How To Kick-Ass Depression In 3 Steps

I already talked about how I found myself depressed. It was a huge liberation to write about it and share it openly with you. I had to peel off some of my layers in order to do so, because I am the kind of person who is always reinforcing people and making sure they feel uplifted, even if that means I will have to bury my own negative feelings and pretend I am alright. And by the way that’s not the smartest thing to do.

Nonetheless, since that realisation about depression, I have been addressing my mood consciously and doing something about it. I won’t say that I already managed the amount of negative feelings and thoughts that had been building inside me but at least I don’t find myself completely lost in that big puddle of sadness that I was in.

Thus here are the 3 steps I recommend you to kick-ass depression:

Step 1: Push Stop

I am not saying “make a pause”; I am telling you to stop. To literally stop. I tried to pause everything but a stubborn thought kept popping at the back of my head: pausing implied that it was temporary. As soon as I paused, I saw myself counting the time until the very moment I would have to come back and get things done, which was making me feel pressured to find solutions as soon as possible. Thus I stopped everything – work, social life, family, house chores. I put an out-of-office message, I ignored texts and I didn’t reach anyone. I simply stopped and sat with my sense felt. I acknowledged my negative feelings and I accepted the fact I was going through them. Only then I felt allowed to start relaxing and that freed some precious mental space.

Step 2: Free Yourself From Whatever Is Burning

This step relates to Step 1. There were a couple of (simple) things that I felt were burning me down. From routine tasks to people, I felt the need to disconnect and protect my energy. I had to refill my cup before I could invest my time or deal with them. Thus I retreated. I stayed at home more often and avoided exposing myself to situations or people that instead of reenergising me would drain me even more. An important note though: this strategy is good when it’s an emergency and you really need to put yourself in a neutral environment. If you keep avoiding activities or people for too long, then this strategy becomes obsolete and it starts working against your recovery.

Step 3: Do What Makes You Feel Good

After you put yourself in a “safe” environment, free from what triggers your negative emotions, start doing what you like to do. In my case I read more often and watched some more interesting talks. I went out for morning walks next to the sea and I enjoyed the sun whenever it was not raining. I allowed myself to have some chocolate cake with strawberries in a mug one night and on another I enjoyed a comedy film and some sweet popcorn. I took naps in the afternoon and I also sat for 10 minutes in my meditation cushion everyday. Finally, my mood started to lift up a bit and I saw myself engaging again in my self-care routines. I am now closer to my regular mood and I also notice that I am slowly feeling able to come back to my regular life.

What about you? Have you experienced or are you experiencing depression right now? What steps or details would you add to help someone overcome depression? If you would like to chat about this, feel free to contact me at The Humanfulness Project facebook page.

 

 

 

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. JD says:

    Great tips. These have all helped me. Stopping, saying no to things that felt like they were destroying, and saying yes to things that made me happy. The biggest hurdle was to no feel guilty for doing all these things. But once I got over that, felt so much lighter, freer, happier. Still a struggle sometimes but good to learn these tools.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Vanessa Dias says:

      Thank you JD for sharing your experience. I’m glad you also found ways to cope – I guess we will all have moments and come back to this darker place from time to time, the trick is to remind ourselves that our happiness and wellbeing matter? For me, it always happens when I stop following what is best for myself as a whole and put others or “rational arguments” before my deeper needs. Feeling guilty for doing what feels good… that used to crush me as well. I might write a little bit about it later. Sending you good vibes! 🙂

      Like

      1. JD says:

        Can definitely relate to all of this. Took me a long time to learn though.

        Like

  2. Swati Awana says:

    Do what makes you feel good – is my formula. Whenever I feel low, I start singing or go for a swim. Both my favourite activities. Thanks for sharing☺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Vanessa Dias says:

      I love your formula! Thanks for reinforcing that idea – sometimes we forget to do what we love most.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Swati Awana says:

        Yeah you are right. Sometimes we forget to love ourselves

        Like

  3. Depression is so different for everyone and it’s so important to find strategies that work for you. Whenever I get burnt out, I’ve learned that I need to focus on socializing because I have a tendency to isolate without realizing it. But the self care tips you shared, chocolate and the beach in particular, are also some of my go to activities.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Vanessa Dias says:

      That’s so true, thank you for highlighting that. I find immense beauty on how each one of us has his/her own activities / strategies to cope and still in the end what we are all doing is levelling up our serotonin levels. I strongly recommend the contact with others who nurture us too as you mention – sometimes I just feel we need to avoid those who are not such a positive influence for a while. Thank your for contributing with your own tips (beach is one of my favourites too)!

      Like

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