May is a very important and special month to me. If you didn’t know, it is mental health awareness month and I am someone who lives with mental illness. I am not a professional, I’m simply someone who lives with it and want to share my experiences and 5 tips that have personally helped me in dealing with, living with and overcoming depression.
Tip #1 – Stay in touch
Don’t withdraw from life. Socialising can improve your mood. Keeping in touch with friends and family means you have someone to talk to when you feel low.
Tip #2 – Affirmations
The power of affirmations may sound a little silly to you but the power of self talk is HUGE. When you’re only ever telling yourself negative things ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I’m ugly’, you believe that. When you’re already battling something like a chemical imbalance in your brain that’s triggering depression it’s so important to feed ourselves positivity. Positive self talk for me is a huge tip!
Tip #3 – Try to eat a healthy diet
I always feel so much clearer when I’m putting food that food that fuels me into my body, not junk food that brings my energy down.
Tip #4 – Find an outlet
For me that is music and journalling, getting my emotions out in what feels like a safe way, a healthy way. Writing down whatever I’m feeling.
Tip #5 – Seek professional help
Like I said, I’m not a professional but there are so many mental health professionals and specialists who can and will make a big difference to your journey. I’m currently working with a cognitive behavioural therapist who also seeks advice on my behalf from a psychiatrist and they have made a big difference to my journey. A lot of people feel like there’s a stigma to getting help but it really is SO helpful. Even if you’re not going through mental health, honestly, I think everybody should go to therapy! It’s amazing, feeling like you have this safe person in your life that’s so disconnected from every other aspect of what you do and live everyday, to just share everything with. It’s such a safe space and it’s amazing. If you go to somebody and it doesn’t feel like the right fit, don’t give up and feel like therapy isn’t for you, continue to search and find that right person because once you find the right fit, it will make such a huge difference! I’m also aware that there’s a lot of stigma around taking medication to help and it’s something I’ve battled with a lot. I wanted to be able to get through this without medication but ultimately if you have diabetes you don’t hesitate to take your insulin, if you break your arm you don’t hesitate to put a cast on to heal it. So why do we question what we need to do to heal our brains? We shouldn’t. So if you’re at a point where you feel like medication is a road you need to take and that’s what’s recommended by your professional team don’t be afraid, don’t be embarrassed and don’t be ashamed to take that stuff.
I really encourage you to look into different tools and resources for mental health. It’s super important that we are healthy mind, body and spirit.
Don’t be ashamed of who you are or what you are going through, reach out for support and know that ‘it gets better’, isn’t just a phrase it’s something that I say because I’ve lived it and I know that it’s true x