Depression is an isolating and debilitating disease. However, the truth is that depression is more common than many realize. Depression affects nearly 9 percent of American citizens, and there are many more people who suffer from the symptoms of depression, but have not officially been diagnosed with depression. If you’re feeling depressed, that doesn’t mean something is wrong with you. It simply means that you’re human. 

The good news is that you don’t have to stay depressed. Here are some things that you can do to help you to feel a little better at those moments when you’re feeling down. 

Studies have shown that physical exercise can be as effective as anti-depressant medication. Exercise gets your blood flowing and helps you to feel better about yourself. Additionally, engaging in exercise can take your mind off of the things that bother you. You don’t need to embark upon a vigorous exercise regimen to see results, either. A simple walk or yoga workout can be all you need to start feeling better. 

Eat a Healthy Meal 

Many people turn to food when they’re feeling down, indulging in large quantities of comfort foods. However, a sensible and healthy meal is more effective in terms of helping you to turn your spirits around. A good meal demonstrates a commitment to helping you feel better, and the nutrients found in healthy foods will boost your spirits. 

Call a Friend 

It’s normal to feel alone when depression hits. While reaching out to a friend might seem unnatural at these times, it’s actually one of the best things you can do. Just getting things out into the open can be truly beneficial. Also, letting a trusted friend know what’s going on in your life can help them to understand your situation as you try to make things better. 

Express Yourself 

As helpful as it can be to confide in a friend, not everyone feels comfortable reaching out to another person. Finding a way to express yourself can give you a similar release. Writing about your feelings, drawing a picture or playing an instrument can provide a creative outlet that enables you to unburden yourself and create something positive in the process. 

Turn Off Your Phone 

Sometimes the non-stop connections we’ve grown accustomed to in today’s world can do more harm than good. Checking your phone constantly can make you feel worse, especially if you feel as though nobody is concerned about you. Instead of agonizing over the actions of others, take matters into your own hands and eliminate the temptation to let other people make you feel worse. Doing this will help you to focus more on the real issues that are bothering you. 

Everyone is different, and everyone has their own preferred ways to feel better. Try different things out and see what works for you. If none of these tricks work, consider talking to a professional counselor to learn more about what you can do to help yourself when depression strikes.