I am currently a Master’s student of Clinical Psychology and have learned a lot so far. I have also personally suffered from bouts of mild depression so I can relate and understand the difficulties in picking yourself up.
Part of being a human being is experiencing the good, the bad, and the ugly. With everything going on in the world right now it is extra important to clear your mind and do daily check-ins with yourself. With my education and experience thus far, I have gathered a few easy tips to make this whole experience a little bit healthier and happier.
Here’s to always finding the light ✨
Meditation is a great tool for depression and anxiety. Psychologists have taken techniques from spiritual practices like meditation and worked them into treatment in an attempt to be more mindful.
Benefits of meditation include: stress reduction, acceptance of self and others, improves coping capabilities, cognition, and relationships. Physically it lowers blood pressure and reactivity.
Meditation can also be a way for you to experience your emotions and feelings in a non-judgmental way. Simply noticing them as present and letting them pass through without trying to judge or fix them.
There are also so many resources, for free, that can help you achieve a practice. One of my favorites is shown below. Aliya Daniels can be found on Instagram as @moveandmindful. She is a breath work and yoga instructor whose focus is mindfulness and healing.
I have also heard great things about apps like headspace and calm. There are also meditation classes on YouTube, Peloton (if you have an account), and UnPlug (a meditation studio in Los Angeles that has online sessions). Even 10 minutes a day can help re-center your thoughts and emotions.
It is so important to get up and get your body moving when you are feeling down. That can be a walk, yoga, spin, whatever works for you. For me I feel best when I move doing yoga. It helps me calm my mind.
Spending time in the outdoors can also be therapeutic. Some cultures actually refer to it as “forest bathing”. Being in nature, breathing fresh air, or hearing birds chirping have a very calming effect. Going to the beach, camping, going for a walk, anything that involves movement and/or the outdoors is so healing.
Lean on Your People
Sometimes when you are feeling down talking to others is the last thing you want to do. But, it does help. Whether you are talking about what you’re feeling or not, reaching out to friends and loved ones can help snap you out of that funk.
Allow yourself to be open to others light and love. Either they’ll shed some strength onto you or you may be surprised to know you’re not alone. Opening up to those you trust can sometimes bring clarity. It can help knowing you’re not alone in feeling this way. Especially now when the whole world is going through major change.
This journal has helped me so much. Every day you list what made you smile, what you’re grateful for and what you want to remember about that day. It takes around 30 days to form a habit so writing in here every day makes you see the world from a more positive lens. Next thing you know you are smiling more and finding gratitude even in the mundane.
Take a Day
And sometimes it’s important to just let yourself heal. That can mean lounging in comfy clothes and watching New Girl, for me at least.
You can absolutely allot yourself a mental health day, whatever that looks like for you.
The important thing is to keep those boundaries with yourself. If you are taking a day to let things out and veg, make sure you don’t fall into the habit of becoming reclusive. Making a plan and letting others know you’re taking a day can help secure those boundaries. Taking a day is simply doing the things that make you smile, let you de-stress and gather your emotions.
If interested, you can find further instructions on how to take a proper mental health day here: https://www.verywellmind.com/when-and-how-to-take-a-mental-health-day-3144754
What’s Your Hobby?
Do what makes you happy. When I’m stressed or feeling down I like doing yoga, getting outside to hike, reading a good book and most of all baking! I find baking incredibly therapeutic for me.
If you have a hobby that has no agenda other than making your soul happy, do that.
Cuddle With a Dog
If you’re a dog person, like I am, cuddling with your dog can make a world of a difference. Lean on your pet and let them bring you that joy they bring to you every day!
If you don’t have a pet you can ask a friend to hang out with theirs or go to the shelter and give some love to those that need it like you do.
If you or someone you know needs help.
Depression (and anxiety) are on the rise during this time. Here are some resources if you feel you need an extra hand: