From time to time I sneak in some funny things on Resilient (pug pictures, etc), 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 seriously would be good 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 and 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 depressed 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.
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.
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 the Saw movies (I’ve watched them. Big mistake). 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.
[Recommended Post: How to Make a Happy Box for Bad Days]
8. Watch commercials
With Netflix and Tivo 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: I used to be super into “activism” and saving the world and making a difference when I was in high school (vegetarian, eco friendly, free hugs events, that whole bit) but I realized that 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, social 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.
If you’d like to learn more about negative things to let go of in your life, check out our 30 Day Negativity Detox class.