10 Things to do to Survive a Depressive Episode

Depression Survival Guide



I am not a licensed therapist. If you are suffering from a major disorder and need treatment please seek the help of a professional. If you need help finding a mental health care provider call  1-800-662-HELP (4357). You can download a free printable list of hotlines here.

If you’re having a full blown mental health crisis you need to get professional help. When you’re really struggling I know how hard it can be to do even the most basic things. Here’s a depression survival guide for when things are f$%^ed up and not OK. Focus on one day at a time and know that with time you can recover.

Take a shower and put on clean clothes

This might seem like a huge waste of time if you’re depressed and not leaving your house but trying to keep a little bit of a normal routine will help you. You have to try not to let your depression make you stop everything. Try to maintain whatever level of functioning you can right now and get up, take a shower and put on clean clothes.

Drink some water and eat something

Drinking water and eating is essential to your recovery. If you don’t have an appetite try to make yourself eat a little bit at a time. Salmon has been shown to help alleviate depression. I posted my favorite super simple salmon recipe here. Feed your body healthy foods. I know when I feel bad all I want to do is drown in calories and sleep but that isn’t going to help you feel better. Try to stay away from junk food and eat healthy snacks throughout the day.

Self Care

Try and do some basic things to take care of yourself. Brush your teeth, comb your hair and wash your face. If this is the minimum amount of functioning you can do right now that’s OK but you need to try and take care of yourself the best that you can. You can get through this day, just focus on one thing at a time.


See if you can get your mind off of your depression and engage in something even if it is just for a few minutes at a time. Trying to focus on anything when you’re depressed can be difficult. like to watch movies that I’ve already seen a bunch of times because it’s easy to follow. Disney movies are my favorite things to watch when I feel crappy. Try putting on your favorite movie and see if it can distract you for a little while.


Reach Out

Tell a friend or family member that you are struggling. If you don’t have anyone in your personal life you can call a hotline. I have a printable list of hotlines you can call here. Sometimes just telling someone how hard things are can help. If you don’t want to talk you can text the crisis text line to text a crisis counselor. Text HELLO to 741741.

Go to the Damn Therapist

Seek professional help. I have a whole blog post about going to the therapist here. Try using this therapist finder from Psychology Today. If you are struggling to function you need to seek professional help. I’ve been depressed and miserable too but things got better for me and I know they can get better for you too.


Writing down five things you are thankful for will direct your brain towards something positive. If you feel like writing more checkout our downloadable list of gratitude journal prompts.


Find something that really resonates with you and say it in your mind when you need encouragement. Write it down and put it on the refrigerator, your bathroom mirror and next to your bed. I like to set my affirmation for the day as an alarm on my phone. I think it’s a nice reminder in the middle of the day. If you need some inspiration you can checkout my affirmations Pinterest board.

Here are some affirmations to try:

  1. Your discomfort won’t last forever.
  2. You are resilient. You are a silent warrior.
  3. You are okay where you are right now.
  4. I Am OK With Where I Am Right Now
  5. I am turning into someone who stays strong no matter what
  6. I am turning into someone who stays strong no matter what


I also made this desktop background you can download for free.



Going outside and getting a little bit of exercise will help you. Make a cheer up playlist you can listen to. Try just walking to the end of your street if you can’t go far. Just do a little bit, it’s OK.

Train your brain

You should be just as kind and compassionate to yourself as you would be to your best friend. Addressing negative self talk can help you find some relief. When you are thinking nasty thoughts about yourself try to catch yourself and redirect your thoughts. If you wouldn’t say the things you are telling yourself in your head to a stranger you need to work on changing your thought process. You deserve kindness from everyone, including yourself.

I hope some of these tips will bring you some relief. If you want more mental health tips you can sign up for my free Mental Health Makeover E-Course. Comment below if you have any other tips for getting through a depressive episode. Remember to do one thing at a time and go day by day. There are easier and happier times waiting for you in the future.


  1. Thank you for kindly sharing (heart to heart / not condescending) tips. I employ most of your suggestions… Think taking a break from work to watch a movie sounds like an excellent idea for next time =)

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