither of these behaviors will help your mood in a positive way.  The key is to find some balance in your diet.  But remember…nobody can maintain a perfect diet so don’t beat yourself up if you can’t always find the balance.

  4. Exercise.  When your body is physically moving, your brain produces chemicals that serve to improve your mood and reduce pain.  Exercise could be as easy as a ten minute walk to achieve a positive affect on your mood.

  5. Do something different.  Get out of bed or off the couch!  Finish a small project or start a new one. Clean out a closet.  Go run an errand.  Walk the dog. Find a new recipe and cook something delicious.  When you find something else to do, you distract yourself from the negative thoughts that are making you feel bad.

  6. Listen to music.  This one always works for me.  I’m not sure why. 

  7. Call or text a friend.  Many times, when we are feeling bad, we tend to isolate ourselves.  This is the worst thing we can do for our bad mood.  When you talk to a friend, ask them about their day and find out what’s going on with them.  This helps to get you out of your own head for a little while.

  8. Avoid drugs and alcohol.  Don’t get me wrong.  Getting high or drunk is very effective in reducing stress or sadness for a few hours (if that much). However, what goes up must come down, and mood altering drug use always ends in withdrawal and a crash. When the high wears off, you will feel even worse than before.   

So it’s been a few hours since I created this list.  I cooked dinner for my family while listening to music and, for right now, I am feeling a little better.  Thanks for reading.


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