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.