The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts from adolescents’ perspectives.
This past year has been my hardest one yet. I have been through a breakup of a toxic relationship, a death of a family member, a dangerous roommate situation that led me to having to move home with my parents unexpectedly, and a consistent depression that has been tough to beat.
Through this year, I have learned the incredible importance of the little things in life. When life crumbles around you and things get heavy, there are small things to turn to so life can feel a little bit lighter. I am going to go through a list of a few things that always help me feel a bit better during these times.
Get a haircut/new hairdo. I got a much needed haircut this past weekend and dyed it a bit darker than usual. It has been an immeasurable confidence boost, as my hair before was super dry and damaged looking. Now, I feel like I look better and I feel more confident. When we get into depressive episodes, it is difficult to care about the state of your hair and it can often get neglected during these times. Treat yourself to a trim, or even a new ‘do to feel better!
Buy a new outfit. This is my go-to. I have been doing this since I was young, and it has always helped me feel a lot better. Even if you do not have a lot of money to drop on a new outfit, you can hunt for deals and come out with a great new piece for cheap. I go to discount stores or thrift stores so I never feel guilty about spending money on new clothing, as it ends up costing me less than a lot of other things! A new outfit is something to look forward to – you can plan to wear it to a fun event or out with friends and feel confident and new while doing so.
Do something simple with a friend. My go-to is meeting for coffee. If you want to opt for something free, try a walk in a local park or driving to a scenic spot. When I am in a depressive episode, I find it a lot easier to have one-on-one interactions with friends so I would recommend that instead of throwing yourself into a group setting. The more people there are, the more you are going to feel pressure to talk and be fun. With one friend, you can feel more comfortable to open up and not put on a show and hiding your feelings like you may feel led to do when in a group.
Spend some time with a pet. I find that when I spend some time playing with my dog at home, I feel better. If you don’t have a pet at home, ask a friend who has one if you can swing by and visit them.
Sing and dance around. After a stressful day this week, I took the opportunity to blast music and sing and dance around my room when my parents were out. It felt so good and freeing that I ended up doing it for an hour, when I only expected to dance to a few songs. I felt a lot better after and got some of my stress out.
Treat yourself to a food you love. For me this week, it was Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream. It is a small thing to look forward to, but it can be a way to make it through the week. You can tell yourself, “This week may be hard, but at the end of it I get …” and insert whatever food is your very favorite! If you have a restaurant or bakery in particular that you love, stop by there on your way home to treat yourself.
Watch a funny or mindless TV show. For me, my guilty pleasure this year has been The Bachelorette. It’s a silly show to take my mind off things and is fun to talk about with other people. If there’s a show that you always go back to so you can laugh, indulge in a few episodes of that.
Are there any small things you do for yourself when in a depressive episode? Feel free to share below!