Studying with depression

de·pres·sion \di-ˈpre-shən\ noun

a serious medical condition in which a person feels very sad, hopeless, and unimportant and is often unable to live in a normal way.

depression can squash any motivation, energy, or concentration you have. Trying to study through that is often time wasted when you don’t have the right technique. but! good news! i’ve gone through the same thing, so i have some methods and tips for you!

related: how to study to your advantage

easing depression

  first things first: see someone —

go see a therapist of some sort or your doctor if these are available to you. if not, there's websites like 7cupsoftea or blahtherapy, or if you have a close friend to talk to, just talking with a real person can help. if therapy is a possibility though, definitely seek it out!

— exercise —

there are exercises that can help ease depression, but any exercise (especially outdoors) will really help you. exercise releases endorphins, so regular exercise will elevate your mood overall. in exercise for mood and anxiety, otto and smits found that the result of using exercise to treat depression has similar results to using antidepressants. even if you don’t like running, doing anything will still make a huge difference! you should find something that’s fun for you. that could be taking long walks outside, dancing, boxing, playing a sport, yoga, whatever you have fun with.

— owning a pet—

owning a pet, if possible, is great for easing depression! there are quite a few reasons-
✩ (dogs) will force you to exercise. they need to be taken outside several times a day, and if they don't get long walks, they get very restless.
✩ they offer unconditional and uncomplicated love! treat them well, and you'll have a great buddy for a long time
✩ when you get a pet, you take on a lot of responsibility which can really help you feel needed and important
✩ they give you a daily routine
✩ studies show that owning or petting a dog can improve your health and reduce stress!

— start a new hobby—

especially hobbies that allow you to express yourself, like playing an instrument, gardening, dancing, painting, can be an outlet and a distraction for you, and you're making something at the same time! (bonus points if the hobby takes you outside)


while studying

— take frequent breaks — 

taking breaks helps you to pace yourself so you don’t feel overwhelmed. when I’m really down or stressed, i’ll break up my study time to 45-60 minutes of work and 15 minute breaks.

— create something on your breaks —

express yourself! write a story, paint something, write poetry, a song, draw a picture, sew something, knit, embroider, do whatever you usually like to do. this will help get your creativity back, and help you to continue feeling productive even on your breaks.

— keep your desk tidy —

when my desk and room are a mess, my life feels 10 times messier than it is. work just 5 minutes of tidying into your daily routine and you'll have a much clearer head after!

— don’t beat yourself up —

be patient with yourself! studying is a lot harder the days your depression is worse because lack of concentration is actually a symptom of depression. (Also why taking lots of breaks is important!)

— eat enough and stay hydrated —

eat enough and well enough. depression can change your eating habits, so try to stay aware of what you’re putting in your body. try out this chart:

lazy days —

if u really cant concentrate, do the easier stuff! They help you, they’re just less important than the really vigorous studying like doing exercises or writing out notes.

on days you really can’t bring yourself to study, promise yourself to do just five minutes. you’ll still feel like you accomplished something, but it’s not too tiring.

related: how to stop procrastinating

little distractions

✩ pet a dog
✩ go to the local animal shelter
✩ paint splatter
✩ take a walk outside
✩ eat your favorite meal
✩ have a cup of tea
✩ light some candles

✩ listen to loud music 
✩ blow bubbles
✩ tidy a space in your house
✩ solve some kind of puzzle
✩ take a bath
✩ call a friend