Hi everyone, I've read all the posts on this thread with interest and just wanted to add my own thoughts. I have suffered with depression on and off for many years. When I find myself depressed, my psychologist suggested making one or two goals per day. It doesn't matter what they are. I get a sense of achievement when I have done those tasks.
Distraction therapy works well at times too. Talking to some friends online, looking at stunning photographs, 'visiting' a foreign country on google maps/earth, reading a good book, making myself a cuppa tea and watching the world go by outside of my window, watching funny youtube clips etc. The only effort needed is to think of something that you find enjoyment in.
Acceptance of the depression. No matter how hard you 'fight' depression or don't want depression, it doesn't just go away. I say to myself "I'm depressed. I feel very lethargic and unmotivated. I give myself time for my brain chemicals to get back to some sense of normality." I also remind myself that this wont be the last time I am depressed. That's OK. It is not something I have control over. I don't have a switch to flick to change the brain chemicals.
Making allowances for the limitations the depression causes. Find the things I can do and put the things that I can't off until I am healthier. We can be our own worse critics. Practicing being kind to yourself has been very important to me.
Making sure I take my medication as prescribed is of paramount importance. Taking an antidepressant at the same time every day not only helps us remember to take our medications but helps our body absorb and utilize any medications prescribed.
The last thing I wanted to mention is that if you are going to spend a lot of money on alternative therapies, its useful to look up the scientific research on the product. Many of us are making someone else rich by buying expensive products that have no evidence to support their use.
Oh, one more thing. For the people worried about using medication because they are a chemical, everything you put in your mouth is a chemical. Our bodies are chemicals. The air we breathe is a chemical. There are no hero's when it comes to this. Take the medication the doctor prescribes, please.