You can’t get out of bed because you’re so depressed. You can’t help moving because you’re so anxious. Perhaps both. The new drug or alternative therapy appears to be working. Or you’re convinced that nothing will ever work. Whatever the case might be, actually getting through the day is a struggle.
In addition to seeking advice from a doctor or therapist, here are some items I’ve tried that might be of assistance to you:
Be gentle with yourself.
You wouldn’t say to yourself, “I shouldn’t have a broken leg,” if you had one. It’s quick to say, “I shouldn’t be sad,” or “I should calm down,” if you’re depressed. We take pride in our ability to persevere in the face of adversity in our society. However, when you’re sad, “beating yourself up” just adds to your feeling of helplessness. It’s fine if you’re not as entertaining to be around. It’s perfectly acceptable if you’re not as effective as normal. You don’t have a broken leg; instead, you’ve got a broken heart. And healing takes time.
Begin with small steps.
Do you find yourself lying in bed, hoping you could just pull the covers over your head and fall asleep again? It’s fine if you keep lying down. Consider doing one small thing that will help you feel better. For ten seconds, it’s like smiling. Alternatively, extend a bit. I know you don’t want to smile or stretch. However, give it a shot. Maybe you can get up but aren’t in the mood to do anything. Make a cup of tea or coffee, settle into a comfy chair, and gaze out the window. If the weather permits, sit outside. In the winter, you should snuggle up in a sleeping bag or wrap yourself in blankets.
Take a walk or exercise
Everyone understands how beneficial exercise can be to one’s mental health. It can offer you a sense of achievement in addition to producing endorphins. Every day, go for a 15- to 30-minute brisk walk — or dance, jog, or ride your bike if you prefer. There’s no need to put in a lot of effort. If you don’t feel like racing, take a stroll instead. If you don’t want to walk, take a stroll. Simply move your body a little every day. It won’t take long for you to note a change in your attitude once you get into the habit of exercising.
Yoga poses, in addition to providing physical exercise, may aid in the reduction of depressive symptoms. Downward-facing dog or legs-up-the-wall pose are two options (you can find these poses on yoga websites). Breathing exercises and meditation, two other aspects of yoga, can also help people with depression feel better.
Get yourself a massage.
Massage is one of the easiest ways to be kind to yourself, whether you’re sad or nervous. Other “hands-on” therapies, such as craniosacral therapy and Reiki, are also effective. Additionally, scheduling a massage once a week gives you plenty to anticipate. If you can’t afford one, ask a friend or a partner. They are not required to have any special abilities. My only caution is that deep massage techniques such as shiatsu or rolfing can elicit emotional responses. As a result, it’s best if the person doing it has some experience massaging clients suffering from depression or mania.
Repeat after me.
Being told to think positively when you’re sad may feel like asking a colorblind person to see red. However, you should act as if you’re thinking positively. Again, just for a few seconds or minutes at a time. “I feel fantastic,” say to yourself or aloud. I’m in a fantastic mood. I’m in a great mood.” Consider it a mantra, a prayer, or the way children “make up” stories to have different experiences.
You can either write or draw.
Describing your experience would only provide you with a small amount of distance from it. Knowing that someone was listening helped you get those feelings out of your mind rather than letting them fester. Drawing can also aid in the unsticking of situations. You don’t have to be an artist to participate. Scribbling works just as well. Make use of a variety of colors.
Make contact with your mates.
This one is a little more difficult. Since most friends really want you to feel better, they also make suggestions that make you feel even worse. It’s fine to simply ask a friend to listen. Only pay attention. Only make suggestions if you specifically request them. It’s also appropriate not to talk.
Scream and cry.
Crying isn’t a sign of immaturity. It’s a method of letting go. Don’t do it in front of the kids or at work, but if you can find a quiet place to let it all out…let it all out.
Take care of yourself by eating well.
Depression may have an effect on one’s appetite. Someone does not feel like eating at all, whereas another may eat excessively. If your depression has changed your eating habits, you’ll need to be extra cautious about having enough nutrition. Food may have an effect on a person’s mood and energy levels. So eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and eat at regular intervals (even if you’re not hungry, eat something light like a slice of fruit to keep you going).
Recognize issues, but don’t dwell on them.
Attempt to pinpoint any circumstances that could have led to your depression. When you’ve figured out what’s making you sad and why, talk to a supportive friend about it. Talking is a good way to let go of emotions and gain some understanding.
Once you’ve had these thoughts and emotions out of your system, focus on something constructive. Take steps to address issues. If you need assistance, ask for it. Depression may be alleviated by feeling close to friends and family. It can also give them the feeling that there is something they can do other than just watching you suffer.
Feel free to express yourself.
A person’s imagination and sense of fun can be stifled by depression. When you use your imagination to create something (painting, drawing, doodling, sewing, writing, dancing, composing music, etc.), you not only get your creative juices flowing, but you also release some positive emotions. Spend some time with a friend or your cat, or do something enjoyable for yourself. Find something to laugh about, such as a funny movie. Laughter will make you feel better.
Make an effort to notice positive stuff.
Depression has an impact on a person’s emotions, making things seem hopeless, gloomy, and bleak. If depression is causing you to focus solely on the negative, make an effort to focus on the positive aspects of life. Try to notice one thing, then come up with another. Consider your assets, talents, and blessings. Above all, remember to be gentle with yourself. It takes time to recover from depression.