Everything in this post is based off of my personal experience. If you are suffering from depression, anxiety or something else, you should seek the advice of a seasoned professional.
Hi there, friends. If you saw my Instagram post from Saturday, you know I haven’t been feeling the hottest lately. While I’m hesitant to say that I’m in a depressive state these days, I have been experience some light symptoms of depression. Hello darkness, my old friend. Welcome back, you’ve been sorely missed …. not.
I’ve talked about it briefly before, but I struggle with anxiety and depression. What fun! My depression hasn’t been much of a problem over the past few years, but due to some stressors and changes in my personal life, it’s been sneaking back in and wreaking havoc on my emotional state. In true blogger fashion, I decided I might as well share my personal experience with you in hopes that it can help even one person.
So with that, let’s chat about some ways I manage depression.
1. Accept the emotions
It might sound counterintuitive, but sometimes you just need to acknowledge and accept your emotions and come to terms with your depressive state. By no means am I suggesting you practice any habits that you know will fuel and perpetuate your depression, but I am suggesting you stop shaming yourself. Treat yourself as you would treat a loved one.
When I feel any sort of depression setting in, my gut reaction is to do everything in my power to make it stop IMMEDIATELY. But that often doesn’t work, which eventually makes things worse because I feel like the ultimate mental health failure. I set a time period, whether it be a few hours or a day, to accept and acknowledge my pain and not fight it too hard.
2. Get up and get outside
So you’ve had time to accept your emotions. Now it’s time to get up off of the damned couch or bed (wherever you’re laying about) and get outside. Even if it’s just to stand out in your yard, get some fresh air and move. It will help you feel like an actual human, which is always a good thing.
3. Exercise and get your blood pumping
I’ve talked about it before, but it’s worth repeating. Exercise has some seriously positive mental health side effects. Whether it’s a walk around the block or a serious gym session, pick an activity and get your sweat on. I’m not saying that going for a run will make you the happiest person in the world, but the endorphins released will help lift the fog and give you a confidence boost.
4. Cross something off your to-do list
I always have a running to-do list in my head and I can be really hard on myself when I feel as though I’m the biggest failure who hasn’t accomplished anything in days. Once I’ve pried myself from my bed and gotten some exercise in, I’ll pick something from my to-do list and get it done. Even if it’s as small as taking out the trash, it helps me feel as though I’ve accomplished something and that I’m taking strides to maintain my normal life. It boosts my confidence (hey, taking out the trash can be magical) and helps get the ball rolling for a lift in my mood.
5. Do something you enjoy
I get it, you’re not happy and you feel as though nothing will ever bring you joy, but sometimes you just have to fake it until you make it. Pick something that you genuinely love, whether it be getting your nails done or knitting, and do it. This is a bit of the treat yo’ self method, but boy do you deserve it. It can be so hard to pick yourself up when you’re feeling depressed and move forward with your life, so it’s important to pamper yourself a bit. Personally, I love a long shower, snacking on my favorite foods and taking a browse around TJMaxx or Target.
6. Practice Gratitude
I get it, gratitude seems the furthest thing from reality. But like I mentioned before, sometimes you just have to fake it until you make it. Take time at the end of your day to list out three positive things. These don’t have to be groundbreaking and can be completely trivial. Whatever they are, the act of writing these things down and forcing yourself to find the positive will make the process easier with each passing day. You might even notice one day that you don’t have to try too hard to find something positive to write down.
7. Talk with someone you trust
I highly encourage everyone to see a therapist on a regular basis. Even if you don’t suffer from any serious mental health issues, there is something so helpful about talking to an unbiased professional who can help you see things from a different perspective. If you don’t see a therapist (and even if you do), spend time with someone you trust and talk it out. I know it can be scary or make you feel as though your’e a burden on your loved ones (spoiler, you’re not), but it can be such a relief to get everything off your chest. Often times, after I share the million thoughts and emotions, it’s as if a literal weight is lifted from my shoulders.
This one is pretty self explanatory. Sometimes you just have to cry until you can’t anymore and then move on with your life. I’m a HUGE fan of the “epic cry” method (just ask my boyfriend) and feel so cleansed afterwards.