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

SaveSave

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?

SaveSave

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 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

Mental Illness – Stop Kicking Yourself While You’re Down

Stop Kicking Yourself While You’re Down

“I’m sad because I’m depressed, and I’m mad because I shouldn’t be sad, but I am anyway. What’s wrong with me? I feel broken, and I don’t deserve help or pity”

Sound familiar?

Are you too hard on yourself? Do you find that you kick yourself while you’re down? By that I mean, do you blame yourself for having struggles? For those of you with mental illness, do you beat yourself up for it? Do you treat yourself with harsh and unforgiving words?

I know I do, and I’m sure many of you are hard on yourselves as well.

For those of us with mental illness or not, we tear ourselves down more than we build ourselves up.

It’s time for change.

Mental Illness - How to stop kicking yourself while you're down...Because you deserve better.

Why?

Each and every single one of you deserves a happy life. Go out into the world and be unapologetically you. And for those of you with mental illness, you are just as worthy of love and as beautiful as anyone else. It’s as simple as that.

In one of my more recent posts, I talk about how mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. And it’s not. You can read that baby here!

We don’t blame the sick

Do people with the flu put themselves down for having the flu? Sure, it sucks but they don’t blame themselves.

“Gosh I have the flu again? I’m such a worthless pile of shit! Why am I like this? I’m sorry, don’t let me burden you.”

It’s not the fault of the sick, that they’re sick. They are just sick, and they need to be taken care of accordingly.

We don’t blame people who have broken bones or cancer for their illnesses. We don’t tell them to snap out of it, shake it off, or get over it. Imagine telling someone with a broken leg to just suck it up.

Then why do we tell people with depression to just shake it off?

People with mental illness can’t just shake it off. As a matter of fact, if we could shake it off…we would. In a heart beat. Because this shit sucks.

We don’t treat our best friends that way

If we don’t treat the physically ill like that, and we don’t treat our best friend like that…why would we treat ourselves like that?

How

I’ll let you in on a little something. Comparing yourself to others is often damaging to your self-esteem.

Focus on yourself and your goals. Wherever other people are in life has nothing to do with you. Progress is progress, and there’s no time limit in which things need to be accomplished.

When you beat yourself up for being beaten up, you get stuck in a cyclical rhythm of shame.

For some of us, we kick ourselves for having mental illness, when the mental illness has already kicked us down. Whaaaa? Don’t do it.

So take back the “I’m sorry”, “I shouldn’t be like this”, and the “There’s something wrong with me.”

No longer do you need to blame yourself for having an illness. Stop kicking yourself while you’re down.

What to do instead

Accept that you have some sticky struggles, and make moves in the right direction.

Trust the right people. Talk about it. Write about it. Take care of yourself and your mental health.

And most importantly, talk to yourself with love, compassion, and forgiveness.

You deserve more. You deserve better.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Mental Illness Is Nothing To Be Ashamed Of

Mental Illness is nothing to be ashamed of. Neither is talking about it.

Let’s get straight to it. Let’s dive into that ugly conversation that no one likes to have. Let’s talk about Mental Illness.

Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of!

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 1 in 5 people above the age of 18 in the United States have some sort of mental illness. 1 in 5! That’s a ton of people. That comes out to 43.4 million adults struggling with mental illness. That’s almost 5 million more people who live in the entire state of California. And you know, CA is really big, so it’s a big deal yeah?

My point?

Mental illness is prevalent, and it’s a real issue for us. Yet everyone is so afraid to talk about it. Why are people with mental illness shied away from, and avoided like the plague? Depression and schizophrenia aren’t contagious! People will mental illness need extra care, as do people with physical injuries.

And we need to treat them with the same dignity and respect as everyone else.

More importantly, people with mental illness need to be understood. And how do we start to understand people with mental illness?

We talk about it. It’s simple, really.

Why do we need to understand them? Because the more we understand, the better we can help.

And so, mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, and neither is talking about it.

I’ll kick this off with my story. When I became really serious about improving my mental health, and overcoming the pains of my past, I sought out counseling. Yeah, I said it. Counseling with a mental health professional, because that’s totally okay…and necessary.

So long story, short, I was diagnosed with severe depression, PTSD, with some lovely sprinkles of anxiety on top of that. I was also prescribed anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medication as needed, and some magic (no nightmare) pills.

So there you have it, all my mental illness out on the table.

Is that the first thing I tell a stranger when I meet them? No, because that’s really awkward. But! I’m also not ashamed to talk about it. Hopefully my willingness to talk about it will encourage others to do so also.

One of the main reasons I believe mental illness is something we avoid is due to the stigma around it. The stigma surrounding mental illness is scary and uncomfortable.

The stigma remains an issue. People with mental illness are keeping it to themselves, because the entire belief about mental illness is completely wrong.

The stigma is full of shit. It’s a complete lack of understanding.

I fully believe once people start listening to the real stories of mental illness, it will become a lot less scary.

Once we understand, we can help.

Are you willing to share your story?

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

3 Reasons Why You Should Give A Damn About Your Mental Health

Mental Health

3 Reasons You Should Give A Damn About Your Mental Health

Mental health is important? We don’t just have to work out and eat right to be healthy?

You should give a damn because mental illness is really common!

1 in 5 adults in the United States have a mental illness of some sort. That’s over 43 million people!

Think about your five closest friends, or your five closest family members. One of them is bound to have some form of mental illness.

We care don’t we, and we have compassion for these people.

These people need a little love and attention. So why don’t we give them some?

Would you agree that we should do something about this?

I don’t know about you, but I believe this should be a higher priority than it is currently.

Consider these two situations:

1. When someone breaks their arm, we run to them with doctors and bandages!

2. When someone discloses that they have a mental disorder, we run away. Or maybe we ask a ton of personal questions out of our own curiosity. That’s not okay either, and it’s actually none of our business.

So if something so prevalent is raiding the streets of America, why don’t we do something about it?

Why are people so scared of what they don’t understand?

You should give a damn about mental health because it’s part of who you are!

People often forget that the mind is a huge part of who you are. Physical health is incredibly important, but it’s no more important than mental health. The two influence each other. Your body has the ability to change your mind, and your mind has the ability to change your body.

Haven’t you heard of those psychological studies where doctors convince patients that they had broken their arm when they were young?

I don’t have the study cited, but what I learned from it is pretty interesting.

Basically, these people never broke their arm, but they would eventually tell stories of breaking their arm, or feeling pain in said area because of the break. In other words, if you tell yourself something enough times, you’ll start believing it.

Have you ever encountered this situation? I have. Sometimes it’s not so humorous.

This is only one small example of how incredibly persuasive your mind can be. So what do we do with this information? We train our minds to work for us, and not against us.

Think happy thoughts 🙂

Being proactive about mental health could prevent larger issues.

Physical Health Holding Hands With Mental Health

Think about how you visit the doctor once a year. We do this because we care about our bodies. If something is wrong, we want to catch it before it spreads. We want to be in tiptop shape, because we understand how important it is.

Imagine seeing a mental health professional once a year. They check on you, ask how you’re doing, what’s new in your life. Maybe you disclose to them that some catastrophic event happened lately, and you’ve been struggling with it.

Maybe a loved one passed away, maybe you’ve lost your job, or maybe you’ve had a baby recently. All these are great reasons to talk to a professional. They have the skills and resources to help you along through the hard times.

What’s better than an objective advice giver, who really gives a damn about you?

Their whole job is to listen to you, and help you make the right decisions for yourself. You can’t say that about everyone in your life.

Health Professionals Over Friends

But Jordan, what about friends and family? They give me great advice, and I already trust them. Wouldn’t it be awkward if I talked to some random person about my issues?

This is important too! I want you to do this, and I want you to have those relationships with family and friends!

The difference between a mental health professional and a friend, is how they respond. A professional is trained and skilled in responding the correct way. They (should always) have an unbiased response that is in your best interest. Objectivity is key here people! They have less personal and emotional connection to the situation, and therefore should be able to guide you in the right direction.

Something that I would like to mention also, is that professionals see things we don’t. They are trained to see unhealthy habits, thoughts, and actions. They are also trained to help you change those negativity in your life to positivity.

Coming from personal experience, this is an entirely new world, but extremely helpful. Sometimes the people who are close to you don’t have an answer, or the right answer. This why you should trust a professional guide you to make good life decisions.

Mental health professionals are not there to solve your problems, and give you a quick fix. They are there to supply you with the tools to be a healthy, happy individual.

So go out there and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it!

What I want you to take away from this:

  • Understand how important your mental health is.
  • Love yourself, and take care of your mind, because it’s important.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

What are your thoughts?

How important is mental health to you?

Share your story with me! Don’t be afraid, this is an ENTIRELY JUDGMENT FREE ZONE!!!