In my last post, I talked about my journey with depression. It hasn’t been an easy one. Matter of fact, this episode is one of the hardest things in my life. So, today, we’re going to discuss ways to help you get through it. These strategies helped me and they are still are. All or some of these strategies may not work for you. Please know that nothing will work for you if you don’t try. If you’re not willing to invest the time in your own self-healing, then you will keep repeating everything that you’re going through. You are the key to getting your life back. No one can do it for you.
I’ve been going to counseling (again) for a while and I’m still going. This was the best decision that I could ever make. Talking to someone that is impartial and non-judgmental is extremely helpful. Going to counseling is a big part of my self-care routine. Also, if you do not have a self-care routine, I encourage you to start one.
Here is my list of strategies that I’ve started that is helping me to get my life and my dreams back. Of course, you can add to this list or come up with your own strategies. The goal is to develop something that is going to help you get back to yourself again.
- GET HELP. There should be some resources in your area to help you take a step out of this dark time. Call your local mental health center and make an appointment. If you don’t know if you have one in your area, contact your local hospital and ask them for options on where to go.
- CLEAR YOUR ENVIRONMENT. This is a hard one. You may have friends or family that you want to be there for you, but you don’t want them to due to their negativity. You could be watching unhealthy things on television or listening to them. Spending too much time on social media? Cut that down. I took a break from all of it. I needed time. Look at your environment. What do you think needs to be cleared?
- TAKE A BREAK. Sure, we can’t quit or jobs or stop life from happening, but you sure can take a break. This may mean temporarily letting go of some of the activities that you currently have going on. When you remove some things, it becomes clearer the things you NEED to do rather than what you WANT to do. Sometimes we put other people or things in front of our own needs and that can be exhausting. Taking time for YOU is okay. You don’t need to seek permission from anyone. Initially, you may feel guilty, but a decision needs to be made; how important are YOU to you?
- CREATE YOUR OWN POWER TEAM. My power team started with my counselor. Then I added a couple of good friends; people that weren’t judgmental. People that would continue to help me get through my day; lift me up, help me cheer me on in my daily struggle. This is not going to be an easy journey. You need to have your team of individuals to help you when you just can’t. Trust me, you will have days like that.
Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.” ~ Stephen Fry
- KEEP MOVING FORWARD. There are going to be some days that you want to stay in bed and pull those covers over your head. Yes, this is a hard journey, but you’re going to have to fight. This is the time to not let this beat you. Get up; keep it moving. Life doesn’t stop just because we feel we need to. Take things one day at a time. My motto is to take one minute at a time. If I could get through the first minute, then I can get through the next minute. That’s how I got through my day.
- DO SOMETHING NICE FOR YOU. During this time I learned how to do something nice for myself. In the past, whenever I wanted to do something, I felt guilty. That guilt was heavy. In particular, the thought of going to get a Mani/Pedi was hard for me to deal with. In this process, I learned that I too deserve to have something or do something that I wanted. I struggled with finding that right thing for me. You may already be doing this for yourself and that’s great. I finally found my thing. What’s it going to be for you?
- GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO DREAM. Dreaming can help you start moving forward. What is it that you dream of? What is it that you want for yourself? Do you want to start a business or go to school? Write down what you want. Dream about what can be. You can have anything that you want. Currently, I’m dreaming about what can be for me. I have even started writing some goals down for myself. I rewrite my goals almost every day. Keeping my goals in front of me, helps me to continue dreaming and start putting some action to them. Nothing big, but even baby steps add up.
- BE PATIENT WITH YOURSELF. This journey you’re on, as well as mine, is not an easy one. There were times when I felt that I should be done with my journey of depression and I could go on with my life. Yeah, no. I realized that going through this process does take time. I’ve learned that I needed to be patient with my recovery. This was a good time for me to get to know ME again. Take the time that I needed to work through this process. I’m still working through it. There is no end date.
Depression is treatable. Know that it’s nothing to be ashamed of. I’m sharing my story on my terms and I hope that one person feels helped by my story. My story isn’t over. I’m in a different chapter of my book. Learning to love and accept me; the way I am. That’s a topic for another blog post. If you feel that you are in a depression episode, please find help. Don’t face this alone. Please don’t think you can handle this by yourself. In the long run, you’ll be glad you did. Besides, think of all the dreams that you’ll be able to start once you get this under control.
Until Next Time…