Spend time with a close friend
Studies have shown that regular social contact works as well as antidepressants and professional talking therapies. Spending time with a friend also boosts your confidence and makes you more likely to go out.
Stroke a pet
Stroking a dog or cat increases your levels of the mood-boosting hormones oxytocin and dopamine. The pet doesn’t even have to be yours. If you don’t own a pet, you could volunteer at a local animal shelter.
Get out of a rut
A change of scene can work wonders when we’re feeling low. Take a day trip somewhere new or go to the cinema. Even walking a different route to work or the shops can help make you feel more positive.
Go for a walk
In the winter months many of us don’t get enough sunlight or vitamin D. Whenever the weather brightens up take the opportunity to pop outside — just 10 minutes a couple of times a day will make a big difference to your mood.
Eat oily fish
People who eat a diet that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids are less likely to suffer from depression. Good sources include oily fish, such us mackerel and salmon. If you’re vegetarian, opt for flax seeds, beans and walnuts.