How to Celebrate Achievements When You're Depressed

February 15, 2018 Michelle Sedas

We should celebrate achievements when we're depressed, but depression makes that hard. Find out how to recognize and celebrate achievement during depression.

We should celebrate achievements when we're depressed because it's a wonderful way to bring positivity into our lives. When we are depressed, just getting through a day without falling part can be difficult. Many times, getting out of bed and showering requires great effort. Then, add in all of the other items on our to-do lists, and achieving anything feels nearly impossible. At times like these, it’s important to be gentle with ourselves and celebrate our achievements. I've thought about why this is important and how we can celebrate achievements when we're depressed.

When we are depressed, our focus tends to shift and our perspective is skewed. The veil of depression that clouds our vision keeps us from seeing things as they truly are. We notice all of the things we are doing wrong instead of recognizing what great effort it takes to do these things when depressed. Our incessant negative self-talk only makes things worse. But there is a way to reframe our thoughts so that we begin to focus on all of the things we do right.

The 3 Steps of Learning to Celebrate Achievements When Depressed

  1. Identify your achievements. First, identify your small achievements. Every day, write a list of three to five things you did that required effort but that you did anyway. When you’re depressed, this list-making task can appear to be impossible. When you’re starting out, try to identify just one achievement. Every achievement matters—even the tiny ones. Did you speak to a coworker even though you find social interactions difficult? Did you make progress on a project even though you would have preferred to procrastinate? Did you simply get out of bed and get dressed? Any of these is a worthy achievement and is something to celebrate.
  2. Build upon your achievements. After you’ve been writing down your achievements for a while, they will become easier to identify. And just knowing that you’ll get credit for doing something small, will often make it more enticing to do. Allow this momentum to carry you to an even more positive mindset which will help to crowd out all of the negativity that depression instills.
  3. Celebrate your achievements. Decide how you will celebrate your achievements when depressed. Maybe the fact that you get credit for them and get to write them down is celebration enough. You can also celebrate by telling a friend of your achievements.

What other inspired ways can you celebrate your achievements? Maybe after a week of speaking to coworkers, making progress on your big project, or even getting out of bed and showering every day, you can treat yourself to something fun (a movie, a specialty coffee, a new book, etc.).

Check out the video below on how I’m celebrating my latest achievement during a depression.

APA Reference
Sedas, M. (2018, February 15). How to Celebrate Achievements When You're Depressed, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 19 from

Author: Michelle Sedas

Michelle is a wife and a mother of two children. She is the author of two books and the coauthor of a third. Her book, Welcome The Rain, will inspire you to see beyond life's storms. Find Michelle on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and her personal blog.

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