The world is a scary place, sometimes, and it’s very easy to get emotionally overwhelmed. Whether you’re reacting to all the bad news that you see in the headlines or you’re struggling with a more personal loss or traumatic event, you may find yourself struggling with situational depression.

Essentially, situational depression is a type of reactive disorder that’s brought on by external circumstances that are out of your control. A huge disappointment, a breakup with your significant other, a job loss, the death of a loved one, and even chronic stress can shake your inner equilibrium to its core and leave you feeling worried, lost, grief-ridden, and unhappy.

Coping with situational depression isn’t easy, but it’s important to try so that the depression doesn’t evolve into something more permanent. Here’s are some tips that may help:

Find a New Source of Joy

Changing your focus is the best way to move past situational depression. If you have nothing to fill the current void caused by a loss or you have the same negative thoughts constantly running through your head, it may help to find a new source of inspiration:

  • Take up a new hobby, like cooking, painting, or gardening
  • Listen to upbeat music, watch funny movies, or play with your pets
  • Spend some time walking in the woods, or head to the beach

These are small pleasures, but the positive experiences you have can eventually help you refocus your mind and lift your mood.

Improve Your Self-Care

Self-care tends to decline when people are depressed. That can actually lead to worse internal feelings about yourself, however, so you need to push back against any inclination you have to just “let things go.” That means:

  • Focusing on good nutrition and eating healthy meals
  • Getting a little bit of exercise every day
  • Aiming for the right amount of sleep each night
  • Giving yourself permission to just take a day off
  • Turning to your support system for company or help

Again, the goal is to increase the number of positives in your life so that you can turn off that negative soundtrack that’s constantly going in your mind and shift your focus.

Ultimately, if you’re suffering from situational depression, you must remember to be gentle with yourself. Dark times happen in every life, and it’s okay to need a little help to get through them.