Which Way is Up?
Depression and anxiety. I wouldn’t wish either of them on anyone. Although symptoms for both are similar, they can have very different effects depending on the person. For instance, some may over eat while depressed and others may not eat at all, so no one persons experience is exactly the same.
For me, I’d have to describe depression as a season and anxiety as episodes within that season. When I become depressed its usually results in me feeling unmotivated to do anything productive. It becomes almost impossible for me to focus mentally. I’m literally just going through the motions of my day-to-day life. During my season of depression, if it continues for an extended period of time, then comes anxiety. Now anxiety, is a straight BITCH! It starts with a triggering thought that then does the domino effect with thought after thought, each one building from the other until they are too massive to stop or slow down. While experiencing both, I lose site of what I need. I don’t know if laying down to rest or getting up and being active will do me the most good. The thoughts are exhausting and creates a feeling of isolation whether you are alone or not.
I’ve recently had a season of depression and episodes of anxiety that I had to pull myself out of. Because depression and anxiety takes a toll on me both mentally and physically, having an “exit strategy” is imperative. I’ve put together a short list of things I do to help me get back to feeling like myself again in no particular order:
Stay in Bed - My initial response to stress is to sleep. I will stay in bed until I have to get out. Of course adulting doesn’t allow me to stay in the bed all day but every moment I get to rest, I take it. Before I attempt to go to sleep, attempt because sometimes my thoughts keep me up, I’ll drink a cup of relaxation tea from Flying Cloud Tea Co. It naturally helps me to get a good nights rest.
Talk to someone - I have a Pyschologist that I have no problem calling along with a couple of friends that I can talk to when things get rough for me. Navigating through your thoughts and feelings alone can make you feel just that, alone. Also, hearing your thoughts spoken out loud can help you to validate them and weed out things that aren’t necessarily true or fitting to your situation. Another alternative to talking to someone is to journal for the same reason, the goal is to get the thoughts out of your head.
Enjoy your favorite food and drinks - Comfort food is bae when I’m feeling depressed. I’m not counting no calories, I’m not reading any labels, I’m eating what I want even if its fresh french fries with salt from McDonalds and a vanilla milkshake! Comfort food usually has an emotional attachment to it which is why it provided comfort. I lose my appetite during depression, so eating anything becomes a challenge, so I’m likely to go for what makes me feel good, even if its not the best nutritionally.
Window shop - I’ll admit that I am not a fan of window shopping however I’m using this term loosely. I don’t like going to the mall to window shop but I do like to view model homes or aimlessly scroll through Pinterest to decorate a new space. As a creative, window shopping helps me to think beyond my situation and visualize the life I want to manifest. Its my little way trigger positive thoughts
Personal Grooming - A good hot shower, shaving, putting on lotion, spending extra time in the mirror, while my sage is burning, and music playing makes me feel worthy. Depression and anxiety can take a toll on your self esteem and confidence so spending time taking care of yourself is a little reminder that you matter and you are worthy of the special attention. I absolutely love going to get a manicure, pedicure, and massage. Its proven that another humans touch, even if its just a hug, can lower your heart rate and blood pressure, and has long term effects on your overall health.
6. Mindless Behavior - Engage in an activity that you don’t have to think too hard about. For me that’s Candy Crush and in times past, the show Wild n’ Out. Both allow me to “coast” if you would. My thoughts are suspended for the time that I’m engaged and gives me a moment to rebound.
7. Take Medication - I know this isn’t the most ideal solution but sometimes it’s necessary. I remember crying from anxiety when my pharmacist called to let me know my prescription was ready to be picked up. All I knew was that I didn’t want to have to rely on medication to make me feel like myself again but I was so far gone that I was willing to take them. After a few weeks, I began to feel like a bag of money! It wasn’t until I started feeling better that I had realized just how bad I had gotten. After a year or so, I switched to a plant based supplement that actually did a pretty good job with keeping my mood in check. Of course there is the other herbal option but depending on the way your job is set up, that may or may not work for you.
I can go on with things that I do when trying to recover from depression and anxiety like yoga or using essential oils but all of them are very small actions that are easily executed. None of them over exert me and I’m kind of forced to lower my normal high functioning expectations I put on myself.
If you experience depression or anxiety, I hope my list helps and I’d love to hear what actions you take when dealing so feel free to comment on this post.
Love and Light to you,