I can tell you from experience that depression is truly hard to overcome. This is because once you are in over your head you begin to flounder. Interests begin to fade into the distance, the lethargic feelings set in and you begin to stay in one spot. Depression sits on you like a cold, wet blanket in the middle of a forever winter. You cannot figure out a way to get out from underneath that. Many times over we neglect to understand that we can get out of these feelings. Taking precautions to what triggers us is a huge way to implement self-care. Taking time to talk to a professional will catch you in the act of some behaviors. It is okay to take medication when you need it, do people without glasses feel the same without them? Also, it is perfectly fine to tell others about your struggles. You are going to open up a dialogue to where people see that mental health is okay. Yet- if you are not receiving health and well-being practices through self-care and neglecting yourself to just complain that must stop. There is a huge difference between what is sad and what is depression.
Remember that sadness is a normal human emotion. We have cycles where we will get upset about the events that are occurring in the news. We will cry over the beloved friend, lover, or death of someone. Sadness is triggered by a betrayal, disappointment, hurt, or angst within your life that you did not see coming or maybe ignored.
Depression, on the other hand, is abnormal, and effects are mental, physical, and emotional well being. Like I said above it is chronic like a wet blanket, unshakable by ourselves occasionally. This is where we must express where we are at, ask for help, and try self-care. You lack the pleasure in the things you once felt delighted in, you start neglecting duties that you once held dear, and you sleep all the time. This lack of self-preservation is so detrimental, yet we are consumed by it.
The best ways to make sure that you are working on being happy will be the following lessons I have learned, researched, and asked the therapists I have seen.
- Mindfulness: The practice that my therapist taught me is using something like the app Headspace, or you could find some extra meditation podcasts and a list of apps here that way you can find something that works for you. The practice of mindfulness does not need to be spiritual, it can be interpersonal. You are reflecting on yourself inwardly. A basic way to do this without an app is to lay down or in a comfortable position and breath in deeply for four seconds, hold for four seconds, out for four seconds, hold for four seconds and repeat. Concentrating on the way you breath moves in and out. Thinking positively about yourself and willing good energy to come to you. Trust me there is a power in the words we think!
- Exercise: Sometimes I just like to do pilates and yoga for long hours into the night when I get worried or anxious, then I figured out if I did not pick up the “depression” binge I could do the same thing with my sad. What I do is say “Not today sad you are not welcomed here I am blessed.” I start that mantra and say it over and over again until I either cry or believe it’s true. My favorite thing to do is work out from home. My yoga practice is not the best, but my girl Britty (you may know her from a past post) has given me the courage to keep actually trying. Occasionally I dream of being able to run until I collapse because for some reason that is really romantic to me.
- Get Social: Stop looking at all your friends out with other friends. Being social on social media. Go out there and sit at a bar alone or the beach. For heaven’s sake’s introducing yourself to the Barista would be great, or a new neighbor you have not met. Just make sure you are taking the time to actively talk to another person. It reminds us that we are living and breathing and that transforms us from sad to happy.
- Ugly Cry: Men, women, boys, girls, or whatever you identify with you can cry. It does not have to be pretty. You can sit and cry in front of the mirror and just let your tears fall. Let them naturally come out do not induce it with sad music, movies. or hate speech to yourself. Just cry yourself lovingly back to happy. It allows endorphins to flood our system and generates better feelings because you are no longer holding the ick inside. When we hold all of our hurts inside it generally makes us feel like we no longer have a purpose and girlfriend, boyfriend you do.
- Stab a Pillow: One time my therapist was just like, “We are going to draw pictures of beautiful little flowers,” and then at the end of drawing them and taking forever he said, “stab them!” We looked at each other why? Why should we stab the beauty? Therefore when we are feeling sad and we want to self-harm the best way to thwart those gross feelings is to transfer that hurt somewhere else. Crumple some dead leaves, shake a jar full of glitter, hold an ice cube, draw on yourself, and check back in ever so often. People on crime shows (NCIS) said “Watch your 6” like watch your back. I mentally and emotionally do that by checking my trains. There is a thoughts, feelings, and urges train and I do an inner inventory of what I need to do to calm down.
You know we are never going to be 10 out of 10 every day. That would be considered manic and I will tell you what mania is not a fun way to live. You have dangerous energy that does not make you very safe. A good benchmark of where your mood should be is right around a 6 or 7. If it dips too low like past a 4 that is probably a sign you need to start implementing some self-care or go see a therapist that you know and trust. Mine is hilarious and sometimes I forget I am even at therapy. I feel as though I am comfortable, understood, not judged, and treated with dignity.
Okay friends I saw this cute pin it read, “Don’t be moody and shake your booty” so lets do that.
Love and Light