As I get older (haha, yes, I know, thirty isn’t “old”, but it’s the oldest *I’ve* ever been), I feel like it’s getting harder & harder to admit when I’m depressed, or to talk about it with friends. I guess I feel like I’ve used up a lifetime worth of sadpants whining in my teens and twenties, lost enough friends to being negative all the time, and I just don’t want to be that person anymore. But I also have to admit that even though I’ve done a lot of hard work and learned a toolbox worth of coping mechanisms and can tell myself all the “rational” things, shitty stuff is still going to hurt, and my struggles with depression (and the other end of my spectrum, hypomania & anxiety) are going to be a lifelong thing.
All that to say, it’s been up & down lately, and when it’s down, I’m more likely to stay quiet. I’m not sure there’s anything positive to come out of straight-up moping. I can do that at home. But there’s probably a growthful middle ground to reach toward, and I’m trying to find it. Maybe talking about my depression openly but outlining my attempts thus far to deal with it is a start.
I’m also interested in hearing the things you do to take care of yourself if you struggle with depression.
I try to get back to basic self-care. It’s when I think I can ignore those things that my mental health starts to fall apart. I try to get up at a good, early hour. Use my daylight lamp (light therapy). Get exercise. Cook and eat healthy foods. Get lots of good books from the library. Try to channel some of the self-destructive energy I can feel trying to break loose into creative projects.
But of course, the problem with depression is that you don’t *want* to do any of those things. Or they feel like they’re not “working”. I’m “too tired” to exercise. I “don’t have time” to use the light. I don’t have energy to cook dinner. I’m just not enjoying any of my books. My creative projects are just not turning out how I’d like them to.
Some more things I try to do: get out in nature, somewhere, if not for exercise then just for hanging out and reading or sitting or being; spend time with animals, my cats or at Springfarm; redecorate–moving a critical piece of furniture or putting out some different curtains or switching out one afghan for another is sometimes enough to make things feel just fresh enough to inspire.
What are some of your tricks?