99 Things to Do When You Are Feeling Depressed

By Amanda Smith, LCSW

A major depressive episode can be exhausting and deeply discouraging for individuals who are already coping with a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder or self-injurious behaviors.

Thankfully depression doesn’t last forever—but it can sometimes feel like it.

It’s important during this time to make a commitment to staying alive. Please take excellent care of both your mind and body during this time of emotional suffering. You are worthy of love and healing.

Here are some ideas you may want to consider while you’re coping with depression.

  1. Promise yourself that you won’t give up.

  2. Watch videos of corgi puppies.

  3. Call a warm line.

  4. Take yourself to the movies.

  5. Make yourself ice coffee.

  6. Find a therapist who will listen without giving advice.

  7. Jump on a rebounder.

  8. Give yourself a hug.

  9. Decide to love yourself through the pain.

  10. Take a very cold shower.

  11. Buy yourself flowers.

  12. Pray.

  13. Watch something that will inspire you.

  14. Take a brief therapeutic nap.

  15. Pet your cat.

  16. Read How I Stayed Alive When My Brain Was Trying to Kill Me.

  17. Go for a walk for 20 minutes.

  18. Get 10 minutes of sunshine.

  19. Rule out medical causes for your depression.

  20. Hug your dog.

  21. Walk on the grass without shoes.

  22. Make your bed.

  23. Teach yourself how to tell jokes.

  24. Say no to alcohol for 30 days.

  25. Eat more vegetables.

  26. Create meaning and purpose.

  27. Plan your fantasy vacation.

  28. Make a list of your top ten values.

  29. Engage in hopefulness.

  30. Get one thing done on your to do list.

  31. Learn a few DBT skills.

  32. Make your own play-dough.

  33. Light a vanilla-scented candle.

  34. Wear your best clothes and nicest shoes.

  35. Blow bubbles.

  36. Soak your feet in epsom salts.

  37. Drink more water.

  38. Let someone know that you need help.

  39. Validate yourself.

  40. Make chocolate avocado pudding.

  41. Forgive yourself.

  42. Forgive others.

  43. Try on cowboy boots.

  44. Upvote comments on Reddit.

  45. Read Superbetter.

  46. Start a jigsaw puzzle.

  47. Write 10 words daily in a journal.

  48. Promise yourself that you’ll stay alive for 365 days.

  49. Plan a party for a friend.

  50. Find a MeetUp.

  51. Try out for a local play or choir.

  52. Listen to comics with your eyes closed.

  53. Text someone who would love to hear from you.

  54. Name your emotion out loud.

  55. Use finger paints.

  56. Dance to one song.

  57. Dance to ten songs.

  58. Clean out your inbox.

  59. Touch the ceiling.

  60. Self-soothe with lavender oil.

  61. Take yourself out for breakfast at midnight.

  62. Empty the dishwasher.

  63. Bake cookies for your neighbor.

  64. Cuddle with someone you love,

  65. Savor one piece of chocolate.

  66. Commit to wisdom and wise action.

  67. Listen to one podcast episode where you’ll learn something new.

  68. Rely on others for help for a day.

  69. Be virtuous for one hour.

  70. Remember that depression will end.

  71. Allow yourself to cry and grieve.

  72. Join a support group.

  73. Get a second opinion.

  74. Brush your teeth as soon as you wake up.

  75. Learn one new word and use it in a sentence.

  76. Give yourself 24 hours before you do something self-destructive.

  77. Decide to like yourself for five minutes.

  78. Practice paced breathing.

  79. Walk through a book store.

  80. Run as fast as you can for three minutes.

  81. Visit someone who is lonely.

  82. Allow yourself to rest.

  83. Give three pieces of clothing to charity.

  84. Encourage one other person.

  85. Embrace acceptance.

  86. Push yourself to do more than you did yesterday.

  87. Listen to a book on relationships.

  88. Go to an AA or NA meeting and listen.

  89. Count backwards from 1000 by 3s.

  90. Make a list of reasons for living.

  91. Tell others that you are committed to staying alive.

  92. Go off of all sugar for one week.

  93. Sing out loud.

  94. Search for God.

  95. Create a blog or vlog.

  96. Decide to love the unlovable.

  97. Stop apologizing for feeling sad.

  98. Be ridiculous.

  99. Cling to life.

For more information on DBT Therapy see these books by Amanda Smith.

The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Wellness Planner
from 29.95

By Amanda L. Smith, LCSW

The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Wellness Planner is a helpful tool for anyone who struggles with emotional sensitivity and/or Borderline Personality Disorder to use as you work toward creating a healthier, more meaningful life—a life worth living—by balancing acceptance and change.

The Borderline Personality Disorder Wellness Planner for Families
from 24.95


By Amanda Smith, LCSW
Foreword by Perry Hoffman, PhD

The Borderline Personality Disorder Wellness Planner for Families provides weekly inspiration and planning tools for parents, spouses, siblings, and partners of those who are suffering with the emotion dysregulation and self-sabotaging behaviors that is associated with borderline personality disorder.