5 Things I’ve Stopped Doing That Make My Depression Worse

5 Things I’ve Stopped Doing That Make My Depression Worse

Hello friends!

Since it’s all out on the table these days, I might as well share things that I’ve been guilty of lately. Sometimes depression sucks you into it’s dark hole, sinks it’s teeth in and doesn’t let go. I guess that’s when we give up and learn to live in the darkness, right?

WRONG.

I know more than anyone it’s easier to live in the darkness, but that’s no fun, is it? Sometimes all you can do is crawl in the right direction and improve everyday. You don’t have to leap into being the fucking happiest person on earth but you do need to stop making your depression worse. 

Let’s talk about what makes my depression worse. Hopefully with these tips you’ll crawl a little closer into the light like I’ve been trying to do lately.

Isolating Myself

Let’s talk about balance. All of you that know me, know that I LOVE MY ALONE TIME. I’m an introvert and that’s how I recharge, but wanna know something strange? I’ve learned recently that I actually like being around people who love me. You know, those beautiful souls I surround myself with? 

If I spend too long without seeing my friends and family, my depression gets worse. Why? Because we’re social creatures and no matter how introverted you are, you will thrive more when you foster healthy relationships with others. 

So take that introverts!

Staying Inside All Day

If it weren’t for my dogs, I would probably never see daylight for days. DAYS. There is something really wrong with that. I love the sun but when I’m depressed all I want is to stay under the covers, for like…ever. 

And what instantly raises the spirits?  Sunshine gleaming on my face. But not for too long because I burn like a lobster. It’s a real problem, and all you fair skinned people understand me right? I know I can’t be the only one that shrivels up like a raisin after 30 minutes under our beautiful star.

Not Reaching Out

I’m REALLY guilty of this one, and what I’ve learned about my introverted friends is that they’re just as guilty as I am. 

It’s part of our personality description that we don’t always reply to texts and we keep to ourselves. 

The problem lies when we don’t reach out forever and our friends start thinking we don’t love them anymore! Not reaching out to my friends and family forever makes me feel disconnected and isolated. 

Want to know an easy way to feel more depressed? Never talk to your loved ones again. Sounds miserable right? So don’t do it. 

Chances are, that they’re waiting for you to reach out to them. Sometimes we get caught up in our lives and forget that a simple text can change your whole day for the better.

HOMEWORK: Text your best friend, your partner (if you have one) and one family member to tell them you’re thinking of them. Then let me know how you felt after. 

Keeping Everything To Myself

When I keep things to myself, I tend to also believe that no one understands me and I feel alienated. When really, all the people around me will understand and listen. 

No loved one will ever turn you away for confiding in them…unless they’re an asshole. Then maybe we should find a new loved one. 

You’ll be surprised how not alone you are in this world once you open up and share your story with people. 

Settling For Toxic Relationships

The depressed life can be a lonely one, but it’s far better lonely than clutching onto toxic relationships. Toxic relationships add to your stress and depression. Stop making your depression worse by staying with your nasty boyfriend, or that seriously annoying drunk friend you have. 

Drop them and take the time to find those lovely souls out there. There are so many wonderful people out there, you just need to look around a bit. (And stop wasting your energy on people who suck the life out of you).

There you have it, all my secrets. Just kidding! This blog lets me share a whole bunch of shit that I almost don’t have any more secrets! 

So what makes your depression worse?

Share with my in the comments, or go to the “Say Hi” tab and message me privately!

Have a lovely day!

What I Did About My Worst Depression in Over a Decade

What I did about my worst depression in over a decade

Yeah, you read that right. I have not had depression this bad in over a decade. A DECADE. It’s really a big deal and I haven’t been able to write in months. 

What I Did About My Worst Depression in Over a Decade

Let me tell you a little something about depression. It fucking sucks. Period. It is completely encompassing of everything in my life. 

If I could take a magic pill and make it go away, I would. If I could “just get over it”, I would. But trust me, it’s not that easy.

Even now I’m having a difficult time explaining how hard it’s been the last few months. Most people think depression is all about sadness. It’s not. For me, it’s 30% numb, 30% I hate myself, 20% sad, and 20% tired. 

For me, it’s 30% numb, 30% I hate myself, 20% sad, and 20% tired.

When I was about to give it all up, I decided to make a few changes. With the little motivation I do have, I can schedule appointments to give myself a little nudge in the right direction. 

This is what I did about it.

Go back to counseling

At first it was difficult for me to accept that I needed help yet again. I didn’t want to admit that I needed to go back to counseling or start my meds again. But in the end what’s most important is that I chose to take care of myself, no matter what means necessary. 

It’s okay to go back to counseling. In fact there’s a ton of things throughout life that counseling would ease and help resolve. Mental illness, loss of a loved one, trauma, divorce, marriage, childcare, loss of a job, etc. 

Counseling is not a once and done sort of solution. It’s like going to your medical doctor once a year to check up on your body. You don’t go once and decide you’re good forever. Mental health (like physical health) needs constant attention and care.  

Mental health (like physical health) needs constant attention and care. 

Start my antidepressants AGAIN

Asking my doctor to start me on my antidepressants again wasn’t exactly easy, but I wasn’t embarrassed either. I am proud of myself for that because I sought out the help I need. 

I don’t see medication as a crutch or something to hide. Medication is something that allows my brain to function properly while I try to sort out my current issues. 

Purchase a gym membership

I got a gym membership again to force myself out of the house. And the truth be told, a gym membership that includes studio yoga classes is a hell of a lot cheaper than buying a pass for a yoga studio. Yoga is kind of my thing, but so is lifting weights. It works. 

See a nutritionist

To really take care of every aspect of my life, I decided to see a nutritionist as well. Like many people, I didn’t develop the healthiest relationship with food, and I decided to put an end to it if I could. 

Instead of obsessing over every calorie going into my mouth and only thinking about what I shouldn’t be eating, I decided to learn what will nourish my body. That way I’m aware of the specific benefits of foods, and learn what my body needs. 

Read

There are few things in this world that allow you to travel time and space, and one is reading. Lately I’ve been reading anything and everything that will help improve my mood and mental health. 

Call me a nerd, but I am so proud of my library card. I just think it’s the coolest thing ever. Judge me if you want.

Take a break

And when life gives you a comfy bed and some spare time, take a damn nap and don’t feel bad about it. It’s okay to put yourself first, and really that’s the way it always should be.

I had to make the choice to give up, or to force myself in the right direction, no matter how uncomfortable. One thing I’ve learned about mental illness (or really anything in life) is that it’s a continual battle for something better. Recovery is an ongoing task throughout life. 

When tragedy happened and I needed the extra help, I started up my mental health routine again. And that’s okay. There is no need to beat myself up over starting over again. There is absolutely no shame in seeking help whether it’s the first time, or the hundredth time. 

Remember that you’re always worth it. 

What To Do When You’re Depressed

What To Do When You’re Depressed

Mental illness is a thorn in the side. Often times you’re able to function but not to your fullest capacity. Recently my depression has been trying to take hold of my life again, and I’ve been really struggling. I wrote this post to remind myself (and most importantly you) what we should be doing when we’re feeling a little extra depressed.

If you’ve been diagnosed with depression you might chuckle at a few of these tips because the struggle is REAL. Ordinary people don’t seem to understand that these basic daily chores are difficult, if not impossible.

Let’s continue.

Take a shower

As obvious as this may sound, it’s needs to be said. Why? I’ll be the first to admit that while I’m in a deep depression, I skip the shower some days. I know it sounds a little gross but it’s a lot more common than you may think.

It’s a huge understatement to say that depression is a huge downer. It keeps you from leaving your bed, and in turn, showering.

Do your chores

At very least, you can get up and do your chores. As someone with depression, I know that getting up and doing chores is the worst, but I promise you’ll feel accomplished after! And if that wasn’t enough to keep you going throughout the day, then go back to resting! There’s no shame in trying. At least you accomplished something!

(Write down your chores in your gratitude journal).

Rest, but not too long

Having depression is exhausting, so take a rest! But make sure you’re not growing roots in your mattress. You battle with this everyday and you deserve a little rest. For those of you with mental illness, you’re badasses! What’s more exhausting than going through the struggles of daily life with that piled on top?

Not everyone understands that struggle.

Eat healthy

Obviously, eating better will make your body feel better. Therefore, your mind will feel better. Also, you’ll feel better about yourself if you make yourself something delicious. You leave no room for negative self talk that says, “Why’d you eat that you tub-o-lard?”

For the record, you’re not allowed to talk to yourself like that anyway, but be proactive! I know how that goes…

Call your mom

Or call that trusted loved one. They always know how to make you feel better.

Spoil your animals

Oh baby! This is one of my favorite things to do! There’s no better pick-me-up than spoiling my fur babies! Replace their old ratty toys, and give them a luxurious bath.

Low budget? Take them on a walk, play with them, or DIY a new toy out of ratty old t-shirts or rope! Pinterest is your friend.

Spoil your self

I wasn’t going to forget you! You deserve some spoiling too! I know you all work your asses off so don’t neglect that sweet, sweet pampering.

Give yourself a pedi/mani, coconut oil treat your entire body, buy a new book, take a class on something you want to learn, bake yourself that delicious dessert you’ve been eyeing (and share with me), and/or take yourself to lunch.

The options are endless!

Choose happiness

Understand that you control your life, and no mental illness/other person/outside factor controls you. You have the ability to choose to be happy or not. I know it’s a tough thing to hear, because I understand you can’t “just be happy”. Trust me, I know. I’ve been there.

But! You can choose to see the good in the world, and you can choose to be that bright warm beacon of light for yourself and others. Be your own hero. Just make the choice first.

Do you want this depression to control your life, or do you control your life? Do you want to be depressed all the time, or do you want to be happy? Make the choice, and take steps in the direction you see yourself.

Share your story

And, if you can build up the courage, share your story. Even if you’re only comfortable sharing your story with your loved ones, do that. You’ll give them the chance to understand you more fully. The love and trust will grow, and your relationship will flourish.

Hey, you might even encourage someone else to speak up about their struggle with mental illness.

Now get out there and change lives people!

 

Did you like this post? Learn What NOT TO DO When You’re Depressed

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What NOT TO DO When You’re Depressed

What NOT TO DO When You’re Depressed

Over the past decade or so, I’ve learned a lot about not only my depression but I also went to school for it as well. That’s kind of one of the reasons I went to school for Psychology. (More on that later). 

I’ve compiled a collection of “anti-recommendations” for depression.

DON’T get out of routine

For the love of coffee! Do not get out of your routine. Sure, be lenient with your routine if you must but don’t fully neglect it. Us humans like routine and we should stick to it. Get up, shower, and feed yourself. Routine is good for your mental health and it keeps you glued together. Not only is routine good for your mental health, but it’s good for everyone around you. This brings me to my next “not to do”.

DON’T neglect your responsibilities

For the love of your dogs! Do not neglect your responsibilities. You’ll feel like shit if you neglect all the things you need to do. Feed your dogs, walk them, water your plants, feed your kids if you have them, and do your chores. I promise you if don’t neglect your stuff, you will feel so much better. If nothing else, take care of the things that need you and go back to bed. Zzzz…

DON’T lay in bed (too long)

For the love of….! Just kidding. As someone with depression, I know how easy it is to just sink into bed all day and sleep. Sure, some days you need that…when you’re sick.

Give yourself permission to sleep in a bit when you need it, and when you feel up for it…get up.

Then see step one and two.

DON’T eat shitty food

Don’t go for your stockpile of treats and processed shit in your pantry. You’ll feel much better about yourself (not to mention your body will thank you) if you make yourself something delicious and nutritious.

As a huge dessert advocate, treat yourself! Just don’t go overboard to the point where you’ll regret it later.

DON’T sulk over social media

On a day when you’re depressed to the max, it’s easy to sulk in bed all day. And what do you do when you’re in bed? TV and social media. Watch your favorite show and binge the crap out of it. I love those days.

But for the love of your mental health! (Last time, I promise. Haha!) Don’t go on social media if it’ll make you feel like shit. Don’t sulk over perfect instagram models if that’s something that makes me feel inferior.

What to do instead?

Fill your social media accounts with body positive, life positive, and inspiring individuals. Follow people who love their bodies no matter their size and shape. Follow people who advocate being true and genuine, and follow people who want to make the world a better place.

DON’T shut out your loved ones

When your mom calls you to ask if you’ve had your coffee and if you’d like some chilaquiles for breakfast…answer the phone. These people love you and would do anything to make you happy. Don’t be shitty and shut them out because you’re feeling depressed.

I bet talking to them on the phone for a bit will make all your worries go away. Be open with them, tell them what you’re feeling, and talk it out. They might have some stored up words of wisdom and encouragement!

DON’T talk down to yourself

Don’t talk down to yourself. Each time you do this, it chips away at your self-esteem. When you find yourself talking shit…stop and go to your gratitude journal. Make a list of everything you love about yourself.

DON’T change your medication

Don’t mess up all the hard work you’ve done with your medication by self medicating or changing doses. Always consult with your doctor before you make any changes in medication.

DO understand the reality 🙂

Understand that this feeling is temporary. Even for those of us with diagnosed depression, it’s temporary. Who knows, maybe tomorrow, the next day, or next week will be different.

What I’ve learned about depression is that if you let it take control of your life, it will. No matter how hard it is, you need to take control of your life. You can choose happiness.

It’s ugly, sticky, and almost unbearable but it’s worth it to push through the depression and find your happy. The more often you do this, the stronger you’ll get, and the easier it’ll get.

Good luck my friends!

What tactics do you use when you’re feeling depressed?

For those of your with depression, how do you deal?

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How I Deal With My Depression

How I Deal With My Depression

I’ve struggled with depression for a long time. I was officially diagnosed with depression a few years ago, and then later diagnosed with PTSD. Although it was only a few years of “officially” being depressed, it didn’t just sprout from nowhere!

I’ve had depression for a while and I’ve coped in many many many different ways—some healthier than others.

Now, if you’re interested in how I’ve dealt with my depression over the years, keep reading.

Let me remind you that I’m an individual with individual needs and concerns. Not all of these tips will work for everyone, but I find that some of these can be universal to many folks.

Exercise

As much as I loathed exercise in the past, I know it’s important for my body and my mind. Why did I loathe exercise? Because I wasn’t doing something that I loved. The body and the mind are interconnected in a way that there is no definitive line between them. This means that both need each other to fully thrive. Healthy body, healthy mind.

My advice? Find something you truly enjoy doing. Don’t follow trends or force yourself to run miles everyday if you completely hate doing it. Exercise can be fun if you find what makes you happy.

I do yoga because it really makes me happy. I like hiking, gardening, and making things. Sometimes your activity doesn’t even have to be labeled as exercise. Walking your dog? Building furniture? Working on the yard? Do that. It gets you moving and it’s productive. Even better.

Eat dessert

As much as I talk about eating healthy (and it’s crazy important), I find a happy balance between eating healthy and eating dessert. Because dessert is life.

Healthy eats are for the body, and dessert is for the soul. Feed the soul, people!

I pamper myself

Lately I’ve been seeing blog posts on Pinterest about how self care is a selfish millennial excuse for pampering. Uhh hell no. Pampering is a way of grooming, and every species grooms themselves for personal hygiene, finding a mate, and social time.

Pampering isn’t selfish, it’s necessary. And pampering doesn’t have to be about nail polish or coconut oil. It can be about drinking tea in a cozy blanket and reading a book. Pampering can be anything that relaxes and revitalizes you.

So pamper on millennials!

Try these natural remedies out!

I push through the depression

I’m hard on myself. I like to get stuff done, and I need to get stuff done, and I hate allowing my depression to take over and keep me in bed all day. I know it may be harsh, but sometimes you just have to push through the depression and get shit done.

Sometimes I’m too hard on myself, and I learn. Other times I relax and take care of myself. I try to find a balance that helps me get stuff done and babying my depression. Some times you have to lay in bed for an extra hour and other times you have to get your ass up and get shit done.

It’s a balance.

I learned gratitude

Oh for the love of dessert! This one is important. I’ll repeat. The most important piece of this post is right here people.

The more grateful I become, the happier I become. Sound crazy?

Well, not very many people talk about it. So! Here I am, telling you to be grateful. And it’s not that you’re not grateful, because I know you are. I want you to be more…proactive about it. I want you to write it down, I want you to tell people, I want you to influence other people to be grateful.

When I’m having a shitty day (actually everyday), I write down my three things I’m grateful for and everything seems a little less…depressing. We all have so much to be grateful for, and that lifts a lot of depression for me. Seriously, I have a gratitude journal that I write in everyday.

Related: Why You Need A Gratitude Journal

I got dogs

My dogs make me so happy. Sometimes I threaten to give them back to the pound when they don’t behave, (they totally call my bluff). Haha, really they’re turds sometimes, but I love them! What’s better than the unconditional, butt wagging, love that you get from a dog?

Related: How Dogs Have Helped My Depression

I’m very picky about my friends

I purged my life of the shit friends, and surrounded myself with loving people. ‘Nuff said.

I do what I like

This is a pretty big one too. Quitting the job that sucked the life out of me was a great step towards happiness. It won’t solve your depression, but it definitely helps! Instead of working a life sucking job, I create things and I absolutely love it.

There was a big shift in my depression once I started blogging. And even if you’re not willing to open a blog, you can just start writing about it. Talk about your struggles and how you’ve overcome them. Then share that with me!

I ask for extra love

When I know I’m having a tough morning (usually it lingers all day), I ask my boyfriend for some extra love. I can’t tell you how helpful this has been. Usually he’ll come back with a response of, “I’ve got all the extra love to give.”

How f*cking sweet is that? But it’s true. You would do the same for someone you love, so why not ask for it in return? It really strengthens the bond of your relationship.

Try it out!

What do you think is most helpful?

What have you done to help with your depression?

And if you know someone who would benefit from this, share it with them!

What To Do When You’re Having A Breakdown

What To Do When You’re Having A Breakdown

We’ve all been there. Maybe you’ve been bottling up frustrations at work, or maybe you’ve been struggling with something and it’s caught up with you. It could also be a combination of everything in life that has been scratching at you. Life tends to sneak up on us like that without us being aware.

It doesn’t matter where it comes from, I’m here to help you through the breakdown.

I’m actually writing this because I had a mental breakdown the other day. I’ve been in a low spot lately for many reasons. Partly because I lost my dad, but mostly from the daily grind. As much as I’m smiling in my pictures, I still have depression. It never really goes away and some days it’s heavier than others.

I’m sure some of you can relate.

As someone with depression, I tend to spiral into my dark little abyss and dive into self-doubt, self-hatred, and negative self-talk. It’s a nasty concoction. Often times I can handle things pretty well, and I’m proud of myself for that. Other times it’s not so easy, and I forgive myself for that. It’s something we work on everyday to improve our lives and our mental health.

Like I said, we’ve all had a breakdown. And if you haven’t…are you an alien?

So what can I do to stop this breakdown from ruining your life?

Feel The Feels

First, I want you to allow yourself to feel the feels. The days of bottling feelings are over. Just let it be. You’re feeling these things for a reason and we all know bottling feelings isn’t healthy.

Feelings and emotions are your mind’s way of communicating with you. The good, the bad and the ugly. Allow all of that emotion to flow through you like a damn river. If you cry or scream that’s okay. I’ve definitely done my fair share.

If you want a more calm outlet, continue on my friends.

Write That Shit Down

Once you’ve felt the feels, organize your thoughts and feelings on paper. Wipe away the angry face crinkles, the snot-filled tears, the ugly cry faces and get a pen to some paper. You’ve got some writing to do.

It doesn’t matter if it’s grammatically correct, or polite. If you’re angry, angrily write until you’re free of your anger. (Insert swear words in CAPS here) Write down what’s going on in that beautiful head of yours. Tell that paper all the shit you’ve been dealing with. Don’t hold back.

Feel better yet?

Once you’ve journaled your little heart out, proceed to the next step.

Talk To A Trusted Friend

Call up your favorite BUATCH and vent to her. Make sure to ask them first if she has time, because they might be busy. (This might take a while).

My go-to BUATCH is my best friend Miranda, and she always backs me up. When I’m mad about something, she’s mad. When I need reassurance and some backup, she’s there.

Or during my recent breakdown, my boyfriend called me. We talked out the issues, and he made me feel better. Think of that person in your life that you have, and call them up. (Or have them call you).

Don’t Make Any Crazy Decisions For 72 Hours

When we’re distraught and in an emotional rage, we often like to make crazy life-changing decisions. Don’t say anything you’d regret, don’t quit your job, don’t hurt anyone, and don’t hurt yourself.

Wait it out. Wait 72 hours, and reassess the situation. For those of us who have struggled with some sort of mental illness, this is crucial. Many times during a breakdown I’ve wanted (or tried) to change my entire life and it’s just not healthy in that mindset. Wait until you have a clear mind.

Do you still want to move across the country? Do you still want to quit your job and flip off the boss? I hope not. Talk it out with someone, and wait until you have a clear mind.

Have you ever had a breakdown? 

What did you do to help yourself?

When I Knew It Was Time To Come Off My Antidepressants

When I Knew It Was Time To Come Off My Antidepressants

I was prescribed antidepressants about a year and a half ago. I went in for an annual checkup when the University health clinic started asking a few mental health questions. And my answers concerned them.

I had already been diagnosed with depression at this point but I had a few more things on my plate at that particular time. I was in my last semester in college, my mom told me she might have cancer, and my biological father was really sick. He was the type of sick you worry about.

I was referred to a doctor to prescribe antidepressants and here I am a year and a half later…officially off of my antidepressants.

There were a few things that convinced me to go off of them.

When I Knew It Was Time To Come Off My Meds

I plateaued

For the first 8 months my mood improved greatly, and after the 8 months, my mood plateaued. I also didn’t want to go through trying another medication either.

When I hit the plateau, my mood never improved. My mood stayed at the baseline.

In the mental health world we like to refer as a mood baseline as an average, neutral area in which your mood resides. This is not severely depressed, or highly manic. It’s the happy medium between the two. On a numeric scale, we could call this 5 on a scale between 0 and 10. 0 being the best you’ve ever felt, and 10 being the most depressed you’ve ever felt.

Make sense? It’s indifferent, but also bleh.

Once the 8 months had passed, it was difficult for me to feel anything but a 5. I would feel elevated depression and happiness occasionally, but not often.

Before the medication my level of depression floated in the range from 5-9, and occasionally 10. Once in a while I would feel happiness but it wouldn’t last long. So the medication gave me a huge improvement!

I worked my ass off to improve my mental health, and it paid off

The second reason I believe that I was ready to come off my meds was the astronomical changes I’ve gone through in the last few years.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’ve kicked my ass trying to improve my mental health since high school. I’m not perfect and I never will be, but I do know I’ve done damn well.

I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of myself in my life, actually. Overcoming and improving my mental illness is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It is also one of the most rewarding feats I’ve ever tackled. I am new and improved. I am strong and I know now that I can handle anything.

The turn of the year gave me motivation to make big changes. But by January 1st, I decided I wasn’t quite ready.

Tragedy happened, and I survived without it

January 5th, tragedy happened. One of my parents died. I learned this at the same time that I was weening myself off my meds. I decided to stay on track with what my doctor had advised and kept with my new meds schedule.

As the month passed I endured all the shit that was going on, even with the decreasing amounts of happy pills. Should I have waited? Maybe, but you’d be surprised what you can endure. I know I’ve surprised myself a few times.

As a side note, I’ll mention that I’ve never had an addictive personality. Many people close to me have ruined their lives and even died from addiction and I refuse to let that get a hold of me. I believe that’s what deterred me.

So as I was dealing with this tragedy, I didn’t want my mind or body to rely on medication to solve my problems.

Take this into consideration before anything

I will also mention that I am a unique individual (just like all of you) and I did this under doctor’s recommendation. Not just anyone and everyone can simple ween themselves off of meds. It depends on the illness, medication, and doctor’s recommendation. Never self medicate (or ween yourself) without the approval of your doctor.

Instead of relying on antidepressants for the rest of my life,  I wanted to learn coping skills, and healthy habits to improve after utilizing what medication has to offer.

Going through this tragedy while weening off of my medication made me realize that I no longer needed them. I’m not going to lie to you. It was fucking hard, and I wouldn’t recommend going off your meds at the worst possible time ever, but I will say that it’s doable. At least it was for me.

Take this with you, if nothing else

I believe that there were many factors that played into my success. The therapy, the time I’ve spent working on myself, the self esteem I’ve been building, and my daily activities.

Now I am in no way encouraging anyone to stop their medication and refuse advice from their doctor. I am simply sharing my story with antidepressants.

I am not qualified or certified in any way to provide medical advice, so please talk to your doctor if you’re considering a change in medication.

With mental health, there is no quick and easy solution to anything. It takes hard work and dedication. And! It’s an ongoing process throughout your life, because you are always changing and evolving.

But I will tell you it’s worth it. Improving my mental health has been one of my best decisions.

So go on! Get out there and get your happy on!

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How Owning Dogs Has Helped My Depression

How Owning Dogs Has Helped My Depression

How Owning Dogs Has Helped My Depression

They require care, therefore I get out of bed.

Often times when someone has depression, they care for everything that surrounds them, and not themselves. Sounds familiar? We care for our friends, family, and pets, but refuse ourselves any love.

Owning an animal (specifically dogs) has kept me going through the most difficult times. This can be true for people without mental illness as well.

Because my two lovely fur babies are my responsibility, I get out of bed, feed them, water them, take them outside, and play with them. If it weren’t for them, many of those difficult days I would have cried in bed, and gone back to sleep. I have an awful track record of taking care of myself.

Having such responsibility gives my life a sense of purpose. They encourage me to be the best I can be because we both deserve it.

They kiss my tears away.

Dogs are extremely intelligent creatures. They understand feeling and they experience it themselves. When I’m upset, they know. They’ll cuddle up next to me and kiss the tears off my face. This in turn makes me laugh and eases the pain for a second.

I mean, what’s better than slobbery dog kisses all over your face to ease the blues?

They make me laugh because they’re absolute weirdos.

Just like people, dogs have personalities. From my experience, dogs are often just as weird (or more weird) as humans. They let their freak flag fly!

It makes me laugh when my dog Riley makes strange, excited monkey cries when she sees me. My new puppy is so goofy and hops like a bunny. They are just the cutest things ever, and we’re constantly having a great time together.

They teach me about unconditional love.

I’m sure it’s no surprise to you that this tidbit is on the list. Anyone who knows dogs, knows that they are the most unconditionally loving creatures. They love you no matter what you look like, or what you do. They have zero expectations and will love you until their last day.

Have you ever met anyone who is as excited to see you as your dog? I didn’t think so. Walk out of the room for five minutes and they’ll welcome you back like the amazing, beautiful queen you are.

Strive to be the person your dog thinks you are. That is some motivation right there.

What My Life Looked Like Before Self Love

What My Life Looked Like Before Self Love

To be honest, I never really put myself as a priority until a few years ago. I didn’t know that it was important, and I was told it was selfish. I’m here to tell you that self love is not selfish. In fact, it’s not only necessary, but crucial to your mental health. Until a few years ago I was a wreck. I didn’t look like it on the outside, but I was a hot mess on the inside. Let me share a little of that with you.

What my life looked like before self love, and a little somethin' somethin' extra!

My sleeping habits were shit

Abnormal sleeping habits and depression go together like peanut butter and jelly. In my case, I either slept too much, or too little. I never got the right amount of sleep to power my body and mind.

I would go through spells of constant sleeping, and I would sleep eight hours a night and nap through the day after school. The first year of college I did the same. I felt as if I were just walking through life in a daze.

Then I would go through spells of hardly sleeping at all. At one time in my life I had two jobs, and would sleep an average of four hours a night. I would work, spend time with friends, nap, and repeat.

I don’t recommend it. Sleep when you’re tired, and keep a consistent schedule.

My eating habits were unhealthy

Abnormal eating habits are also common with people who have depression.

I ate too little or I ate too much. Throughout Highschool I starved myself, and the first year of college was the same. Sporadically as a young adult on my own, I convinced myself it wasn’t worth the money to buy food. I thought that saving money for emergencies was far more important than feeding myself. WTF?!

My eating habits also influenced my sleeping habits. The more hungry I was, the more I slept. I would try to ignore my hunger by sleeping, and it worked. At the same time I would always feel faint and weak like I was wasting away.

Other times I would be so hungry I would indulge on high caloric foods to ease my sadness. Gorging on tons of pizza roles and ice-cream at 2 in the morning after a day of no eating isn’t exactly healthy, you know?

I will not admit that I ever had an eating disorder, because I didn’t. I will admit though that I have had an unhealthy relationship with food. This is something that I am mindful every day.

I encourage anyone struggling with nourishing their bodies the correct way to seek help. Food is life, and you will feel like shit if you don’t take care of yourself.

I thought I was shit, and that’s what I told myself…over and over

I had very low self-esteem and self worth. I didn’t know that I deserved love, and I would let people walk all over me. Never did I stand up for myself or put myself first.

Like many young people, I spent too much time worrying about opinions of others, and letting their comments consume me. I didn’t know who I was, and I didn’t want to find out either.

I believed all the bad things that was said about me. No matter who told me, my parents, friends, acquaintances, or random people, I would believe them.

My life was a constant cycle of striving for perfection, failing, being abused, and abusing myself.

Take some advice from me and take really good care of yourself. Do it before you think you’re ready. Do it before you know what’s best for you. Just start. Start early, and care for yourself all the time.

For some more self care tips! Read the links below.

How To Make A Self Care Package

Self Care During Winter Months

How To Ease Anxiety While Traveling

How To Ease Anxiety While Traveling

Recently I’ve been traveling a lot, and I’m usually a person that lets the traveling stress me out. To ease stress while traveling, I’ve changed up how I do things. I decided to write this post because traveling (usually by plane) is extremely stressful and if I can help others calm the f*ck down…I’ll do that.

How To Ease Anxiety While Traveling

The crucial component to my success is preparation! I’ve also learned that you have to let some things go. Particularly things that you cannot control, such as delayed planes or traffic.

I plan

While traveling I make sure that I’m doing it on my terms. What I mean by that is that I travel the way I want.

For example, I have a seriously difficult time waking up in the morning, and I know that I’ll probably sleep in. So, when I’m traveling I start a little later in the day. This reduces a huge amount of stress for me.

What’s worse than waking up late, speeding through traffic, and running through the airport? Nothing. Obviously.

I prepare

I pack my bag at least the day before, I lay out my outfit for the travel, and I make a list of everything I need. I check that thing like five times, and go over my itinerary for the trip to make sure I don’t forget anything.

Something that I’ve learned as well is that less is more. You’ve probably done this too…packing too much? I like to pack the bare minimum so that I’m carrying less. Also, if I’m staying in a hotel and know that there will be certain toiletries, I’ll use those instead of bringing my own.

Less heavy baggage is always nice, right?

Do you ever get motion sickness? I do…bad. I get headaches, nausea, and fatigue. Something that has saved my life on airplanes or riding in cars is Dramamine.

The first time I took Dramamine while in a car, I didn’t realize how amazing I felt until I was a half hour in and didn’t want to throw up! Dramamine is magic. I recommend it highly if you get motion sickness. I can’t travel without it!

I arrive early

This may seem obvious, but arriving early is probably the easiest way to relieve stress while traveling.

Make sure you account for traffic, parking, walking, checking bags, security, walking again, and grabbing yourself some snacks and water!

I bring entertainment

To ease the stress and anxiety of waiting around, I bring jams to listen to! That, and lots of games to play on my phone in case I get bored. Reading material? That’s the best!

I set alarms

The last thing I do to ease the stress of traveling is by setting alarms. I set an alarm for waking up, leaving, when I need to be at the terminal, and last boarding call. Not always but if I’m reading or distracting myself, I want to make sure I won’t miss my flight. So I set alarms. It lets me unwind without worrying about being on time.

There you have it!

5 ways to ease your stress and anxiety while traveling!

Let me know how it goes!

How do you travel stress free?

An Open Letter To My Depression

An Open Letter To My Depression

open letter to my depression

F*CK YOU

Fuck you. Seriously. I didn’t ask for this. Who do you think you are? Coming in here and latching onto me like I don’t have other things going on. I have friends, and family, and a life.

Show some respect, and exist the room quietly. I’m sorry, but you’re just that person no one likes. Don’t make it more awkward by sticking around, keeping small talk, and hovering over me like I’m your only friend at the party.

Do you get a kick out of this? Do you like making people miserable? Do you get off on that? Because that’s sick. You should be ashamed of yourself.

It’s Not Really Your Fault

Despite all the shitty things you say to me, it’s not your fault actually. You were gifted to me. It’s your job. Me being the hopeless ignorant child I was, I had it coming. I didn’t know who you were. We became best friends early on. We became close, you know, because misery loves company or some bullshit like that.

I should’ve broken up with you a long time ago. I guess I wasn’t ready? I needed some time to figure some shit out before I let you go.

It’s Time To Let Go

But now I’m annoyed. You’re like the obsessed ex-boyfriend that just won’t let go. You linger. You call, and I hit ignore. You text me an embarrassing amount of times, and I don’t reply. I should block you, but in a sick twisted way I kind of like the attention.

Every encounter with you is miserable, but you remind me of how incredibly fucking strong I am. So thanks for reminding me of how much I’m worth, and how much I deserve.

In a way I like constantly rejecting you, because it shows me how much I love myself. I’m too good for you. I’m too happy for you, and I have too much to accomplish in my life. You hold me back, and I’m ready for separation.

But know this, I’ll never forget you. And I thank you for making me stronger. Because how do you know how strong you are until you’ve been tested?

But We’re Not Done Yet

I know you’ll visit me now and again. I know you’ll be stalking me you fucking creeper. I know this isn’t over, but remember that I’m chipping you off bit by bit. I wash off your stink every morning. I don’t even feel bad. No regrets over here. I’ll be glad to be rid of you someday. But it is not this day.

Today you’re still the faint fog lingering around me like an unsavory aura. On the bad days, it’s suffocating, and difficult to see through. On the good days I can barely see you. It’s like you’re not even there, and eventually, you won’t be.

Someday Will Be Goodbye Old Friend

Eventually, I’ll see you as an old friend. I’ll wave at you as you pass and consume some other poor soul. I’ll smile at that other person with grace and understanding. I can’t offer them a solution, but I can offer them an experienced ear to listen.

For The Friends Of People With Depression

And for those of you who were gifted with that shiny depression shield, I’ll ask you a favor. Listen, and try to understand. Help out your fellow human and accept them as they are. Everyone needs a little love. Pass on the love.

Finding Motivation When You Have Depression

Finding Motivation When You Have Depression

find motivation when you have depression

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using these links.

I’m guessing that if you’re here you’d like to know how to find motivation. Maybe you’re here because you have depression, and motivation is something you struggle with.

Well I’m here to tell you this is normal! And it’s okay!

One of the major symptoms of depression is lack of interest and motivation to do the things you love. Ugh. (The exact opposite of a good time) That’s a drag, but there’s fantastic news!

You can do what you love again! I know because I’ve gone through it.

I know exactly what it feels like to lose motivation for the things you love. I’m going to share with you the things I do to regain my motivation!

Also! Read this blog post to learn how I combat my own depression.

But first, a little bit about me:

I was born and raised on an island in Alaska, and moved away at 18. Since then, I’ve gained a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, with a minor in Studio Art, and I now live in Colorado. I’d say that sort of accomplishment would take a hell of a lot of motivation. And it did. Living with depression from a young age, I feel I’ve had a lot to make up for. What I mean by that is that I’ve had to reteach myself to think and to live. I decided at 18 that I would no longer allow depression to rule my life. So I took action.

Finding motivation when you have depression is exhausting to say the least. You have good days, and you have bad days. Either way, it seems like a full-time job dealing with that unbearable fog.

So if you want to do something about it, keep reading.

How To Find Motivation When You Have Depression

Get enough sleep

What does sleep have to do with motivation? Umm, everything! It seems obvious to say, but I’m going to say it again! Get enough sleep!

How can you expect to be productive when you’re falling asleep during the day?

Now I don’t know about you, but my type of depression makes me want to sleep ALL THE TIME. If I don’t get enough sleep, I turn into a zombie and it’s far more difficult to be productive.

The amount of sleep you get each night sets the building blocks for the day. So take care of yourself, and give your body what it needs!

Keep a planner

This is my favorite! For those of you who don’t know me, I LOVE organization. I love writing lists, keeping organized, and checking items off lists! It makes me happy just thinking about it.

Now, I’m very deliberate when planner shopping. I like a lot of space to write daily tasks, weekly goals, monthly goals, and inspirational quotes.

I recommend this beautiful planner from Amazon.com. It has everything you could ask for, and it comes with a eco-friendly bamboo carved pen! How cool is that? I especially love it because it has 18 months, an annual chart, month charts, and lots of space for writing! An added bonus is that it has pages for important dates, and the fun stuff in life! You’ll see 🙂

Go check it out!

The reason keeping a planner works for me is because I write down tasks, and goals, and check them off. It’s a friendly reminder of all the things I need accomplish throughout the day. If I have nothing on my list checked off, it gives me a little push to get things done! It’s highly rewarding feeling accomplished at the end of the day.

Make goals and take the necessary steps to get there

Now you should write these in your planner! Another win for the planner! Hoo hoo!

Alright. So before every new month in my planner, I have a page for goals. It goes a little something like this:

Monthly Goal:

Achieve By:

Steps I Need To Take:

There are three for each month. If I didn’t originally have three goals to start with, I create more. These can be personal goals, career goals, financial goals, social goals, physical goals, etc. Write them down, and make a game plan for how you’ll get there!

Have a buddy that holds you accountable

Having a buddy to hold you accountable doesn’t necessarily mean a work out partner. This can be any trusted person in your life that is a consistent and positive influence! Make sure that this person is aware of your goals, is thoughtful and respectful to you. Don’t choose someone that will make you feel bad about tripping up.

For example, when I was first starting my small business, I would have my boyfriend remind me to post a new photo of a painting on Instagram (if he hadn’t already seen one).

I explained to him that posting to Instagram was important to me for marketing purposes. If he didn’t see a new post by the end of the day, he would kindly remind me that he “didn’t see any new and beautiful art on my page!”

Thoughtful and respectful. Also encouraging and positive!

Reward yourself

The fun part about regaining motivation is that you get to reward yourself afterwards! If you accomplish a goal, you deserve some praise and treats!

You worked hard for what you’ve done, so treat yourself! It’s extremely rewarding to work towards a goal, and treat yourself afterwards! This will …motivate… you to keep working towards your goals. The more you do it, the easier it will get.

I reward myself with dessert. I usually go for a piece of tiramisu and a cappuccino, or dark chocolate. YUM!

But it doesn’t have to be food. It can be an at-home spa treatment, buying a new book, the options are endless!

Force yourself for 5 minutes

If all else fails, and you have zero motivation, force yourself. I’m going to serve you a little tough love. Get up, and do whatever you need to do for 5 minutes! No slacking! Really do that thing for a solid 5 minutes.

I know it’s miserable but this often works for me. Getting up and starting the momentum really gets me past the hard part. The hard part isn’t what you love doing, it’s finding the motivation.

Try it out, and let me know how it goes!

Know that you’ll trip up, and forgive yourself for it

We all make mistakes, we’re human. Forgive yourself for the little set backs and try again. Finding motivation isn’t easy, and it will be far more difficult if you beat yourself up for making mistakes. So don’t beat yourself up!

You’re an amazing human being with wonderful and unique talent. Don’t let that go to waste. It’s your responsibility to share that with the world! So smile, and share the great things you have to offer!

Were these tips helpful for you?

What do you do to get yourself motivated?

Share with me in the comments!

Depression-14 Ways To Combat Depression

14 Ways To Combat Depression

14 Ways To Combat Depression

We’re about to get real here.

I open up in hopes that this will benefit someone out there reading this.

Keep reading to learn 14 ways I have helped myself reduce my own depression.

First, I would like to say that I am not a mental health professional.

Second, this post will include all the tips and tricks that has helped me with my own depression.

Third, I want you to take what you like from this post, tweak what you need to, and listen to yourself and your own needs. Not everything listed will help everyone. We are all unique individuals who require individual care.

For me, this has been an ongoing, dark, cyclical battle. I have worked my ass off to be where I am today.

All the challenges and obstacles we face throughout our life make us better equipped for our next struggle. You don’t just wake up one day, happy and healed forever.

Helping yourself with your depression is an every day task and routine. It takes work, and it’s often uncomfortable. Do it when you don’t feel like it, and when you do. Every effort will bring about progress.

I will tell you this though, it is so worth it. It’s worth it to take action and help yourself. I probably would have scoffed at that comment as my young self. I hope though, that I would have taken it to heart and really understood what it meant.

There is such a thing as being happy.

This is how I helped myself get there.

14 Ways To Combat Depression, From Personal Experience!

1. Educate yourself

Learn what you can about depression. Know what it is, and understand the symptoms. Educate yourself on causes of depression, and treatments. Read blogs. HI! 🙂 I’m delighted you’re here!

Know what your resources are and where to find them. Take advantage of your resources. We live in an amazing time where all the information in the world is at our fingertips.

2. Listen to yourself, and really get to know yourself.

Find out why you have depression. Is it something in your life that’s really bringing you down? Do you have a neurological issue? Does depression run in your family? Maybe it’s a combination of a few or all of these examples.

Knowing where your depression is coming from is an important part of helping yourself feel better. Tackle it at the source!

3. Create a routine

With depression, it is often times difficult to stay focused or to stay on task. Maintain a healthy balance in your day with everything that your body needs.

Wake up at the same time every day. Exercise. Eat a healthy breakfast. (Insert coffee here) Smile at yourself in the mirror. Get dressed for the day.

Carpe the hell out that diem, and repeat. Whatever makes you feel accomplished, do that.

I personally love to spend time writing daily tasks and goals in a planner, checking them off, and planning for weeks ahead. It makes me feel organized, and I can see myself accomplishing what I need to every day.

4. Take care of your body

This might be the most important step. A healthy and happy mind needs a healthy and happy body. Denying your body what it needs makes everything so much harder.

Do this one for me please? Sleep enough. Take your vitamins and medication if you need it. Drink lots of water. Eat healthy food. Eat enough. Treat yourself sometimes. I prefer tiramisu and a cappuccino. Be active, and make sure it’s something you enjoy. I personally love yoga and going to the gym.

Bare minimum…give your body what it needs. I know this is hard sometimes, but I promise it’s worth the effort. When you’re having one of those “I cannot get out of bed” days, force yourself up and do the bare minimum.

5. Forgive yourself

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Recognize that you have made it this far, and congratulate yourself for it!

I got out of bed today? Damn straight I did! I didn’t forget my medication today? Go me! I went to work, and actually enjoyed myself? Heck yes I did!

When you make a mistake, apologize quickly, and forgive yourself quickly. Think about how hard you are on yourself. Would you ever be that hard on your best friend? I didn’t think so.

You are going to make mistakes. This is part of life. Keep swimming. Allow yourself to make mistakes, and then learn from them. Take three steps forward, and five back.

That’s okay, as long as you keep moving forward. Forgive yourself, and pat yourself on the back for not giving up. Try again tomorrow if you need to. It’s okay.

6. Stop the negative self talk!

This is the hardest one for me, and this is something I work on every day. Don’t talk to yourself in a way you wouldn’t talk to your best friend.

This keeps coming up, and I’m repeating myself because it’s important. Don’t talk to yourself in a way you wouldn’t talk to your best friend! You wouldn’t want to be friends with someone who talked to you that way.

Consider this. The relationship you have with yourself, is the longest one you will ever have. Make that relationship a healthy one.

When you find yourself talking negatively to yourself…stop, and change it into a positive.

Example: “Gosh! I’m so lazy, I took a nap today after sleeping in. Then I ate like crap. I’m so fat.” Sheesh! That was harsh! Change that into this…

“Gosh! I had the most amazing nap! I slept a ton today, my body must’ve needed it. Then I treated myself to my favorite dessert, because I deserve it. I’m an adult and I do what I want! 🙂

So much better right? Try it out next time you hear those bad vibes creeping up.

7. Maintain a gratitude journal

This one’s easy. Write down everything you’re grateful for. Then add the new things for every day. For added oomph, check out my other blog post!

8. Remove yourself from negative people in your life

This is really difficult sometimes, but it’s worth the pain. It hurts for a while, you miss them, and eventually you realize you’re better off without them.

You know that person in your life that loves to complain about everything? Ditch them because they bring you down.

9. Surround yourself with understanding uplifting people

You slowly pick up habits from the people around you, so you might as well make those positive habits!

You know that happy person in your life that is in love with life? Latch onto them and learn their secrets!

10. Learn to say no

If you don’t want to do something, don’t make yourself miserable to appease others. Don’t constantly make yourself uncomfortable if it’s ripping out all your energy.

It’s okay to refuse invites sometimes. Sometimes I love to just stay home, eat dessert, cuddle my dog, and watch scary movies with my boyfriend. It’s fantastic.

11. Do what makes you happy, and make it a priority

I know this is a tough one, but if you can, find a career that makes you happy. Make time for friends if you enjoy that. Make time for the outdoors if that helps you recharge. Spend time doing that hobby that you love. Make your happy a priority.

I personally like to go hiking, and spend time cuddling my dog.

12. Keep yourself busy

This one can be dangerous if you don’t do it right.

Keep yourself busy so you have less time to be inside your head.

Don’t be so busy that you overwhelm yourself and lose sleep. Once I started doing this, I took it too far. Moderation is key here people!

13. Love yourself like you love your best friend

Imagine the things you say to yourself on a daily basis. Explain what you do for a living, what you look like, and how you feel about yourself.

Now pretend to say that to your best friend.

How nice are you to yourself? Would you ever put your friend down the way you put yourself down? Hell no, because they deserve better and we love them. Be your own best friend and love yourself because you deserve it.

14. Understand change takes time, and constant work

If you have been thinking a certain way your entire life, don’t expect one blog post to heal you forever and fix your problems.

I’m giving you some hard love right now. If you need to retrain your mind to think of yourself differently, or speak to yourself differently…it’s going to take time.

Make the effort every day, and you will see results.

You can change your life if you put in the effort.

I promise you it’s worth it.

Three major take aways from today:

  • Love yourself by taking care of your body and mind.
  • Forgive yourself, and embrace change.
  • If you put in the effort, you will make positive changes in your life.

Was any of this helpful for you?

What are some things you’ve done for yourself?

If this post helped you, or if you think it might help another, share it, and share it with them!