You know it because of those chaining thoughts that kept you up until past midnight, you know you’re back down in the depression pit again the moment you open your eyes the next day. You feel exhausted, even when you’ve just awakened. And mere getting out of bed seems like a tough task because of the weight of depression.
It’s difficult, you start to question yourself how are you going to get through the day again. You know you can and you will, but you also know it wouldn’t be easy. It’s not easy, but recognizing the red flags of another depressive episode and knowing what to do helps.
Some of the common signs include:
- lack of energy and motivation
- sleep changes (sleeping too much or too little)
- unexplained aches and pains like headache, back pain or stomach ache
- change in appetite
- feeling of worthlessness and hopelessness
- inability to concentrate
- persistent sad mood and negative thoughts
You may have other signs to look for because after all our struggles are unique to each of us, just note that knowing them is important.
And of course, we have different ways in dealing with depression, but here are some of the things that’s been helping me get through the day when I’m down in the depression pit:
Everything feels heavy that even getting yourself to pull your blanket off is difficult, but you have to. Start slow, on your bed, relax and do some breathing exercises. You don’t have to be too hard on yourself. Drink your favorite coffee or hot chocolate or your preferred tea slowly. We know that depression greatly affects our appetite, but still try to eat.
TAKE A SHOWER
Sometimes, depression can make us not care about our body that simply taking a shower is a struggle. Or other basic self-care tasks such as brushing the hair. It’s embarrassing, but it’s true. But don’t forget to take care of yourself even if It seems difficult.
REMEMBER TO TAKE YOUR MEDS (if you have)
Remember, you are not weak for having meds for your moods. Do take your meds if you have.
GO TO YOUR SAFE SPACE OR OPEN YOUR MENTAL HEALTH BOX
What does a safe space even mean? Or a mental health box?
Well, a safe space is basically a place where you are surrounded by things that is good for your mental health. It is where you literally feel safe. If you don’t have a safe space yet, create one! It’s good to know what your safe space would look like and how you want it to make you feel safe because we each have our own personal idea of it. Don’t worry because it doesn’t have to be a place far away, it can even just be your own room.
Personally, I had a corner in my room where I taped fairy lights on the wall, comfy pillows and blankets on the floor with stack of books and a jar of snacks on the side.
While a mental health box is a box where you keep items that make you feel happier or comforted to help you cope during down days.
PUT YOUR EMOTIONS ON PAPER
There’s no doubt, writing and art are therapeutic. It can help you process the emotions and thoughts you have. It helps you be aware and take control of them that it becomes manageable. Writing personally make me calm. And doing art helps me let out negative thoughts and feelings.
Ah, the constant cycle of self-loathing, self-doubt and all the other negative self-talk of depression. It’s hard to get out of that cycle, but it is possible because I made it out and people I know too. You have to be the first one to accept your struggles because who else should?
Accept it and forgive yourself for being that way, for being this way. Forgive yourself for all the things you could have done, but couldn’t. Or things you shouldn’t have done, but did anyway. It’s all happened.
But remember that forgiving yourself is just the first step, it doesn’t mean you will be okay forever right away. Though it will open a less rough path of dealing with your inner struggles.
GO FOR A WALK
Yep, a walk. It will help improve your down mood. Doing workout might be the best, but let’s face it, exercising regularly with a depression is more complicated than how it easily sounds. But a simple walk outside can actually have many benefits to our mental health.
“Walking can be as good as a workout…,” says a certified strength and conditioning specialist, Dr. Tanneberg. It can alleviate depression and fatigue, improves overall mood, reduce aches and pain, and a lot more.
DON’T FEED THE DEPRESSION THOUGHTS
What’s depression without its thoughts of ‘What’s the point?’, ‘Why am I still here?’, ‘I’m so tired, ’ and the list of those thoughts goes on. It’s draining, but don’t feed the depression thoughts. Hear, don’t listen.
Don’t let yourself go deeper in the depression pit by listening to those thoughts.
REMIND YOURSELF THESE THINGS INSTEAD
You are constantly told by depression that you are many things like hopeless or worthless, but don’t listen to those, because if you do, you will, even if its out of your will, believe it. So, remind yourself these things instead.
- Remind yourself you are worth every oxygen, everything.
- Remind yourself of your accomplishments.
- Remind yourself of all the good things that people told you about yourself.
- Remind yourself that it’s okay to cry, that it’s completely okay not to be okay.
- Remind yourself that you are not your depression. You are not your diagnosis
GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Things may be difficult, but please get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can only make your depression worse; it can only make you feel bad and more exhausted. Have a healthy bed time routine for a good night sleep. Maybe try some yoga poses? That what’s been helping me sleep better.
We made it! Well, I was sure we could, and we will get out of the depression pit every time we fall, until it gets better. After all, some days are just harder than others.
CHECK THIS OUT: Mental Health Resources