At the time my depression returned during graduate school, I was also extremely stressed while maintaining a schedule of 2 part-time on-campus library jobs, 2 freelance symphony jobs which rehearsed and performed on the weekends at a location over two hours away from campus, and the normal required doctoral coursework. My life was more than booked solid. So, I decided to take advantage of the counseling services available at the Student Health Center.
One of the suggestions which the counselor had (she happened to be a student herself working towards a Master’s in Social Work) included doing something nice for myself, such as pampering with a warm bath and body lotion. Another suggestion was to find more time for myself in the schedule....a schedule which I had planned precisely down to 15-minute time blocks. Neither of these ideas seemed to be practical nor appropriate for me at the time. However now as I look back, they seem to be good ideas in general.
Below is a list of Positive Steps (as presented by the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America) which can be taken immediately to help lift one’s mood:
1. Exercise. Exercise is proven to produce an increase in chemicals such as endorphins, which can make us feel less depressed – and can help to lessen fatigue as well. Exercises are available for individuals of all ability levels, and patients should discuss an appropriate exercise program with their doctor. (Specific exercise should only be done with a physician’s approval.)Read this post in its entirety:
Positive Steps to Take When You are Stressed and Depressed