Depression is often described as a form of darkness. It can leave you bed-bound, isolated and desperate for answers. I can tell you though that it is possible to live with depression through my own experience and I have found the five tips below really helped. Emma x
1. Go outside
Getting outside is an extremely significant way of helping living with depression. Simply going for a quick walk or loosing yourself in nature can have a massive impact on your mental health and mood.
If you struggle with anxiety and leaving the house like me, another option is to open the windows and allow some fresh air in. It will help just that little bit.
2. Talk to others
Easy to say but I know how daunting it can be trying to explain what’s going on in your head to someone else. But there are people out there going through the same thing and will often understand. Even if it’s just some time to get some things off your chest – it can help just voicing those inner negative thoughts.
3. Create a safe space
Having space either in your place of living or place of work where you can just have some time to breathe. Whether it’s your comfy bed with a cuppa and a book (see our Own Your Space blog post for further ideas on this, or your local park – or even the small staff room at work where you can have 10 minutes of day time TV during break. Having that safe space to go to when you are feeling low can be a comfort blanket of some sort.
4. Set small daily goals
Living with depression can mean some days are easier than others and it’s important not to do too much too soon. Set yourself realistic goals for the day ahead – if you are feeling low perhaps the small goal is to have a shower or make your bed, other days you could feel up for a walk or getting out of the house.
Don’t force yourself to do too much, do what you can and be proud of it.
5. Seek help
You are not alone. Mental illness is something that needs to be taken seriously. If you feel like you would like professional or medical help – see a doctor. Go to your GP, I have heard some negative stories but I have experience positive GP appointments with doctors that have taken me seriously and understood.
There are also some amazing charities that will help you with this step – Mind, Anxiety UK, Samaritans – they all can give advice over the phone on how you can find some professional help.
If you are living with a mental illness I ask one thing: Do not Struggle Alone. If you feel you can’t talk to relatives or friends, seek professional help or reach out to a local mental health organisation.
If you feel you need urgent support please ring Samaritans on 116 123.