This was inspired by a friend’s Facebook status…
I have chronic depression, it’s no secret. All I’m going to do here is list a bunch of things that I’ve found help me when I’m struggling. You’ve probably tried some of them already and maybe some won’t be successful for you but still there’s always the chance that we can learn from each other and find something that works for us. That was a long sentence.
– Animals. I really want a pet mainly for this reason. However I live in short-term rented accommodation with Josh and house-sharing with 3 other guys. Also me and Josh barely have enough money to look after ourselves without getting into ridiculous debt nevermind another living being. Which is a real shame. Last year in halls I lived near a horse (it’s probably still there?). Sometimes when I got really down or suicidal I’d go for a walk to see it and it always calmed me down so much. Likewise my walk to uni is really enjoyable because even if I feel like absolute shit I always see some beautiful birds on the way that make me feel a little safer.
– Citalopram. Anti-depressants aren’t some magic cure but can really help some people. Citalopram is the only one I’ve tried and though side effects initially were frankly horrific, I persevered and it was worth it. It generally stops me from going for long periods of doing absolutely nothing but cry which is where I was at before I went on it.
– Happy music. Singing and dancing along can help too, even if you feel like an idiot at first. You’ll get into it after awhile. 😛
– Getting dressed up nice even if I’m not going anywhere. However that takes a lot of effort if you’re slow and clumsy and indecisive like me.
– Eating nice things. However if you comfort eat then just don’t go there to be honest. I’m not trying to encourage anyone to end up overweight.
– Painting my nails bright colours. I’m super clumsy as you probably already know, so it takes like all my concentration to paint my nails so it’s a great distraction technique.
– Watching comedy. I love Graham Norton. And David Mitchell. And Sarah Millican. And the IT Crowd and The Big Bang Theory and yadda yadda.
– Calling a friend or family member and just having a chat about whatever they have been up to. We all know people who will happily talk about what they’ve been doing for ages without asking much more than ‘So how are you?’ in return. Those are the BEST people to ring when you feel like shit. They’re entertaining and distracting and you won’t have to dredge up how you feel if you don’t want to talk about it.
– Having a bubble bath. Not that I’d do that in my house in halls ’cause a) I don’t feel the bath is ever clean enough and b) We have one bathroom between five people so you can imagine what the toilet queue would be like if someone had a bloody bath. Also water bills man.
– Last but not least, EXERCISE. Sure you’ve heard it before but it works probably better than anything else for me (except maybe animals, but I don’t have access to them much!). I used to go the gym a few times a week with Josh, but then obviously I hurt my back in a car crash so now it’s more like once a week and I’m very restricted as to what I can do. However I still love it and it makes me feel better. Other exercise you could do is going or a run, or just for a walk even. Also classes like yoga and pilates are like relaxing too, but if you’re more into active things then you could try like boxercise or circuit training or something cool like that. Finally, don’t underestimate how much energy lots of cleaning requires. It’s a really good way to get yourself moving when you feel like shit, and then you feel all productive and proud that you’ve got stuff done, and you don’t even need to get ready or leave the house. My personal favourites are just general tidying, and dusting.
Just some suggestions.