I'm going to start a new series of blogs dedicated to giving you the basic knowledge and understanding of mental health issues and where else to start than the most "common" issue that will effect us all at some point in our lives.....Depression.
Let's talk about it and understand the basics of recovery.
Depression can be describe as a lot of things but the way I see it is as a foggy cloud that can at times surround your life and effect how you see things. Think of it as an anchor that can attach itself to you..... It doesn't stop us living but with it it's hard work....everything is a effort and if not dealt properly it can stop us from functioning.
Depression tricks you into thinking that it's part of you, inescapable, incurable and on some level it's an effect of our lives and not a cause of our life situation.
"All this is bullshit...... It's not part of you or your personality. It's a parasite."
And with every parasite it can be killed and making small changes in your life can give you the best chance of defeating it so below I'm going to talk about what I do in my life that helps me fight the onset of a depressive mindset...... The basics of recovery.
If you'd asked me 5 years ago about exercise you would have probably got the following responses;...... "I haven't got time", "I don't need it, I'm not fat", "I'm already fit and healthy"..... Blah Blah Blah
Nowadays, the truth is very different...... Exercise has sorted out my mental health better than any pill I have ever taken..... Ever. After exercise I'm motivated, fresh, focused, energised and I feel good about myself.
I can honestly say exercise will always be part of my life.
We are all creatures of habit and the truth is keeping a regular schedule routine promotes a sense of stability, predictability, and consistency. There's no uncertainty and it gives you time to be able to prepare yourself for all eventualities.
Think about things in small steps.... Your more likely to stay motivated.
Depression can make any task seem monumental and too big for us so we don't think it's possible. Think about this rationally though. How have you gotten to the position your in now without moving in small steps..... Education, your career or relationships?
"We all started at the beginning and worked forward"
Setting smalls goals for yourself will make things seem possible. You'll see results more often so it'll keep you motivated to keep going.
I'll be honest with you. my diet can be appalling sometimes. I love food and I love all the stuff you've not supposed to but i'll also acknowledge that what we eat can directly affect our mental health. When my diet consists of high fatty, sugary, stodgy food I fell less motivated and positive about myself.
Research has proven that a diet consisting of more veg, low carbohydrates, low sugar and low fat will elevate your moods. I'm not saying you have to stick to a diet consisting of banana's and carrots but making better choices sometimes can do wonders.
Keep a diary
This isn't for everyone but research has suggested that people who use a journal see improvements in their mental health. The reasons for this are pretty tight and established. Using a diary promotes self-awareness because the person practises being self-reflective and that in turn cements the connection to our own thoughts and feelings.
We all need to realise we're all are human and we all have to struggle occasionally and that's OK. Trying to pretend to the world that everything is OK when we're really falling apart does far more harm than good. You don't have to tell every Tom, Dick or Harry but find a person that you can trust and let them know what's going on.
Don't be hard on yourself
For some reason it's easy for us to show compassion to the people we love but when it comes to ourselves we are all so critical
Why is that??
I don't think it's healthy to go around loving ourselves with a sense of arrogance and entitlement but we all should learn how to be a little more compassionate and empathetic towards ourselves. Everyone has their own issues and demons so don't give yourself a hard time.
"It's OK not to be OK"
It's OK not to be OK sometimes but if depression start to effect your life in a major way consider seeking help from a professional. Research has repeatedly shown the success that talking therapy has on treating depression. will let you explore your issues and work towards changing negative thoughts patterns into more healthy ones.
I hate the stigma that surrounds mental health. There is no shame in admitting your not OK....... EVERYONE OF US suffers at some point in our lives and we should be able to talk about it without fear of being made fun of or being dismissed.
As always I hope you enjoyed the post and it connected with you on some level. If you think it would help others why not share it with your nearest and dearest.