I’ve been battling a bad bout of depression after months of being really good. It’s been super rough tbh. There’s been days in the last two weeks I haven’t even gotten out of bed to brush my teeth (gross, right? But my fellow mental health peeps know what’s up). It’s been rough. It’s like the good time made the depression hit me harder than normal.
But today! I did more than brush my teeth! In fact, I did things that are hard and overwhelming for me to do even when I’m operating normally.
Here’s the list: I…
Tightened the bed frame – we were getting pretty wobbly lol
Changed the sheets/made the bed
Folded ALL of the laundry
And then put ALL of the laundry away INCLUDING hang up clothes
(Now this is all a huge feat in itself, but wait! There’s more!)
I cleaned up the living room
Tidied up the apartment
Took out the trash
Cleaned out the litter box
Changed the cat’s food and water
And took a shower!
I feel so accomplished and proud of myself for getting it done today even when I don’t always feel my best!
And in thinking about my mental health, I thought I should give you all some tips and tools that help me out A LOT! So that’s what I’ll do 😁
- Get in the Bible (Some of my favs for anxiety and depression are Nahum 1:7, Philippians 4:6-7, Isaiah 30:21, 2 Corinthians 12:10, Psalm 34)
- Something that helps me a ton with anxiety is a grounding exercise I learned in therapy a few years ago. So, the key to this is practicing deep breathing throughout the exercise. Big inhales and deep exhales. The focus of this exercise is to calm your physical response to stressful situations which gives you time to get control of your thoughts. So, while continuing to breathe deeply, close your eyes, and go to your favorite place in the world. Once you are there in your mind, pay excruciatingly close attention to every detail your senses can take in. What colors do you see? Can you feel any textures? What does it smell like? What noises are around you? Stay there for a minute or as long as you need to. Another key to this is to practice when you are NOT having an anxiety attack – that way it will be in your emotional tool box at a moment’s notice.
- Tell someone you trust about your triggers and what helps you in those moments when you’re at your lowest. Come up with an easy code word you can grab in the middle of an attack so they know you need help without trying to explain it to them. I know this part is difficult for many people, but letting someone in when depression wants to isolate you is a big step to creating a healthier lifestyle.
- Breathing is huge in controlling an anxiety attack. Learn some breathing techniques and find the one that is best for you. Teach them to your trusted person so that when you are in the middle of an attack, they can walk you through it.
- Make your bed. I am so bad at this, but I swear, even if it is the only thing you feel you have accomplished today, it will make you feel better.
- Think about 3 things you’re thankful for. I don’t mean basics. I mean search for 3 things. Do this for a week straight.
- Think about your progress. I don’t care if you are in a rough spot right now. Look at where you’ve come from, dude. You’ve made it this far! No quitting allowed.
- Compliment a stranger. Trust me. (Do this respectfully!)
- Did you know that science has proven that depressing music helps you STAY depressed??? I made two playlists to uplift you and encourage you. Links: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5UMrSqSFKtOqgGwOBgXHFP?si=WPSIcmkfTHOeO5xFrSrD-g https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0Ln1G7W6IkxliejHBtVfWA?si=imd_Y_ZaRhiT8O-9AlI3Wg
- Have you been thinking about a small project? Starting a book? Rearranging your houseplants by height? Painting your wall? Start it. This is it. This is the end of the post. Click the like button, share this with your friends, and then get up and do it. I believe in you!!! ❤
Hope this helped you! Remember! You matter, baby steps are still progress, and you are deeply loved.
The Happy Otter