Depression can be scary and debilitating. It can make doing even the simplest tasks, like pouring a bowl of cereal or taking a shower, seem difficult. Fortunately, it’s not impossible to deal with depression.

If you’re hesitant to seek help from a professional (or just don’t have the energy to see one), try some of these methods to alleviate depression symptoms:

Create a routine: As much as we might hate to admit it, we are creatures of habit. There’s just something about a daily routine that is comforting and reassuring, so find something you like to do (yes, that may be hard when you’re depressed—but try). If it’s rearranging your sock drawer at 2:17 in the afternoon, then so be it.

dealing-with-depressionStay active: Take a walk, jog a little—anything to move around. Your bed and television will still be there when you get back. The activity will make you feel better. You may even tone up a little as a result (ooh, that would be a nice boost to your self-esteem).

Rest and relax: Get some rest. You’ll feel better as a result and may then have some energy to do stuff. Try to keep any stressors, or things that will keep you awake, out of the bedroom. The bedroom’s for two things, and two things only (sleep is one of them).

Express your feelings: Often, depression is a result of suppressed feelings. People may be sad that a loved one passed away, but are afraid to show it because others might view it as a character weakness. Throw all that out the door. Sometimes, there’s nothing better than to express your emotions. If you feel like crying then do so (yes, guys too). A good cry always helps. If you’re angry, focus that anger towards something constructive. Want to hit something? Join a boxing class. You’ll get to punch people and things, get in shape, and possibly “work out” your depression.

Hang around fun, happy people: Misery loves company, but so does happiness. Sometimes, surrounding yourself with cheerful people will do wonders. Their happiness can be infectious. Before you know it, you’ll be happy that your cat coughed up a hairball because that means he didn’t choke to death.

Get support from friends and family: It’s easier to bear the weight with two people than one. Your friends and family care deeply about you, so they’ll be happy to help if you ask. What are friends for if you can’t ask them to help you deal with depression (especially since you helped them with theirs just last year)?

Put yourself first: The goal is to satisfy yourself. If you’re not happy, it’s really tough to make other people happy. Take some time out. Do something you like to do or have always wanted to try. You only live once, and by all means, live it as much as you can. Who cares about everyone else at the moment? Make your own interests first priority, and then if you have time, make others happy

Remember: “Only you can prevent forest fires” and only you can get yourself out of depression. Not drugs, psychotherapy, or sessions with a professional. All the help (remember, all that helps, not cures) in the world will not cure you of depression if you don’t want to cure yourself.