So find ways—both big and small—to help others: volunteer, be a listening ear for a friend, do something nice for somebody. While nothing can replace the human connection, pets can bring joy and companionship into your life and help you feel less isolated.
Caring for a pet can also get you outside of yourself and give you a sense of being needed—both powerful antidotes to depression. Being with others dealing with depression can go a long way in reducing your sense of isolation.
But if you reach out for help, you will feel better. You can make a huge dent in your depression with simple but powerful self-help steps.
Express yourself creatively through music, art, or writing. Take a day trip to a museum, the mountains, or the ballpark.
But exercise is a powerful depression fighter—and one of the most important tools in your recovery arsenal.
Studies show that regular exercise can be as effective as antidepressant medication at increasing energy levels and decreasing feelings of fatigue. A 30-minute walk each day will give you a much-needed boost.
No matter how bleak things seem, though, there’s a lot you can do to change the way you think and feel.
You can’t just will yourself to “snap out of it,” but you do have more control than you realize.