I usually go with Pb4's strategy, and do voluntary work, but when I am too ill with fatigue to exercise, things change for the worse quite rapidly. Then I focus, and I escape. (All of my strategies are clear in my mind right now, I am just totally fed up at the moment and desperate to make my life happier and more productive !)
By focus, I meant that I set goals. On a good day, I have big ones, that involve being very active, maybe starting long term projects. On a bad day, like the ones I've had recently where I always end up sticking close to the loo and don't have oomph, it might be as simple as doing the dishes, tidying bookshelves, hoovering. And if possible, I try to add a fun goal - like at present, I am sowing seeds in pots on my windowsills, and eventually will plant them out (if my black thumbs don't get them
). If you just have that one little triumph to think about
at the end of the day, that robs the depths of despair of their omnipotence. That is a saving grace.
Escape is books, music and sleep. Books I can get through at a great rate when ill, and totally take me out of myself. And I can always tell myself that I am broadening my mind. (It may still be shallow, but it is mighty broad by now !
) Music is a double edged sword when depressed. Goerge Bernard Shaw called it "the brandy of the darned" and it can cause pretty severe mood swings; in my case, it is like getting tipsy, but much cheaper (always pleasing to a Scotsman
). But the right music has always allowed me to let out my feelings, and has had a calming effect on me when I am distressed.
And when all else fails, I retire to my bed, and seek oblivion in sleep. (Which also seems to stop my diarrhoeac urges, for a while after waking at least.)
And I suppose, I remember the story of the Roman Emperor. His predecessors had been a maniac who thought he ruled the world and could do anything, and a depressive who felt overwhelmed by all the myriad problems of ruling a huge empire containing millions of people. Having seen the extremes of mood these attitudes could cause, and the personal harm and instability they led to, the Emperor made sure that he had a slave standing by his side at all times. And when he went too far in one direction or the other, the job of that slave was to whisper quietly in the Emperor's ear, "This too shall pass !"
Probably apocryphal. It sounds too clever by half for a Roman Emperor. But the story reminds me that not every day is like this one, even if it feels like it will be !