Hey everyone! I really wanted to chat about something that I’ve been dealing with more frequently in recent weeks- waves of depression and anxiety. I touch on mental health topics occasionally and I’m trying to make it a more frequent topic because everyone seems to really identify with it.
As I get closer to my wedding day (a week away!) I’m finding myself more and more susceptible to waves of depression that ebb and flow like the tide. It really sucks. And trying to help those around you understand it can make the depression even worse. David tries to understand what I’m going through, but until you’ve experienced clinical depression, it’s pretty hard to grasp. You can’t rely on others to fix you or help you cope- you have to put in the effort to help yourself! So I’ve discovered that self-care is a key part of dealing with depression waves! Here are my favorite self-care tips and activities.
Take a Deep Breath and Accept It
I always struggle with the feeling I get when a wave of depression is cresting. I try to fight it. I force myself to smile. Nothing works. I’ve noticed that the easiest way to cope with that cresting wave, is to accept it. Allow it to crash. I take some time to breathe deeply and embrace how I’m feeling. It takes so much energy to try and fight off the inevitable. In my experience, sitting down quietly and meditating on the feeling works wonders.
Care for Your Body
I hate when people suggest to exercise or get out of the house to combat depression. Sometimes it’s literally too hard to get out of bed and do anything, let alone something that involves physical exertion. I like to start by caring for my body by simply rubbing some lotion on my arms and legs and hydrating my skin. I take my time doing this and pay attention to sore muscles.
Usually, I get myself out of bed and grab a cup of hot tea to relax. There’s something about tea that just warms your whole spirit. Peppermint is my favorite! I sip slowly and thoughtfully, embracing what I’m feeling- Riding the wave so to speak.
Try Something Small
I NEVER force myself to take on a big task when I’m depressed. That can overwhelm and make me anxious that I won’t be able to do it. I like to do small things like picking up laundry that’s on the floor or opening the windows for fresh air. I like to do a few small things as I can. Slowly, this tends to brings me out of the shadow of depression. But be careful not to push too much, let your body really guide you through this. If you feel tired, sit down and rest, then try again. This is a process. Sometimes it lasts hours, and then other times it can be days. Feel it out.
Depression, I believe, is still a mystery for doctors and scientists. There’s a lot more to discover. The mind-body connection is very real and only a small amount is known about it. That’s why I like to share with others how depression makes my physical body hurt, not just mind. I also like to share my thoughts on how I cope with it and what works to get through the wave of depression. The more information out there, the closer we are to finding a cure.