Let me start this off by clarifying: no, I am not currently depressed. I’m actually at one of the happiest points in my life. But have I been depressed before? Plenty of times. Was I suicidal at one point when I was a pre-teen? For sure. After all, I spent the first 18 years of my life in Seattle – aka the city with the highest suicide rates. Sooo I feel pretty equipped on the topic wink. Anyways, depression rates are at an all-time high right now due to the lockdowns caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, and no matter who you are, depression sucks. Lucky for all of you, I’m here to tell you my secrets on how to cope with depression. Because depression comes in waves, so you just have to learn how to ride it out!
Go to therapy
I LOVE therapy. 10/10 endorse. I first went when I was 15, and let me tell you: GAME CHANGER. Everyone wants to feel heard, understood, and supported. And nothing is better than having a licensed professional psychoanalyze your life so that you can understand WHY you feel the way you do. Because you need to become aware of your traumas in order to face and overcome them. And trust me: whatever you don’t heal from will keep manifesting in your life over and over again until you deal with it. (P.S. I went to therapy until I turned 18).
You cannot heal in an environment that makes you sick!!! So hop on that plane and GTFO! Travel takes you out of your daily routines/stresses/environments and puts you in new surroundings – this is amazing for helping to cleanse and reset your mind. Who doesn’t love a nice lil reset?!
Release those endorphins! Exercise is proven to reduce depression by lowering stress levels, improving self-confidence, and strengthening your brainpower.
People with depression tend to have low serotonin levels – aka the hormone that makes us happy. 5HTP is an amino acid the body uses to produce serotonin.
Surround yourself with positive people
Although misery loves company, if you’re feeling down, the last thing that you need is for negative people to bring you down even lower. Surround yourself with positive people that help you see the bright side of things and help bring you up!
Write down all the people you can always call
The worst thing about feeling depressed is feeling like you’re all alone. Write down a list of all the friends/family that you know will always be there for you no matter what. And when you’re feeling lost and alone, call them to remind you that you are not!
Write down every goal you’ve accomplished & every goal you still have
This helped me sooo much. It’s easy to feel as though you’re not enough or that the future is bleak. By writing down every goal you’ve ever accomplished, it makes you realize just how much you’ve done with your life and how amazing it is. These could be things like milestones in your life, places you’ve traveled, or just random personal goals you’ve achieved. Then, write a list of every goal you still have yet to accomplish. This gives you something to look forward to.
One of the worst things you can do if you’re depressed is stay cooped up inside. Whether that be laying out at the beach, going on a hike, sitting on your lawn/patio, or even going on a simple walk, just GO OUTSIDE! Mother nature has amazing healing properties.
Cut out toxic people
Depression stems from a low amount of self-esteem and self-worth, so you absolutely need to remove toxic people from your life that make you feel less than you already do. BYE!
Drinking alcohol is the worst thing to do if you’re depressed. Yeah, you may feel good in the moment (or actually you could feel even worse), but guaranteed when the alcohol wears off you will feel even more depressed and anxious than you before. If you need help on how to say “no” to alcohol, check out my blog post How (and Why) I Cut Back on Drinking.
Go to reiki
If you know me, you know I love reiki. Reiki is a traditional Japanese energy healing technique that can help treat depression.
Ashwagandha is a medicinal herb proven to help reduce stress and fight depression. And we all know how much I love my herbs wink.
Take a break from social media
Social media is just a highlight reel of people’s lives. And one of the worst things you can do is compare your life to someone else’s – especially when you don’t know what is going on behind closed doors. So get off of social media and focus on living your best life!
Take time for self-care
You need to take time for self-care! It’s for your mental health’s sake! Get enough sleep, eat healthy, exercise, and do what makes you happy! Set boundaries and say “no” to that which does not serve you. Make sure to read my other blog post The Power of “No”.
Realize it’s normal and you’re not alone
Let me say this again for the people in the back: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Depression affects millions of people every year and is totally normal!
And remember: this too shall pass! Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!
P.S. I am not a medical professional, this is just what I have learned through personal experience.