- Reinstate old rituals. They will bring comfort, happiness, and a connection to your past, and will remind you who you are at your core. For me, it's occasionally getting up extra early and drinking coffee while watching the sunrise, like I used to do on Saturday mornings with my Grandpa.
- Take time every day to just "be". Alone. I won't lie, God had to practically wollop me over the head with this one. Within three days, I was given this exact advice by my yoga instructor, and my therapist, and heard it in a sermon at a friend's church.
- Explore your spirituality. I don't care if you are Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, or Pagan, the reminder that you are part of something bigger than yourself is powerful. And even if you are an Atheist, remember that you are an important piece of the much larger society. What you do matters.
- Put away your electronics. They fog the mind and take you away from what is happening in the real world. I'm not saying you should move to an Amish community and get rid of all modern conveniences. I'm simply saying that by putting them aside for a few hours, you will actually be forced to participate in your own life. This is good.
- Connect with others who are also hurting. The knowledge that you are not alone will help you remember that you are not broken. You have a condition that makes things harder for you some days. But you will beat it, as so many before you have.
- Laugh. Find humor wherever you can, even if you have to create it. Be silly. Hang upside down off the couch like you did when you were a kid. Turn on some music and make up the silliest dance moves you can think of. You will feel ridiculous, but eventually, you will laugh, and it will help.
- Take a walk. Go to the gym. Get some exercise. You can stop and think and process without feeling like you should be doing something else. Plus, the endorphin rush is fantastic.
- Spend time in nature, even if it's just sitting outside on your front porch for five minutes. Vitamin D is good for your mood, and nature has a calming effect on everyone.
- Let go of control. Allow the world to be what it is without trying to fix it. This, for me, is the hardest.
- Stop judging. Yourself. Others. Just stop. You don't need the negative energy. When you find your brain beginning to think nasty things about yourself, force yourself to think of all of the positive things you've done today - even if it's just "I brushed my teeth today, so I wouldn't have bad breath." When it's others, try to give them the benefit of the doubt and remember that they are doing the best they can. Just like you.
- Journal. Blogs are great, but a physical record of what you do is even better. Collect photos. Put pen to paper. Record your life as it is, not as you wish it would be. Ten years from now, you will read it and appreciate your own honesty.
- Ask for help, and take it when it's offered. I know that when my friend Bethany offers to take Miles for a morning, I must need it. I struggle with this, too, but I can't do it all by myself. No matter how much I may want to.
- Take care of your own needs. Shower as often as possible. Sleep as much as you need, or as much as your kid(s) will allow. Eat. Pee alone at least once a day. Occasionally, dress up a little, just for the joy of looking pretty. These things are most important on days that you really don't want to get out of bed. Because you are proving to yourself that you can fight your depression. Because you can. And you will.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
13 Ways to Fight Anxiety and Depression
After meds and therapy, of course. :)