Nothing in particular has been overwhelming. Yet strangely, I have noticed a decline in my motivation, I’ve been struggling to sleep at night and I haven’t been able to concentrate during the day. As I type this, exhaustion is ensuing. All I want to do, is sleep. I’ve felt like this for the last month or so.
But, hope is not lost!
Over the years, I have found outlets for the days when depression is all I see.
I have listed these below:
1. Create a private blog.
I have been blogging privately for years. I use Tumblr, as it is password protected. The motion of posting allows me to express my concerns, without worrying about what words I use or how I say it. Even though there is no audience, I am satisfied by letting those feelings go.
Documenting day-to-day how I’m feeling, helps me process my emotions. Whether it’s online or in a notebook you can keep in a safe place… try it out. Expression may be hugely cathartic for you.
2. Watch YouTube videos.
This may sound weird. But for me, YouTube allows me to connect with people around the world who who have a motivating mindset. These days, mental health awareness is in abundance. Topics on depression, anxiety, personality disorders, trauma… many topics are available to us thanks to the internet and the world of YouTube. There are also videos to help with business, finance, emotional intelligence and even videos about day-to-day lives of others.
What are you usually interested in?
I know it can be difficult to do anything in a depressive slump. However, if you decide to stay home and don’t want to be with other people – YouTube is the next best thing. Humans need connection. If you can find helpful, connecting videos online, it’s better than going the road alone.
3. Make a comforting meal for yourself.
I know that it can be draining to even think of cooking when you’re in a slump. At times, I barely have the energy or even hunger to eat. However, improving your diet (even taking one step) may improve your mood. According to a study based on diet and risk of depression, red meat, processed meat as well as high-fat dairy products were found to increase risk of depression. High-sugar intake also increased risk of depression as it effected endorphin levels.
So, try to eat a good meal at least once a day. Add fresh fruits and vegetables to your meals! If you’re on a budget like I am (student life), buy frozen produce. I make fruit/vegetable smoothies or a simple pasta dish with broccoli/carrot/zucchini – whatever veggies I have on hand.
Small efforts to look after ourselves are stepping stones to successfully treating our mental health issues.
4. Focus on urgent tasks.
If you are a student like me, then you probably have assignments and due-dates coming up. Or, you may work full-time/part-time/casually and have your own responsibilities.
Advice: try to focus on the tasks that are most important, FIRST.
This might mean:
- Lectures taking the back-burner until you’re at least up to date on an assignment.
- Laundry being done on Sunday instead of doing it on Friday.
- Not making your bed in the morning so you can catch up on sleep before you leave for university or work.
- Asking for help from those around you: take out bins, wash the dishes and so on. 4 hands are better than 2!
Think about steps you can take to make your daily life more manageable during this time.
5. Find someone to talk to.
I kept this tip for last, because I know how hard it can be to gain the courage to speak up about struggling. When I do speak up however, I find it to be so healing. I have mentioned this a few times now, because speaking up is another form of expression and has been proven to aid in successfully treating depression.
This may not work for everyone, but if you do find value in talking with someone you trust, let them know you’re not travelling so well. In this age of technology, we can set up phone calls, video calls, voice messages and Messenger calls. We have the opportunity to open up to support and advice.
If you have a friend or family member who struggles with a mental health issue, please reach out to them. Call and ask how they’re doing, make plans to get out of the house or even plan a visit.
Thank you for being here. The world wouldn’t be the same without you.
Beautiful image by Dani @_bydanimae Thank you so much for letting me use your art!