Hello lovely people!
Today I am sinking into yet another depressive episode. I woke up just not feeling too great in general, and by midday was crying in the bathtub after my shower for no reason.
To describe to you what I’m feeling right now would be a convoluted mess, but to sum it up in one word is this: heaviness. Everything feels heavy. I feel heavy. I feel like every movement I am making is dragged out and exhausting. My thoughts are going round in circles, they keep coming back to the same thing, over and over: “No one is actually interested in you as a person, and if anyone cares right now they won’t for long, everyone is going to leave, they’re all lying to you, you are alone, you are nothing.” Over and over and over again.
I know these thoughts aren’t true. I have so many people who care for me in my life. But depression is very good at tricking us into believing the lies it feeds us. So even though I know they’re lies, it’s still hard to hear them right now.
Anyway. I thought I’d give myself something worthwhile to do, and use this draggy day to channel some inspiration to help anyone else who suffers from depressive episodes, whether they are caused by a trigger or, often in my case, come up just out of the blue. Today I am going to list all of the things that help me troop through my depressive episodes and keep the bad thoughts at bay! Whilst of course none of these things stop these thoughts, and I still need to brace myself for the long haul, they HELP. Key word: help. H. E. L. P. They aren’t a cure, simply things that relieve at least a little bit of tension, keep me comfortable, and remind me that I will eventually be ok. 🙂
- Essential oils
These are only 2 of my mum’s essential oils, one that we share (White Angelica) and a blend made specifically for me (Triple P), and even though there are sooo many that I love and help me in different situations, these are my favourites! These 2 in particular help me when I’m sinking into a depressive episode. White Angelica is known for its ability to drive away negative energies, and helps with depression, anger, low blood pressure. Triple P acts as a hormonal balance that keeps my emotions in check and lessens the effects of depression on my outbursts, so it helps to stabilise me and keep me relatively calm. I rub the Triple P underneath my malleolus (the bony knob on the inside of my ankle) – you don’t actually have to smell it, it’s just an emotional release point – and White Angelica on my wrists and neck, so this one I CAN smell. If you’re interested on reading more about the different effects of essential oils (there are literally HUNDREDS!!) have a read on Young Living Essential Oils
2. Cuddling a Stuffed Animal Teddy
This is Floppy. He is my stuffed animal dog, $9 from Kmart. I’ve only had Floppy for one week, but in this week he has been a great help. All I have to do is squeeze him tightly to my chest, and my anxiety honestly feels as if it is seeping away from me. He helps provide an anchor for me, too, and relieve stress caused by insomnia, especially in the moment that I am struggling to sleep. He is helping a great deal right now with my depression too, giving me something stable to grip onto. If I’m honest with you, you are NEVER too old to cuddle a teddy. I have a whole bunch on my bed, but so far Floppy has proved to help the greatest. If you’re struggling with anything at all, I recommend getting a soft teddy to squeeze. Preferably a relatively large one, very soft, easy to squish, to ensure you get the best support possible! 😀
3. Mind & soul food!!!
Lately I have been feeling extremely guilty for the food that I am eating, and feeling low about my weight and body shape. So I have been making a conscious effort to be mindful of what my body craves, and allow myself to indulge (and at times, overindulge!) when I am feeling at my lowest (and even when I just feel like it!). That means: lots and LOTS of chocolate. Today I am really feeling the Dairy Milk & Black Forrest chocolate. And, of course, a cup of tea. This is my second one today. Along with actual food and drink, I allow myself to reconnect with food for my soul: ie. words. I love words. I love reading them, using them, whatever. So I make sure that when I am bed ridden in anxiety or depression or sickness, I have a good book by my side (today’s pick is Lord of the Rings) as well as some crossword puzzles or wordsearches to keep my mind active and detached from my own abusive thoughts. Both reading and word puzzles help to keep my mind afloat and from drifting into the sea of my downward spiral.
Ah, one of my biggest sources of support when I’m not doing too good. My cats ❤ Stuffed teddies are great, but if you wanna know what’s even better, is real animals that seek you out when you’re feeling down (mine are literally drawn to the very vibe of sadness from miles and miles away) and ride through the pain with you no matter what. I almost always wake up with a cat or even a dog on my bed, cuddling into my side or curling up at my feet. Just the very presence of them, their warmth softly saying “I’m here” does wonders to lift or even simply ease my heaviness.
5. Leave a light on.
This is my favourite lamp. It sits on my desk right next to this mini poster that I made whilst I was stuck in another depressive episode (ah, that’s another thing that helps sometimes – art.) It provides the perfect soft, warm glow over my room especially at night and just settles a certain calmness inside of me whenever I see it lit up. Whenever I arrive home, I turn this lamp on straight away. It’s just part of my routine. I can see it from my bed, and it just reminds me that there are lights in my life, even if it doesn’t seem like it at times (cheesy I know).
6. Stay hydrated.
I always keep a drink bottle beside my bed. I know it’s such a cliche thing to suggest, and is literally used as a ‘solution’ for almost everything, but that’s because it’s TRUE! Staying hydrated is so important. It’s part of the boring self care after all. (I’ll delve into just what boring self care actually is one day, but for now, I’ll simply define it as basic and occasionally menial tasks that are crucial and of incredibly high benefit to keeping you alive and sustaining, at the very least. It is the very core basis of self care and the foundation to looking after your mind, by looking after your body first.)
Music is so, so incredibly important to me. It’s kept me sane on the darkest and bleakest of times. It’s just something constant that is always there for me. Some days, I get to the point where I don’t know what to listen to, there are so many different varieties, that the indecisiveness of THAT can overwhelm me. But overall, music has helped me so much. I chose to feature the cover of this band because Bastille has always just stuck with me. There are a lot of songs I’ve gone through phases of, but Bastille’s music is just constant for me, I can listen to it at any time, and this album Wild World in particular is one that I immediately turn to when I am sinking into a depressive episode. The words they use is just so beautiful and I find myself singing along in no time.
8. Make a ‘happy box’.
Oh yes! My happy box ❤ This is something that I keep tucked away by my bed underneath by bedside table. It’s just full of seemingly random crap, but all of these things I have placed in here for a reason. Its contents include: bubble wrap, a mini accordion fold-out photo album containing photos of all my animals/friends/family, a stress squishie teddy, an old riding glove, my old kitten’s favourite toy, a feather from my little bird who sadly passed away a couple years ago, an Instax photo generator and some colourful markers and ribbons if I’m feeling creative, bubble wrap, ’emergency’ chocolate (for when I’m really in the shit), letters from my friends, a fake but pretty pink rose to remind me that there’s beauty in this world, a Harry Potter light up watch, and a heart ornament given to me by my Grandma whom I haven’t seen in a year. Yeah, maybe it is just junk. But it’s my junk, and when I open up this box in desperate times, there’s always bound to be at least just one thing that makes me smile.
So there you have it! My 8 tips for keeping afloat during a depressive episode… I understand that everyone is different, and so not all of these things may work for you. But that’s ok! Take your time! I do encourage you to find a few things that ease your depression even if it’s just a tiny bit. Because it really helps. Truly.
Another disclaimer that I MUST mention, too: These things do not ALWAYS help. They are NOT guaranteed, full-proof ways to rid me of my depression. I’ve been through countless episodes where I feel so hopeless that nothing seems to work. So when you get to that point, above all…
9. Remember that you are NOT alone.
People DO care about you.
You CAN do this.
I believe in you, and so should you.
This pain won’t last forever.
They are just thoughts. They cannot hurt you.
And you WILL get out of this, no matter what.
Love to you all ❤