A clean house is a sign of, well, a clean house

WinkIvy says:

Ah, depression. It strikes at predictable times, it strikes at totally unpredictable times.  Sure, you can go to the doctor and get some Zoloft for that, and if you really do have a chemical imbalance, it might be a good thing to get some Zoloft.

But if you’re like me, it doesn’t really help the depression, it masks the depression.  I have to trick my brain into thinking it’s actually happy about things in order to pull out of the depression. I’ve learned some tricks over time, and I’m going to share them with you.

1. Smile, dangit. It sounds so cliche, but when I force myself to smile, even if I’m hating life, it eventually makes me cheer up. I pulled myself out of a really deep funk doing nothing other than smiling a lot.  Yeah, you feel stupid with a grin plastered on your face all the time, but eventually, it works.

2. Clean your house. It really used to irk the crap out of me when my mom told me my depression would be solved if I would just clean my house. But you know what? It really does cheer me up, and the mindlessness of cleaning helps to take my mind off things.

3. Wallow, but only for a set period of time. Take some time to cry and moan and hate your life. Complain to an understanding friend, yell, scream, tell your cat how horrible it all is. Then when the time is over,  get your act together and start working toward not being depressed.

4.  Retail therapy, baby. But CHEAP retail therapy. Take 20 bucks and hit a thrift store or yard sales. Do NOT spend over $20.

5. Do something for someone else. Do some volunteering, or go help your grandma bake some cookies or something.  It always makes you feel good when you can do something for someone else. Don’t be helping little old ladies across the road unless they actually want to walk across the street, though. Being hit with an old lady purse is more painful than being hit with a bat.

6. When all else fails, seek a professional. You’ve done everything you can, but can’t get out of your funk? Go to talk therapy or see your doctor for that Zoloft. Sometimes it is chemical. Sometimes we have issues that need to be resolved but we can’t do it ourselves.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting professional help, and if you need it, get it.

Ivy, signing off to go wallow in my depression a little more. But tomorrow, I’m getting my act together, I promise. Right after some retail therapy smiling house cleaning.


  1. Margo on June 16, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    It’s amazing what a clean house can do! When I start to let mine slip my attitude slips with it, but as soon as I get it all cleaned up I’m smiling again! Good post!

  2. Angela on June 14, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    I read this this morning and my 1 yo and I cleaned the whole house today and did all the laundry. Thanks

  3. bramble on June 14, 2007 at 7:18 pm

    the “f” lady (are we allowed to mention her here? lol) often mentions getting dressed, do your hair makep etc and then getting up and doing something as very important steps to depression. it makes sense tho it’s a double edged sword i think, since you’ve got to force yourself to do those things in the first place if you’re feeling down.

  4. Lori - Queen of Dirty Laundry on June 14, 2007 at 2:46 pm

    This is exactly what I needed to read today. Sometimes I use “the blues” as an excuse not to do anything; probably getting up and doing something would actually make “the blues” more pink.


  5. Nashville is Talking » Cleanliness Is Next To Saneliness on June 14, 2007 at 2:03 pm

    […] over at Home Ec 101 Ivy writes about inexpensive ways to stay sane when life is making you feel a bit Eeyoreish. Ah, depression. It strikes at predictable times, it […]

  6. holly on June 14, 2007 at 12:49 pm

    Perfect. THIS is what I should have written instead of the fluffy non-blogging I’ve been doing all week, trying to avoid having to put pen to what’s REALLY going on in my head. Thanks.

  7. Christy on June 14, 2007 at 8:12 am

    Thank you for the reminder . . . (going off to tidy up the house and complain to the cat . . .)