If you suffer from major depression, you are not alone.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, around one-tenth of American adults experience at least one major depressive episode per year.
While some people present certain risk factors for major depression, no one is certain what exactly causes it.
It’s a complicated mental health disorder that no medical professionals fully understand.
Having depression can be an isolating experience.
It can affect your self-esteem, mood, motivation, and energy levels.
Attending therapy sessions and surrounding yourself with supportive family and friends are both great ways to cope with depression.
However, due to the nature of the disease, you may not always be up for being around people.
Whenever you need to be alone, here are 5 solo activities you can try to help you combat depression.
1) Learn a Musical Instrument
Playing a new instrument can be incredibly rewarding and mentally stimulating.
According to The Atlantic, performing music releases endorphins.
Endorphins are natural opiates produced by the body, which are the same ones associated with the infamous runner’s high.
Learning an instrument will give you something to work towards.
You can feel a sense of accomplishment from any task you do like completing a scale, reading sheet music, or learning a part of your favorite song.
If you don’t already own a musical instrument, you don’t have to drop a fortune. Buy a cheaper instrument like a harmonica, flute, or ukulele.
If you have your heart set on a bigger instrument like the drums, find a shop that sells high-quality used instruments like drumcenternh.com.
2) Take a Walk or Bike Ride
You can also reap the benefits that endorphins provide by partaking in physical activity.
Go on a walk around your neighborhood or take a bike ride into a new part of town.
Some cities offer bike rentals that you can drop off in different parts of this city.
Taking advantage of this change in scenery can offer a well-needed distraction from the feelings of stasis and sadness you may be experiencing.
3) Start Your Own Garden
Watering flowers, planting seeds, and sowing dirt are all hands-on tasks that require your focus.
These tasks can help keep unhappy or unproductive thoughts at bay.
And, everything that you grow will offer a great sense of pride.
To not overwhelm yourself with too much responsibility, start small with a few plants on your windowsill.
Once you grow more confident with gardening, you can set aside a larger plot in your backyard.
4) Read in a Park or Coffee Shop
You may not feel like interacting with others directly, and that’s perfectly okay.
However, you may feel the need to be around other people in some capacity.
To achieve this balance, take a book to a public place like a park or coffee shop. You are likely to feel less lonely in the presence of others.
Plus, you can get lost in a different world and relieve some of the heavy emotions you’re feeling.
Depending on your preferred genre, you can escape by learning about a historical figure or exploring the adventures of your favorite heroine.
5) Find a Creative Outlet
No matter if it’s writing, drawing, or spinning pottery, a creative outlet can help distract from your feelings.
Activities that require intricate focus and detail like embroidery and paper crafts can be particularly beneficial.
Ultimately, it’s up to you how you use your creative outlet.
You can try to convey your emotions through art, or focus on creating a work inspired by something outside of your depression.
Above all, try to do something unconfined to a screen.
Dealing with major depression is a huge challenge to overcome.
Rather than being alone with your thoughts, try one of these 5 activities to stimulate your mind and body.