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Today's Rural Caregiving: Managing Mood
Without Medication

By Linda Lindsey Davis, RN, PhD  

(Page 3 of 5)

Improving mood without drugs

When medications cause undesirable side effects or an elder refuses to take medications, family caregivers often find simple mood management strategies can improve emotion and affective response. Psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals have noted the profound effects that increasing the number of pleasant daily life events can have in reducing depressive responses. Here are 20 pleasant life events that have been demonstrated in various clinical studies to enhance mood and reduce depressive symptoms, even without antidepressant medications:

 Pleasant Life Activities

  • Being outside

  • Shopping

  • Reading or listening to stories

  • Listening to music

  • Watching TV

  • Laughing

  • Having meals with friends or family

  • Making & eating snacks

  • Helping around the house

  • Being with family

  • Wearing favorite clothes

  • Listening to the sounds of nature

  • Getting or sending cards, letters Going on an outing


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