It is hard to even build up the desire to heal, because you really don’t feel anything. The most important thing to remember when you feel this way, is that nothing lasts forever. There is sort of an inner peace that comes with realizing this truth, at least for me. The second most important thing, is never feel guilty for the way that you feel. You can not force happiness, although it is a choice, that is not always easy to see. The feeling of being depressed is almost like being in a dark cave. It may be an empty and lonely cave, but you just feel all this tumultuousness in this small space. Loud thoughts echoing throughout this place. It seems there is no escaping them, trapped. There is a way out. Every cave has its opening, but depression is just this wall in your mind that all the shit you’ve been pushing aside “for later” has built up. And by shit, I mean those feelings that you don’t want to deal with because they are unwanted, but emotions aren’t there to screw with you and make you feel vulnerable. They are there to tell you about yourself. They are there to show you what you truly want. Take moments to feel the emotions you get when in different environments, or when you are surrounded by certain people. Your emotions are trying to teach you, tell you what is right for you, what you desire, what will make you truly happy. When we push our emotions aside, we end up in situations we do not want to be in. We end up doing what we think is right and normal, because we are listening to other people and not ourselves.
- Show yourself some love in some way: Nurture your mind and body. When you are depressed, be present with that emotion. Do not focus on trying to get rid of it. Acknowledge it. Sit with it. Have a glass of water. Focus on feeling the moment wholly. Being in the moment, I find makes depression fade quickly. Focus on what you can do now and not what needs to be done later. Take care of your body. Go for a walk. Get up and stretch. Breath deeply. Do something that exercises your mind. Read a book. Write about what you are feeling. Give yourself time to do something you love. Maybe that will be playing a guitar, cooking, or cranking up some music and just dancing around. The most important part here is to give time to yourself. Take care of yourself first. This is the only way you will be able to give to others. I understand this can be difficult to do, when you are required to be places and have responsibilities, but when all that is done, don’t go running around trying to help everyone else, when you can not even help yourself.
- This next one goes hand in hand with the first, because it is about nurturing the mind and the body. The only difference is that this next “tip” is for nurturing your soul too. Meditate. Yeah, that word can kind of turn people away. To some it seems near impossible to “quiet your mind” or to even gain control over your own mind, but after all it is your own mind. Consciously think any thought you want right now, make it a happy one. See, control. That is another thing you can do when depressed, replace negative thoughts by consciously thinking a positive one. Change your thoughts; change your world. You really do have control and you really do have the capability of looking at the bright side of things. All it takes is the belief that you are in control. Back to meditating, there are different ways to get started. Just find what works for you. Guided meditations, where someone is telling you what to focus on, can be a good way to ease into it.
- Smile, even if you are not happy. Smile and think about someone or something that you truly appreciate to have in your life. It can be anything from your dog, food to eat, your best friend, or simply the air you are breathing. Consciously walk with pep in your step, even if you are fatigued. The most important thing is to try. It may not completely change how you are feeling, but it is a step in the right direction.
- Find something that will make you laugh.
- Look at photos and remember the people you have in your life, and all the great experiences you have been given in your life thus far. Accept that you may not be having the greatest experience right now, and that there are highs and lows to life.
- Open a shade. Let in the sun. Or, go outside, even if it is not the perfect day. Get some fresh air. Relax and appreciate the life that surrounds and embodies you.
- Movement. Try yoga or just a couple of light stretches. Go for a jog without the idea that you must do it, so you may look a certain way. Do it for you.
- Start replacing all bad habits, but especially ones that bring on feelings of depression. Replace those habits with good ones. When you get the desire to do something you know will hinder you or make you feel bad in the future, switch your focus to a different task. Sit down and meditate, get some chores done, go for a walk until the feeling goes away, whatever works. Try anything you feel may help.
Lastly, do not feel alone. For a while I was not very open about my emotions and was embarrassed by the fact that I would get depressed. I denied it, which only made it worse. Acknowledgment is key, so is acceptance. You will work your way through it. Trust in yourself. Everyone can heal. Everyone can change. I truly believe that. All it takes is believing you are capable.