Depression is hard. It overwhelms. But you can fight back. You’re not powerless. You can combat the negative thoughts running through your head on repeat. Here are Eight Things to Remind Yourself When You’re Depressed.
Depression Isn’t Forever
When depression gets hold of you, it steals so many of the good things that make you, you. You don’t enjoy the things you usually enjoy. You don’t want to see the people you care about. Enjoyment slides into obligation. Motivation to apathy. Who is that person looking back at you from the mirror? You… this must be who you really are. Sad. Small. Useless. You’ll never be that other person again. The one who walks in sunshine and weathers storms…
But you won’t always be stuck in a black pit, or a gray world.
The sun always rises. Seasons change. It may take awhile, but depression isn’t forever.
Healthy Habits Make a Difference
You’re not one-dimensional, and your approach to mental health shouldn’t be, either.
Mind. Body. Soul.
Depression isn’t all in your head, but it’s important to fight it there. Think about what you’re thinking about. Try to rein in those negative thoughts that swirl before they overwhelm.
If you need medication, take it. Do your best to get enough sleep. Drink plenty of water. Get up and MOVE. Exercise is an amazing antidepressant.
Faith is important. Relationships are important. Creativity is important.
Take Your Medication
Yeah, I mentioned that above, didn’t I? When struggling with a mood disorder, it’s easy to believe that what you choose to do, or not to do, won’t really make a difference. You already feel like crap, right? So, why bother?!?
If you’ve been prescribed medication to help with your depression and it doesn’t seem to be helping, you may need an adjustment, but don’t just quit. Medication isn’t perfect. You may still have downswings and upswings on the best medication. Talk to your doctor.
The goal isn’t to be happy; it’s to think clearly.
There’s a Time to Rest
There are times when your next breath, and the one after it, seem they will take more energy than you have. Some days a shower, or brushing your teeth, or making dinner are too much. Sometimes your mind and body just need a break.
…and a Time to Fight
There are times when staying in bed is okay. But it’s not okay to give in and give up. Sooner or later, you’re going to have to take responsibility for the next step. And it may be a small one. At least it seems small, but it’s a big deal for you and your progress back out of the pit.
I know, I know. When you’re depressed hearing that can just seem like Blah, blah, blah. Whatever. But truth is, you do matter, however you feel about that fact.
You have a purpose. Whatever it looks like, it’s important. And there are people who care about you.
My understanding of the value of each person is based in my Christian faith. People, each and every one of us, are created in God’s image, naturally endowed with worth, dignity, and purpose. You are unique, and your uniqueness was planned with a purpose.
What ties all these things together is the need to remember what is true.
Because depression lies.
I’m not good enough. Nobody cares. Things will never get better. I can’t get through this. They’d be better off without me.
Depression doesn’t last forever. You need to take care of yourself. You have worth.
It’s Okay to Be Broken
No one is perfect. No one. I have a glitch in my brain. And it has thrown me into darkness so black I was sure there would never be light for me again. You, too?
I’ve come through, and you will, too. I remind myself of all these things, and try to do them consistently, to keep myself away from the edge of the pit. You can, too.
Beating ourselves up because we don’t feel happy enough, or good enough, or whatever enough, won’t help.
Get up. Brush yourself off. Take the next step. And give yourself the same grace you’d give your best friend if they were struggling.