If you’re depressed, you may not want to do anything or see anybody. But isolation and inactivity only make depression worse. The more active you are—physically, mentally, and socially—the better you’ll feel.

Some ways to combat and prevent depression include:

  • Getting out in to the world – Try not to stay cooped up at home all day. Go to the park, take a trip to the hairdresser, or have lunch with a friend.
  • Connecting to others – Limit the time you’re alone. If you can’t get out to socialize, invite loved ones to visit you, or keep in touch over the phone or email.
  • Participating in activities you enjoy – Pursue whatever hobbies or pastimes bring or used to bring you joy.
  • Volunteering your time – Helping others is one of the best ways to feel better about yourself and regain perspective.
  • Taking care of a pet – Get a pet to keep you company.
  • Learning a new skill – Pick something that you’ve always wanted to learn, or that sparks your imagination and creativity.
  • Enjoying jokes and stories – Laughter provides a mood boost, so swap humurous stories and jokes with your loved ones, watch a comedy, or read a funny book.
  • Maintaining a healthy diet – Avoid eating too much sugar and junk food. Choose healthy foods that provide nourishment and energy, and take a daily multivitamin.
  • Exercising – Even if you’re ill, frail, or disabled, there are many safe exercises you can do to build your strength and boost your mood—even from a chair or wheelchair.