Combatting a Day with Depression
You will get through it.
We all get them, low points—some worse than others. With depression, a particular low point could be paralysing...crippling. The hardest part? Not feeling like there is a way back out of it—feeling like there is no escape from how much you are hurting. But, please hold on—because there is, you just have to keep going. This is how.
Here we are—the beginning of a new day.
How do we manage when even the smallest task seems impossible? One step at a time, adjusted to what we can find to be possible, knowing that you are capable of getting through this. By the end of the day, you will be stronger than you had been even from that morning—so keep it up and eventually, it will get easier and easier because you have become stronger and stronger. Think of it like exercise: you don't get results without a level of pain, sweat, and hard work.
Morning, to the evening.
Some days you wake up, and it seems harder to get up. But you can do it, because you've done it before, and you will do it again. Keep yourself in the right mindset—be positive.
Set ten alarms, and set your phone on the other side of your room before you go to sleep. When the groggy grey morning comes, the only way to turn off the horrendous alarm music is to get up and do it.
Eat breakfast. Energy is important—especially the right energy. Don't allow yourself to become deficient in vitamins and minerals—these are key mood boosters. A healthy body contributes a lot to your mental health.
Drink coffee, sugar, and caffeine to keep you going, because little energy boosters can really pick you up at a low point. (Unless you suffer anxiety.) (And don't consume excessively.) (And not if you have a heart condition.) (And suddenly this doesn't seem like useful advice.)
Walk to work or school—or get off the bus a stop early. I am in no way a morning person, and the mere suggestion of a morning run would leave me glued to my bed in misery for a morning, evening, and afternoon. I just wouldn't get up if I thought I would have to drag my sleepy body through public areas in tight, itchy, and sweaty clothing while gasping like a fish out of water. Just no. However, don't underestimate the power of light exercise, and having that quiet time to yourself. Walking to work gives you a little time to think, and start the day refreshed and with a clear mind.
Throw yourself into it. Work, school, whatever you are meant to do—don't think about everything you have going on, or about how hard things are, especially while trying to work. Instead, leave that behind. This is your professional place, to build, adapt, grow, and learn. Leave the other person at the door and get yourself fired up for another day to slam dunk your goals and become more and more successful. The only thing holding you back is your mind.
Rest. Go home and nap, but limit it. Watch TV, take some time away from the business. Take yourself out for coffee. Dedicate some time towards yourself, and let yourself enjoy the time. Always remember though, this is time dedicated to yourself, not time to isolate yourself from others. You don't need more than a couple hours of day to yourself—don't cut yourself off from the world.
Cook. Take time to make something nice for yourself to enjoy. Take care of yourself, and be proud of what you do. Take this as an opportunity to develop a skill, learn something new and beneficial—as well as fun, but also giving yourself something good to eat. Self-care through cake—now, that sounds like a way to heal the heart.
Have time frames: plans, lists. I'm at the far end of the spectrum when it comes to organisation, believe me, but when it comes to little things that you just need to get done: have a plan. Procrastination can bring you down—don't let there be constant issues niggling at the back of your head. Get it done. Have a plan, and stick to it the best you can. If you are really struggling, invite someone over to keep you company while you work, take yourself to a coffee shop or library, or play music in the background. Get those inspirational jams blasting.
Have hobbies. Learn a new skill, or prefect an old one. Paint, sing, punch (within a safe and legal environment), jump, do whatever, and do it because you love it. Have aims and things you want to achieve and invest into that.
Don't dwell, but live. Don't let yourself sit around, and slowly become more and more frustrated with everything—go out and make memories, have adventure. Hit up your friends, go to the beach, the park, the local chipper. Just get outside.
Sleep well. Get those eight hours.
Exercise regularly. Do it because you care about your health and your body. Have a good mindset.
Practise positivity, and love yourself the way you love others. Taking care of yourself is a primary step in healing, so give yourself time and allow yourself to make mistakes. You will get there, just keep going.
These are basic and essential fundamentals, simple and practical. It seems short, but these are your main goals to tackle. And it all starts with self-love, and self-respect. Do things because you care about yourself, looking after yourself, and getting better. If that's too much, treat yourself like your mother, or friend, or daughter. If they were suffering through the day, you would want to take them by the hand and walk with them through it all. Hold yourself, care for yourself, and you will become stronger, I promise.
Remember that caring for yourself can mean talking to other people about what you are enduring. It doesn't mean depend on them to fix you, but by opening up, honey you are fixing yourself.
All the best,