Overcoming depression can be a long and difficult task. This is especially true in times like now when you may be suffering from isolation, lack of a job, or fear for the future. Although there’s no magic bullet, practicing good self-care activities can provide a short-term lift when you’re dealing with a bout of depression.

Being conscious will also help maintain your overall health and emotional stability, which gives your body and mind more energy to manage your depression. Obviously severe depression requires therapy, but there are always ways to help care for yourself. Here are four healthy self-care practices you should consider when you’re depressed.

Go Outside for a Long Nature Walk

One of the best activities you can do when you’re depressed is to go take a long walk in nature. Being in a natural setting, getting sunlight and partaking in exercise are all proven ways to combat depression. A nature walk ticks all three boxes, making it an ideal self-care practice. Consider leaving your phone at home, since you want to be able to disconnect and really experience the natural world when you go out. Remember that a walk is not meant to be a magic cure, but it can be a way to clear your head and get out of a depressed state.

Get Together with Friends

Hanging out with your friends is a great way to practice self-care activities. Being around people you love and having a good time will help get your mind off of your depression and whatever may be bringing it on. Ideally, try to get together with a small group of your closest friends, especially if larger groups of people tend to give you anxiety. If you are practicing social distancing, use online tools to reach out to loved ones and communicate.

Indulge in a Day at a Spa

Going to a day spa is a good way to give yourself some time to relax. Many places allow you to buy gift cards for later use if now is a bad time to be going directly to a store or service location. Whether you’re going to get a manicure at a spa and salon or enjoying a Swedish massage, going to a day spa is a great way to get yourself out of a bout of depression.

Plant a Garden

If you have the space, starting a garden is a surprisingly good way to get your mind off of your depression. Taking care of plants will give you a daily task to keep you busy, and your garden will yield you plenty of fresh vegetables that will provide you with tasty, nutritious food. Gardening also gets you outside, which is often one of the best ways to get past a depressive spell. If all you have is a balcony or windowsill, look into plants and herbs that require little space. There is always something that can be planted.

Self-Care Activities Help Combat Depression

These are just a handful of the many self-care activities you can do when you’re depressed. Remember, self-care isn’t just about exercise or eating right. Any activity you can enjoy in a healthy, beneficial way can be classified as self-care, and it’s very important to tailor your activities to your tastes and interests if you want to combat your depression effectively.

The purpose of self-care is not necessarily to cure yourself, but a way of showing love to yourself. As you perform self-care, don’t think of it as something you are doing to improve your mood. Think of it as a gesture of love or support to yourself.