When life gets you down.

When I feel dejected, frustrated, lonely, or sad, there are some things I do that often help. Feel free to try these if things in your life or the world have gotten you down.

In no particular order:

  • I listen to music—first to help me process my emotions and then to help me move into a better state of mind.
  • I spend time in prayer or meditation—sometimes just sitting in silence or with calming music, letting the Spirit speak what words cannot (Rom. 8:26–27), and other times, voicing exactly what’s on my mind, admitting my own faults and asking for what I long for.
  • I try shaking up my routine by doing something new—whether that’s trying a new food or exploring a part of the city I’ve never seen. When possible, I try to make it something active, like going to a new store to browse in person, rather than something passive, like just browsing a new Netflix show.
  • I create something—maybe to share, or maybe just for myself. Right now, I’m working on several projects that I’m excited to share publicly soon, but sometimes it’s also worthwhile to just write in a journal or make something personal and private just to give yourself an outlet. Write a song, write a story, make art, build something with your hands, whatever you enjoy. Me, I’m making videos. You could even just get a coloring book and some crayons and go to town.
  • I learn a new skill. Right now, I’m learning a new programming language (Swift, for those who care). Some day, I want to learn how to paint the miniatures that came with one of my board games.

I don’t always do all of these things; it depends on the situation. And for those who experience chronic, clinical depression, it can be much more complicated—medication and therapy can be important parts of that puzzle, and there are no easy answers.

But for the day-to-day challenges and stresses of life, these are some things that have helped me. I hope this sparks some helpful ideas for you.