How I Choose to be Happy with Depression

We’ve all seen those inspirational quotes that allude to the fact that happiness is a choice. If you live with a mental illness such as depression, these quotes can be infuriating and depressing. My mental illness is caused by a chemical imbalance in my brain. It’s an illness that I can’t control; I can’t exactly choose to just balance myself out.

Except that I can. I make choices every day that affect how I’m feeling. I can make life choices that will affect my mental well being in the long run. Here are five simple ways I choose to be happy while living with depression.

I keep my room clean. Having a clean and tidy room does wonders for my mental state. It allows me to fall asleep easier and keeps the weight of clutter out of my head. If I let my room fall into a disgusting mess, I find that I’m more likely to fall into a depressive episode.

I open the curtains. I’ve always liked the darkness. I was a little goth kid in school, so I’ve always liked the idea of keeping my living space dark like my soul. However, I’ve found that I’m more depressed when I live my life in darkness. Opening the curtains and letting in natural light allows me to breathe a little easier.

I eat healthy, balanced meals. Eating crap makes you feel like crap. Fast food and greasy, salty snacks make me feel lethargic. I’m more likely to be lazy when I’m eating unhealthy foods and laziness can lead to a depressive episode.

I turn off the news when I need to. It’s important to stay informed, however the state of current events is depressing in and of itself. It’s important for my self-care to turn off the news and focus on something positive when I need to.

I’m actively searching for a therapist. In order to choose to be happy, I need to take steps towards wellness. Depression is manageable, and I always thought that I could manage it on my own. However, I’ve recently decided that it’s okay to ask for help managing my mental illness.

Choosing to be happy doesn’t mean instantly flipping a switch. Choosing to be happy means taking steps towards happiness. It means not letting your demons win in the long run. Sure, you may lose battles here and there, but if you make the choice to better your life, you may just win the war.

What are some self-care tips that work for you? I’d love to hear them!



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Vaughn Johnston

Vaughn Johnston

Creative writer. Review Writer for Broadcaster on Glimesh (vaughn_hellspawn).