Over the past 5 or so years I have been working hard to overcome my mental health issues and find ways to push through them. I had counselling and they taught me to practice mindfulness, to be in the moment and not live in the past. I turned to Buddhism and started to study how to get well. I also got to a point with my anxiety where I could talk to people I didn’t know and take my dog Gizmo on short walks by myself.
Then at the beginning of last year it became clear that my Grandad was dying and it is coming up to a year since he passed away. I can honestly say this has been the hardest year of my life, I have been incredibly blessed in so many ways and yet he is always on my mind in one way or another.
Grief takes time and patience, and it is something you cannot rush or push your way through. However, it is something I thought I could avoid so I have not really faced it, I have kind of pushed it down and carried on trying to be myself. The problem is that I was tired all the time, I was not meditating or doing my yoga practice, and I was lying in bed until lunchtime quite often so that I could just wallow in it.
My last post I reviewed a book and movie, and when I watched the documentary with my husband I realised that I had been avoiding things. I realised that if I carried on my illnesses would get worse and I would end up suffering and that would be something my Grandad would never want for me.
I read THIS ARTICLE today where it has been found that worldwide depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide! Todays society and lifestyles are not working for us and we all need to really look into ourselves and those we care about. If we do not start to change our lives we will all be in trouble and it just reaffirmed what the Connection movie and Whole health life book said! I really think depression is so overlooked and is easy to hide if we want.
So when I realised what I was doing and that depression had crept back into my life I immediately took some steps to start getting out of the hole so if you find you are depressed or someone close to you is here are some tips:
- Talk: I straight away went to my husband and opened up about how I was feeling, what I thought the problem was and what I wanted to do. This can be the hardest part, I didn’t want Lee to worry or get upset, however he was there for me he listened and he gave me advice. He agreed that he thought it was depression and that he had been worried but afraid to say anything, and if you are worried about someone like he was, reach out it means so much.
- Make goals: I hate to say it but getting into good habits is not easy, I wanted to get back to daily yoga, housework, getting outside the house, eating regularly, and making sure I get up by a certain time every day. I talked about them with my husband and doing this simply keeps you accountable and gives you someone on your side who will be there to support you and give you a little nudge if you try to get out of it! Make the goals you set small and manageable, it could simply be I will get up and take a shower every day…no matter what the goals are do not make them so ambitious and big that you are going to set yourself up to fail because you will just feel worse.
- Talk to your doctor: I am on daily antidepressants anyway because my depression has been chronic since I was 14, but talking to a doctor can help so much. They can refer you to have counselling, maybe put you on antidepressants for a short time to help you at first, and even just be someone to talk to if you have nobody else. This is especially important if you have been turning to harmful behaviour to deal with your depression such as eating disorders, alcohol or drugs, self-harm, etc.
- Do research: We live in a world where information is literally at our fingertips, so get online and look up ways to help yourself, read books, join a group online, you can even email the Samaritans now! I am going to start reading a book I bought a while ago about dealing with grief, there is so much out there so pick what works best for you and go for it! Learning more about depression and how to help yourself is important because at the end of the day if you do not do the work you will not get better!
Lastly, if you are struggling, if you have words of encouragement, or if you simply need to talk drop me a comment below, or email me this is a safe place and I am always here for anyone who needs a friend.