Are you struggling with depression and wondering how to stop feeling depressed at night?
Depression is horrible and, for some reason, it seems to get worse at night. There is something about the sun going down and the silence settling in that makes our depression seem more profound. How exciting is it that daylight savings time is here and the nights are getting shorter!
I have lived with depression for years and have some tips to share with you today that will definitely help you manage your nighttime depression.
For me, there are two separate times of the night that need to be managed: the evening hours before bed and then the time during the night when I wake up. I have tips for both times of the night because they are a little bit different to deal with, I believe.
What to do in the evening, before bed:
#1 – Keep your mind busy.
An important part of how to stop feeling depressed at night is to keep your mind busy during the evening hours.
The thing about nighttime is that we often don’t have enough to do so our brains, instead of being productive, go down the path towards all the things that are wrong in our life which then leads to, and deepens, our depression. It’s important to stop your thoughts from going down that path before they even start.
Things like reading, watching your favorite show on Netflix and talking or texting with a friend are all things that will keep your mind busy during the night and away from all of the negative self-talk.
I would definite encourage you to stay off social media if you are feeling depressed. Sometimes social media makes you feel more connected to the world, but, more often than not, social media can make you feel isolated and less than. So, text away with a friend but spending hours on SnapChat or Instagram will not serve you well.
#2 – Do things that comfort you.
An important part of managing how to stop feeling depressed at night is to do things that comfort you.
For me, a cup of tea and a hot bath go a long way towards making me feel loved and comforted. I also have a weighted blanketthat I curl up under when I watch TV. Something about the weight on your body has been clinically proven to make a big difference with people who are struggling with depression and anxiety.
What are things that would comfort you at night? Take stock of those things now, by the light of day, so you can have them at the ready.
Ice cream and sugar are things many people turn to but I would encourage you to stay away from those things at night because they could interfere with your sleep. If you must have sugar, the earlier in the evening the better.
#3 – Journal.
If you find that you have not been able to stop those negative thoughts in their tracks, a good thing to do if you’re feeling depressed at night is to journal.
There’s something about getting those negative thoughts out of your head and onto paper that makes them easier to manage. Sometimes when we see our thoughts written out on paper they become less powerful because we can see them more clearly.
If you don’t have an official journal, that’s okay. You can just get a notebook and write things down or, if you want to, you can use your computer. I find that using a pen and paper is the most effective for me.
#4 – Know that the morning will come.
An important part of how to stop feeling depressed at night is to keep in mind that, no matter what, the morning and the sunshine will come.
Sometimes, that nighttime depression makes us think that we will never get through the night, that we will never see the light of day. That our depression will overwhelm us and the night will never end.
But night has never not turned to day. And with day, comes work and friends and activities and sunshine. Even if it continues, depression can seem not so heavy during the light of day.