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Activities for Depressed People

author image Michelle Bolyn
Michelle Bolyn is a licensed mental health professional and has worked since 2006 as a therapist. Bolyn has been writing mental health, wedding-related and relationship focused articles since 2007. She is published on Suite101.com and Examiner.com. Bolyn received her master's degree in social work from New York University.
Activities for Depressed People
Woman walking dog. Photo Credit Kane Skennar/Photodisc/Getty Images


Depression is a debilitating mental illness that affects people socially and occupationally. Symptoms of depression include feelings of sadness and irritability, thoughts of suicide, issues with eating and sleeping, trouble concentrating and fatigue. Dealing with these symptoms can be overwhelming and frustrating, but doing activities that can improve your depression is critical to overcoming it.


Helpguide.org reports that maintaining healthy relationships and getting support from friends and family members helps to reduce symptoms of depression and keep the symptoms from returning. It’s important to let close friends and family members know about your struggles with depression. Let them know the symptoms so they’re able to help you realize when you’re becoming depressed.

Schedule time with friends and family members and stick to it. When someone’s depressed, she might have a hard time getting out of bed and taking care of herself. If she plans time with friends and family, she’s more likely to follow through and be healthier. Set up a weekly lunch date with your best friend, go the movies with your cousin on Saturday nights and take your coworker up on the invitation to go on walks during your lunch break.

Club or Classes

Get out of the house and meet new people by joining a new club or class. Have you always wanted to learn how to cook delicious dinners? Ask a friend to join you in Italian cooking classes. If you love to read, form a book club or join one. If you wanted to take dance classes but never got around to it, sign up now. It’s important for people who are depressed to push themselves to interact with people and get out of the house.


According to the Mayo Clinic, exercising has shown to reduce symptoms of depression, and some people say that it helps them more than antidepressants. Pick an activity that you enjoy and make an effort to do it at least three times per week. Ask a friend to do it with you if you need someone to hold you accountable. You could combine joining a new class with exercise by joining an aerobics, indoor cycling or yoga class. There are plenty of options for exercise even if you don’t want to leave your home. Buy an exercise DVD and don’t let yourself watch television until you’ve worked out.

Stress Reducers

People who are depressed need ways to reduce stress when they’re starting to feel overwhelmed by it. They need to learn how to cope with stress in healthy ways. To do this, someone needs to know how to reduce stress. Take a few minutes to write down at least five ways that you can reduce symptoms of stress and depression on a regular basis. For instance, you could take a bubble bath, read a romance novel or walk your dog to reduce stress. Write down things that work for you and try to do at least one thing from your list each day.

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