First things first, I don’t normally write long blog posts supplying tips on topics such as this, but I wanted to be very open with my readers and share my coping mechanisms and strategies of dealing with mental health. I first-hand know what anxiety and depression feels like - from the tiniest inklings of it to its greatest extremity. I do not in anyway want to feel as if I’m preaching to you, and I don’t mind if you don’t continue reading from this point on, but I want to share with you some things that help me when I’m feeling low and anxy. I must add, I know everyone is different and experiences this in various ways, so it may or may not be useful to you.
How to deal with anxiety and Depression?
Know your triggers: Rule #1, know your triggers. When you get anxiety over something - understand what exactly is causing you to feel anxious. Write it down so that you can help to avoid those situations. There will, however, be some situations that you just cannot avoid - whether it be conflict with a friend or plans changing on you - just be aware that these things can cause you anxiety and try to work through it as best you can. I know it’s easier said than done, believe me.
Write a list: Think about the things that make you happy, the good times in your life, encouraging mantras you can repeat to yourself out loud, or whether it’s just quotes or videos that you enjoy (AKA cat videos, duh). Jot these things down, so that when you’re feeling low, you can look over them. It may not change your mood, but it will show you that there are a lot of things in your life that are great - even if you don’t see them yourself.
Get outside: This one is the hardest, especially when you just want to stay in bed all day. Trust me, this is not a good idea. Your thoughts will get the better of you and you’ll just end up worse off than you started. Be accountable to someone, text a friend, partner or a family member and ask them out for a nice long walk with you. Fresh air will actually do you the world of good.
Confide in someone: You’re not alone. Even though you may not see it in the state you’re in, people really do care for you. There will be some who don’t understand it, and that’s okay, but as long as you have someone to talk to, someone to confide in, to tell your deepest thoughts to - this is the best thing you can do. Vulnerability breeds vulnerability: if you open up to someone, chances are they will open up to you also. There are a lot of people going through similar situations as you, so it is vital for you to know that you’re not alone in this.
Seek external support: Sometimes your mental health can be too much for you, your friends and/or family members to handle. This is when you know that you need to seek external support - whether it be visiting the doctors or going to see a psychologist or homeopath. This does not in any way make you weak. If anything it makes you stronger because you are getting out of your comfort zone and seeing what other methods there are out there to benefit you. It may be the case of talking to an expert, taking anti-depressants or natural remedies to support your mental health. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about this. These options are there to help you. Don’t listen to the negative advice from other people, you do you. After all, the only real person you can truly depend on is yourself, therefore you need to do what is best in order for you to get better.
Understand your love language: Know what makes you tick when you’re sad - whether it’s hugs, gifts, someone doing something for you, quality time or compliments. Who know’s, when you’re feeling like sh*t, it could be all of them. Know this so that when you are feeling anxious or depressed, if other people ask you what they can do to support you, you already know what the answer will be. I will admit, there may be times where none of these work but even just a hug could go a long way.
Avoid Alcohol: I know that sometimes when you may be feeling really low, all you want to do is get unbelievably drunk and forget everything. This is NOT the answer. For some of you it could potentially help, but I know from my experiences it only amplifies it. I become unbelievably irrational and agitated. You know what they say, alcohol is a natural depressant.
Eat that comfort food: I know they say that there are foods that trigger or even amplify your anxiety - fatty foods, sugars, you name it. But unfortunately those are the things you really crave at the time. When I’m feeling low, takeaways can go a long way - even if it only cheers me up for the slightest while. That slightest while is definitely a starting point and you should be proud of that.
Do something you love: What makes you happy? Do it. If that doesn’t help much, at least it’s keeping you distracted from your thoughts - cause Lord knows they can be hella negative.
Listen to the advice of your loved ones: Listen to the advice of the people that love you when they say that you need to seek help or you need to get outta bed and fight this. I know sometimes it may come off as harsh, but they are trying to get you out of your funk and do what is truly best for you. I know that along the way you may lose friends due to your mental health - I’ve been there - but just know that if they aren’t there during your darkest times, then they don’t deserve to be there when you come out brighter than ever on the other side. Because you will. Believe that you will and believe in yourself cause WE got this!
Leave a comment or flick me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, I would love to hear from you