To start I would like to say thank you to my readers. I got a huge response regarding my post on dealing with depression and a baby. I received many questions which I tried to answer the best I could but one particular one kept cropping up ‘How to I cope and get through it by myself?’ So following that post and question I have decided to write a post in how I deal with it, how I cope and what my top tip strategies are.
These tips may not work for you, depression is an extremely personal thing and what works for one person may not work at all for the next. This is however, how I have managed to keep hold of just a little sanity in a world that remains insane.
- Scream. I know, you are probably thinking to yourself ‘what?’ but you heard me scream. I go into the bedroom, grab a pillow and scream into it. This is when I’m at that point where I am completely overwhelmed by the situation and need an immediate outlet. We all get frustrated and want to scream and shout because everything at that moment is unfair, hard, overwhelming and 99% of the time you have no idea how you will get through it. Screaming is such a release of all those feeling that it helps me calm myself with a pretty much immediate effect.
- Exercise. Its a time old concept, one everyone recommends but very little of us actually do. Now by this I don’t necessarily mean go work out for an hour at the gym. I mean do anything. For me it’s swimming. I love to get in that water and swim. I am alone, in my thoughts just powering through it. The sound of the water, the smell and the feel is extremely comforting to me. Others chose to install a punching bag, join kick boxing. Just do whatever it is that makes you feel good, that take’s you away and gives an outlet for your thoughts.
- Stepping Outside. Again this is more of an in-the-moment coping technique. When you feel overwhelmed and frustrated then take a step outside and just gather your thoughts for 5-10 minutes. I always pop the baby down in her cot with some toys even if she is screaming and crying, I know she is safe. I take myself outside and just breathe, listen to the noises around me, life going on regardless of what’s going on with me.
- Do something you Love. For me it’s getting out my planners and decorating or planning a project or blog post. For others it could be colouring, art, painting, reading. Whatever you like to do, do it. Take some time on an evening when it’s all calmed down and just indulge. Run a hot bath and enjoy with a glass of wine and a crunchie if that’s what you need.
- Don’t overburden yourself. This is a key thing for me. Taking each day as it comes. I breakdown the things I want to achieve for the week/month and seperate it into day, and have mini goals. I never feel I have too much to do. The stress that comes with that feeling really will not help your depression and the feeling you get from ticking off those mini goals really helps. I feel that despite having some extremely rough days that I am still achieving something. Some days I don’t get anything ticked off, these are the days when life is too much but I have one less thing to worry about. I am not stressing about what isn’t done because I know what Iv’e missed won’t effect anything and it is easy to catch up on. Be realistic and set goals!
- Talk it out. If you have someone you can call even if it’s just for a chat about anything else then pick up the phone and do it. Preferably share your concerns, admit you feel crap, admit you feel at that moment that you are failing at life. The old saying ‘A problem shared is a problem halved’ exists for a reason. It is really good to talk!
- Be Kind to Yourself. So your day has turned into a shit-fest. Life isn’t going how you want, your dreams are scattered on the floor in little pieces, you feel alone, hard done by and are sat wallowing in self-pity. This is perfectly normal, this is what it is like to live, to be human. Don’t punish yourself. Acknowledge this is the hand you’ve been dealt and you have two options; Give in to it or fight it. If your having one of those days just tell yourself, it will be over soon, have a mantra if you must, enjoy a massive decadent pizza from your fav take-away. Tomorrow is another day. I promise you, it will end and it will get better. This isn’t forever. Your just building your inner strength.
- Recognise the symptoms. If you are like me sometimes you just wake up and know before anything has happened that today will not be a good day. Unfortunately with depression it’s not just as easy to snap out of it and tell yourself you are been ridiculous. My advice for these days is this…Do something different. Go for a long walk, be spontaneous and visit a relative, go shopping. Distracting yourself from the norm will help. If you work and can’t get a day off, make a plan for the evening or lunch. Give yourself something to look forward too. And smile, even if you don’t want too, its’s contagious. The more smile you give, the more you get an this will realise those happy little hormones we have that make you feel better.
- Don’t Be Ashamed. One of the things about depression is it makes you feel guilt, which then adds to your depression. Well stop. Easier said that done right? Ask yourself why you feel guilty?, why you feel bad?. This is yours to own, give yourself permission to feel bad, to have a bad day, to write negative words on a bit of paper. Who is it that dictates we have to feel good every single day of our lives? no-one..that’s who. Every single living person has a day where they feel bad. Don’t let the guilt of it swallow you up.
- Avoid The Bad. When your having a bad day and feel crap it is really easy to want to have a good drink but please try to avoid it. A glass of wine or a beer yes, go for it but too much alcohol will just make you feel worse that you already do, not only that but the next day you will already start mentally more vulnerable which will in turn probably lead to yet another bad day. The same came be said for Caffeine too, it is a stimulant and can enhance your stress levels.
Every day you get through is another day closer to the end. It is incredibly tough and those who haven’t experienced it will never understand the internal battles that we have.
I hope that my tips help and you can take something from them. Just remember what you are going through is natural, no-one else needs to be in your business so if you don’t want to announce it to everyone then don’t, if you do then do. Don’t ever feel like you have no options to get out of the situation, you do.
We are the masters of our own destiny, regain control even if you loose it every now and then. Take the good days as they come and enjoy them. The bad days only last until they don’t.
If you would like to seek advice from the medical profession regarding coping strategies and methods I have included a couple of links below.
The Stationery Geekette x