Daily Routine To Fight Off Depression


Depression can affect anyone, and I have a personal history with depression in my family. Just like maintaining physical health requires daily habits like exercise and healthy eating, maintaining mental health also requires consistent effort. When life gets stressful, whether due to school, pregnancy, or even a global pandemic, it’s important to take extra care of mental health.

Personal History with Depression

I have a history of depression in my family and personal experience with depressive episodes. When you’re deep in a pit of depression, it can be extremely difficult to see any light or way out. At that point, all you may be able to do is take tiny steps and seek help. Don’t let this routine overwhelm you – start with one small change at a time.

Difference Between Getting Out of Depression and Maintaining Mental Health

What I’ll share today focuses more on maintaining mental health rather than getting out of severe depression. When depressed, even basic self-care can feel impossible. But by building healthy daily habits, you can prevent descending into depression and manage symptoms more effectively.

Overview of Routine

My routine includes morning habits, self-care tasks, exercise, time in nature, evenings focused on relaxation, and other general self-care practices. Not everything will work for everyone, so adapt what resonates.

Morning Routine

I start each morning with prayer and gratitude. This grounds me in purpose and connection. If you’re non-religious, try meditation or breathing exercises.

Avoid Devices/Social Media

I avoid screens first thing so I can intentionally set the tone of my day. Social media first thing could expose me to negativity, so I start with calm instead.

Set Goals and Priorities

After praying and reflecting, I write down my goals and priorities for the day. This focuses my mind for the tasks ahead.

Limited News Consumption

With heavy news cycles, I limit news to once a day to avoid constant stress. Processing frightening events daily can overwhelm anyone.

Importance of Sleep

As a mom of three young kids, I’m usually awake by 5 AM without an alarm by going to bed around 9-10 PM. Maintaining consistent sleep is crucial for mental health. Research shows strong links between insomnia and depression – resolve sleep issues to resolve depressive symptoms. Each person’s sleep needs differ, but adequate sleep prevents depression.

Get Dressed and Shower

After my morning routine, I shower, get dressed, and take vitamins. Being clean, dressed, and ready for the day boosts motivation and energy. It’s harder to accomplish anything still wearing yesterday’s pajamas.

Feel More Energetic and Productive

Simply showering, changing clothes, and taking vitamins helps me feel ready to socialize, run errands, or be productive.

Take Supplements

Along with vitamins, I take omega-3 supplements to support mood and brain health. Overall nutrition greatly impacts mental health as well.


Along with sleep and nutrition, regular exercise is vital for managing depression. Research confirms aerobic exercise helps mental health by releasing feel-good chemicals in the brain and reducing stress hormones. I always feel emotional relief and clarity after movement.

Research on Exercise and Mental Health

Studies prove consistent exercise effectively treats depression symptoms and boosts mood through biological mechanisms.

Clears Brain Fog and Stress

Personally, I find exercise works through pent-up emotions and helps me process anger and frustration in a healthy way.

Creativity in Fitting in Exercise

As a busy mom without much free time, I have to be creative in fitting in movement. Gardening, playing with my kids, simple at-home workouts, and family walks all get my heart rate up. During quarantine, online workout videos help motivate me to move each day.

girl sad portrait depression alone
girl sad portrait depression alone

Spend Time in Nature

Along with exercise, spending time outside is vital for my mental health. Sunshine, fresh air, and nature contact relieve stress. I’m fortunate to live somewhere beautiful, but anyone can step outside, open windows, or even visualize nature.

Research on Nature and Mental Health

Studies demonstrate nature exposure helps lower blood pressure, heart rate, and stress hormones. Our brains inherently find landscapes peaceful.

Imagining Nature

Even just imagining favorite outdoor places activates the brain’s relaxation response. View nature photography if you can’t access the outdoors easily.

girl sadness loneliness
girl sadness loneliness

Evening Routine

After getting my young kids to bed, I enjoy calm activities like reading, hot baths, and journaling wins from the day. Recording accomplishments helps balance my tendency to fixate on failures.

Quiet Time

I don’t work in the evenings since it would stress me out. Peaceful alone time helps me recharge.

Journaling and Gratitude

Journaling about positive experiences grounds me in gratitude. Regular gratitude practices demonstrably relieve and prevent depressive symptoms.

Limited Screen Time

I avoid overstimulating screens before bed, but may watch relaxing nature videos if needed. The brain benefits from tech-free downtime.

worried girl woman waiting sitting

Other Self-Care

Along with my daily routine, I carve out weekly time for hobbies, take a tech-free Sabbath, and prioritize social interaction for mental balance.

Schedule Hobbies

I calendar two hobby hours each week for outlets like metal detecting – fun just for me amid parenting stress.

Take a Sabbath

My Sabbath without work or devices allows my mind to completely rest and focus elsewhere.

Social Interactions

As inherently social beings, regular social connections are crucial for mental health, especially during isolation. I call friends or video chat to meet this need.


My routine incorporates morning intention-setting, self-care, exercise, nature, evening relaxation, and general self-care habits. Sleep, balanced nutrition, social connections, stress management, and gratitude practices prevent and combat depression. Start small by choosing one tip that fits your life. Through this global crisis, remember your inner resilience – you are stronger than you think. Consistent self-care bolsters mental health even in difficult times.

Summary of Routine

In summary, my routine includes a thoughtful morning ritual, dressing for the day, exercise and nature exposure, evening unwinding, and scheduling stress relief.

Tips for Pandemic

The pandemic poses mental health challenges with social isolation and anxiety. Combat depressogenic habits by focusing on controllable daily wellness rituals.

You Are Stronger Than You Think

Have compassion for yourself but recognize your strength. Depressive thinking obscures inner resources you can utilize with self-care. You have power through small daily choices.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I can’t accomplish everything on the routine?

Start very small with one attainable step, like a short walk or gratitude prayer. Do what feels manageable, not overwhelming.

Are supplements necessary?

While helpful, supplements alone won’t “cure” depression without lifestyle factors like sleep, nutrition, exercise, stress relief, and social support. Research safe options.

What if I can’t sleep well or get outside?

Lack of sleep and nature contact make depression management far more challenging. If unable to resolve these issues, seeking medical advice and support groups could help. Prioritize sleep hygiene.

Can I do this routine if I have major depression?

The tips focus more on maintaining mental health rather than lifting severe depressive episodes. Those struggling may need medications and therapy along with self-care tools – start very slow and get professional support.

How can I stay motivated?

When depressed, summoning motivation can feel impossible. Be gentle with yourself. Focus on one microscopic step at a time rather than the full routine. For example, put shoes on and stand outdoors for 60 seconds. Praise yourself for tiny wins. Enlist others to encourage you and lend accountability. Consider rewards like a nice bath after a brief walk. Medications boosting energy or therapy supplying coping skills may help regenerate momentum. Meet yourself where you’re at even if it’s under the covers. Then inch forward bit by bit. Progress over perfection. You’ve got this!

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