There are always quite a few posts about mental health at the beginning of the year, but we have to remember that depression is a year-round illness. Yes, there are illnesses like Seasonal Affective Disorder (aptly named SAD when you feel worse in the darker months), but it’s easy to forget that people feel pants even when the sun is shining.
Here are a few things you should try to remember when depression hits.
Look after yourself first
A lot of people try and plod on when depression hits. They do long hours at work, be everything to everyone, and forget to look after themselves first.
You can’t pour from an empty cup so you need to look after yourself first. Listen to Save Myself by Ed Sheeran and I bet that you’ll understand every word that he sings because you’ve done it yourself. It’s about giving people your oxygen and energy and forgetting to look after yourself first.
Do only what you NEED to do
This is a tough one because you probably think that you NEED to do the washing up, or that you NEED to take the kids out to the park. You don’t.
You honestly don’t. The kids can amuse themselves with the tv or a book or some crafts. They can even do the washing up if they’re old enough. What you NEED to do is look after yourself! Go back to the first point.
Surround yourself with joy
Joy is different for everyone.
I’m sure you’ve heard of Marie Kondo and how she asks you to think about items spark joy when you hold them. This is something that I’m trying to take onboard.
My nieces and nephew spark joy sometimes (yes I love them but they are a lot to deal with when I’m feeling poop); Jim Carey and Robin Williams spark joy within me when I watch their films, especially Ace Ventura; my draft bullet journal sparks joy because it doesn’t have to be perfect. I can draw layouts without them having to be functional or look pretty.
So surround yourself with things that spark joy within you.
What helps you get through a depressive episode? Do you have any coping mechanisms?