Depression is an ugly thing. I know. I’ve been there, more times than you know, that dark, midnight time of the soul, where monsters lurk with sharpened teeth and faries die underneath iron blades. It is never easy, and it is not a battle you can win easily, not without sacrificing a tooth or two, or a portion of your heart.
But there is one way to overcome depression, one tried and sure way which I have discovered over time, and which many other people have told me about, only, it wasn’t until I put it into practice did I realise how very useful it was: keeping yourself occupied. I know it sounds rather simple, and not the kind of solution you were asking for. Keeping myself occupied? Doing things, even though all depression wants me to do is lie in bed until I get nauseous and dizzying from staying in a supine position for so long?
Yes. The best way to overcome depression, to re-surface from the land of cluttered clockwork unscathed, with not so much as a single scratch on you, is to keep yourself busy every single second of every single minute of every single hour of the day. You mustn’t let yourself do nothing, not even for a second—you must be busy at all times, doing something, even if the task is as simple as typing a message to someone on your phone. The moment you stop doing, and lapse into passive activities, is the moment when depression likes to creep in, and ruin everything. It feeds off of lassitude and boredom.
This doesn’t mean that every “activity” out there is considered sufficient enough to be classified as an “occupation”. On Google, occupation is defined as “work”, or how one earns one’s living. There’s a secret here: why do you think so many of us who are unemployed, are depressed? That’s because we have nothing to occupy our days with, so we end up sinking deeper and deeper into the morass of our own thoughts. What we should be doing, instead, is trying to find a job, so that we can find ourselves productively engaged no matter what time of the day it is.
Passive activities like watching Youtube, or watching films. or even reading, are NOT good antidotes against depression, simply because, especially if you find reading an easy thing, they are occupations which require little effort. Effort is key. The task shouldn’t be so much effort that it causes you to over-stress yourself and have a mental breakdown, but it should be engaging enough to require your full attention at all times. That, my friends, is how you beat depression—simply by keeping busy, very busy, very productive, and entirely engaged with life.
I used to work in an age care centre, and even though I hated the job, and didn’t enjoy cleaning up faeces one bit, throughout the entirety of my experience at the age care centre, because I was busy and occupied, I wasn’t depressed. Not at all. It was only afterwards, when I had to wait half an hour for the bus, or during my break time, when I had to sit and eat and stare at a television screen, that the gloominess would begin to set in again.
I think I’ve stumbled across something quite marvelous, which many others before me have already discovered, yet is still new and fresh to me. Depression is beatable: not through medicine, not through therapy (although talking to your therapist is a productive activity, and probably why people feel “better” afterwards), but through simply lifestyle changes; namely, finding things to do. I don’t care what it is. It could be playing an intensive video game, doing the grocery shopping, playing Sudoku, writing a book, cooking, singing, working at a real job; never just laze around, watching Youtube videos, films, listening to audiobooks and reading books, like I have done before.
Keep busy, and it’ll keep you alive.