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Although I’ve lived with mental illness my whole life, I am not a medical professional. If you need help finding a mental health care provider, call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit BetterHelp to talk to a certified therapist online at an affordable price. This post contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclaimer.
About a year ago, my mom announced that she was divorcing my dad. She moved out, but I tried my best to turn this life-changing experience into a positive one.
When I got the chance to redo the home I grew up in, I jumped at the opportunity. I turned to my big sister for help, and now we are slowly making the house we lived in our entire lives feel like home.
In doing DIY projects, I began to realize just how beneficial they have been for my depression. They actually make me look forward to something, and I am embracing the experience fully.
Here are the 5 reasons why DIY projects help fight my depression:
Why DIY Projects Help Fight My Depression
1. GETS THE BODY MOVING
Being depressed feels like your bed is swallowing you whole. You can’t get out. All you can do is lay there and immerse yourself in the covers.
Luckily, DIY projects can help us with that. No matter what type of project we try our hand at, our mind and body are at work. DIY projects are a planning, anticipation, and depression-forgetting movement.
MY FAVORITE DIY PROJECTS
- Arts and crafts
- Copycat recipes
- Repainting a room
- Repurposing old furniture
- Redecorating a space with thrift store finds
- Making an outdoor living space
2. BECOME MOTIVATED
Seemingly simple tasks become a burden when you have depression. I’ll be the first to admit that I can hardly get any shit done. But hey, at least I survived the day.
On my good days, DIY projects motivate me to start my day earlier than usual. Seeing my hard work come to life is a huge motivation for me. I even sometimes think about doing these projects during my dreams.
If you’re first starting out at this whole DIY lifestyle, I suggest starting off with a small project first. Try your hand at an art piece that you can hang on your wall. Then move to actually painting the walls, or repurposing an already existing piece of furniture in your house.
The more projects you do, the more likely you’re going to find the motivation to do more.
When I first started, I broke down a big DIY project into smaller tasks. First I sanded, cleaned, and painted the window frame. Then I did the same to the floor trim. Painted the walls. Repurposed my desk. Put up some shelves. Decorated the walls with unique thrift store finds. This made it less overwhelming.
3. DEVELOP NEW SKILLS
I’ve been watching HGTV for as long as I’ve known how to use a remote. I’ve learned so many skills by watching home improvement type shows over the years, but nothing compares to doing them first hand.
From hand sanding all the wood in a room to spending hours upon hours taking down wallpaper, I’ve learned so many handy skills through trial and error. Once I finally got it right, I felt pretty damn amazing.
Learning a new skill can release feelings of joy and a sense of accomplishment. Those are two very important feelings to grasp when we’re fighting depression.
4. GET INVOLVED TOGETHER
Depression wants us the have as little human contact as possible. The good thing is most DIY projects aren’t exclusively do it yourself.
You’ll most likely have to interact with other people to complete your project. My sister and I did the work. But we had to go to the store to get what we needed.
We asked the employee to make the color of the paint for us. We went to the cash register and paid for all the knick-knacks. We asked our dad for advice, and we watched YouTube videos for tips on how to do certain tasks.
Any little bit of human interaction is a big step for those who fight depression.
5. SAVE MONEY
When we do projects ourselves, there is a very high chance that we’ll save money. At first glance, you probably wouldn’t think that saving money can help fight our depression. Think again.
Money problems have been known to decrease our mental health. Living paycheck to paycheck is awful. Every bit of savings means being able to check more and more things off your bucket list. You’ll be able to live a more fulfilled life.
If you get your DIY skills really good, you can even turn your thrift store and flea market finds and sell them for a profit. Many people struggle with finances, and this is another way to make a side income.
I’ll be the first one to tell you that some days I just can’t work on DIY projects, because my depression symptoms are that strong. But keep fighting. It’ll be so worth it on good days.
- 10 Weird Ways to Help Fight Your Depression
- 35 Everyday Accomplishments of Those with Depression
- 80 Things to Get Rid of Right Now to Start Your Minimalism Journey
Have you ever done a DIY project? How did it impact your mental health?
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