So, if this is your first time reading my blogs, I am a young lady suffering from depression and anxiety. Every day I have to wake up and face this problem, and I’ve finally got to a point now where I can understand it and even begin to control it. This blog in particular is for the benefit of others suffering the same or similar mental health issues, and I hope it can be some aid for knowing what helps and what to avoid.
What Helps Me
- Long, hot showers and baths – They seem to relax me and allow me to zone out for half an hour (yes, literally half an hour!)
- Yoga and meditation – Not only good for fitness but for mental health. Yoga involves a lot of stretching and connecting with the earth. It feels awesome for the body and I try and do it as often as I can! After this, I normally partake in a short meditation session to create space in my mind and feel ready for the day ahead.
- Sleep – a good amount of sleep is essential, but not too much! Overloading yourself with rest can make you feel more tired.
- Hydrotherapy – going swimming or a quick dip in a jacuzzi completely makes me feel relaxed and enables me to forget about the troubles in my life. Plus, floating in water makes me feel weightless against the gravity of the world.
- Heat therapy – I’m not sure if this is a real thing, but I’ve named it heat therapy. For me it involves going in a sauna, putting a hot flannel over my face, or simply wrapping myself up in a blanket. It makes me feel warm and comfortable, and seems to positively change my perspective.
- Healthy eating – Consuming healthy foods are no doubt going to make a difference. After a few nights of takeaways and rubbish food, I really feel quite groggy and tired. My mood does seem to lift after a week of cramming fruit and veg!
- Keep busy – I like scheduling a good amount of things into my week as it makes me feel productive and I develop a sense of achievement. However, I avoid completely filling up my diary because I find I get tired and irritated if I do too much. Also, if I don’t accomplish something that week I would feel like a failure. Always keep your goals within reach!
- Talking – By talking to my boyfriend or whoever I’m with, I can share what I’m feeling to take the weight off my shoulders. Honesty is always the best policy in any relationship, and you may find they will do things to make your life just a little bit easier. #smallthings
- Music therapy – For many, this will include listening to music. But as a singer-songwriter, I always take it a step further and write my feelings down as lyrics. Once I finish writing lyrics or creating a song, I can then use this as a form of communication to people as everything I want to say is always in the song. (If you fancy checking out one of my songs based on depression, follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xI7YIMlxrzc )
What Hinders Me
- Hunger – Feed yourself up! It always makes me feel ready to continue my day, and I quite frankly get really stroppy without food!
- Exhaustion – I need at least 8 hours of sleep to make me feel human, although this might be different for everyone. I sometimes find naps in the afternoon can help if I’m feeling a little unrested one day. As I mentioned above though, over-sleeping can make you feel really tired too so find your balance.
- Stress – if something is stressing me out with my work or home-life, this can lead to over-thinking, worrying and less sleep. With my anxiety too, it can be a bit of a nightmare so I avoid as many stressful situations as possible.
- Boredom – Again, just sitting around not doing much causes me to overthink about things that really aren’t worth worrying about. It additionally decreases my sense of achievement, so I always try and keep busy, even if it is doing some colouring or painting while watching TV.
- Feeling unclean – Just go and shower girl.
- Feeling cold – My mood is especially low if I’m cold. Rather than turning the heating up, I like to wrap myself up in a blanket, put on an extra jumper or do a short burst of exercise to feel nice and warm!
- Leaving my boyfriend – Every time I see my other half, I dread the part where I have to leave him. I’m sure this is mostly to do with anxiety, but I haven’t yet figured out how to solve this one.
- Changes of plan – I seem to really kick off if something has been planned for ages and it all falls through. For some reason I can’t get my head around the fact that that event isn’t happening anymore and start questioning “What if?” However, this has recently got better, and I have sort of naturally become more positive about these situations. When this happens, I am now able to cope with it by saying “Okay, not to worry, I’ve just gained some extra time for myself now.”
Remember, I’m not at all a professional; I’m just a regular girl broadcasting her experiences. It may not help everyone suffering with mental health problems, but if it does help just one person I have done what I set out to do with this blog.
Thanks for reading.