The Webster definition states – a state of feeling sad: low spirits: melancholy specifically: a mood disorder that is marked by varying degrees of sadness, despair, and loneliness and that is typically accompanied by inactivity, guilt, loss of concentration, social withdrawal, sleep disturbances, and sometimes suicidal tendencies.
Depression looks different for different people. It can come in all shapes and sizes. I have never been clinically diagnosed but I have experienced the days where you cry and you don’t know why. The days where all you want to do is stay in bed. The baby blues. The overwhelming feeling of not knowing when things are going to get better. Not every person may have had that same experience but at some point everyone has experienced some of those feelings in that definition.
At what point are people considered depressed? To be diagnosed with depression, you have to visit a doctor, they have to take tests and do evaluations. What happens when you finally take the step to meet with a doctor, but by the time your appointment comes around, you are already feeling better? What if you are one of those people that just continues to push through? You push through the sadness and loneliness because, well, you have people depending on you.
While you may not know someone directly who is suffering from depression, I am almost positive you know someone who knows someone who is suffering. Mental health is sometimes an issue that is overlooked, a topic that is not readily discussed. Be sure to check on your friends, you never know what kind of internal battle someone else is fighting. A simple – “Hey, I am thinking about you, hope all is well’ – goes a long way. We get so busy and wrapped-up with our daily lives that sometimes we forget others. We can all do better about sharing some love, me included.
Some days for me are harder than others. Then you have those days that are just simply amazing. I want more of those days. Below are some tips and tricks that I practice to help me, these may not work for you, but it never hurts to give them a try.
- Meditating – this is something new that I started about two months ago. I am still learning and I don’t always get it right, but it helps me push all the worries and anxiety away and clears my head. I try to do this every morning after I get up.
- Journaling – this is the second thing I do in the mornings. Any thoughts from yesterday, any lingering worries, anything that I need to get out, goes down on paper. At the end, I also include what I am working on for the day that needs to get done. This helps give me some direction on what I am doing and helps me stay on track to hit my goals.
- Learning new things – I love learning, so I am always either reading or taking some online course to continue to educate myself
- Listening to Music – music has always soothed my soul. Depending on what mood I am in, I know exactly what music to play that helps me.
- Sleep – this one is hard sometimes, but I always try to get a good night’s sleep. That may include me going to bed early some nights, but sometimes that is the best thing for you.
Some other things to try that may help include:
- Creating a routine, doing things you enjoy, setting attainable goals and then rewarding yourself for hitting those goals, spending time in nature, volunteering, trying something new, exercise, and watching what you eat and drink
We are all different, while one thing works for you, it won’t always work for someone else. Take the time to learn what works for you, take the time to figure out what you enjoy and do more of that. Know that it is okay to struggle and that you are not alone. Life is meant to be full of joy and happiness, don’t miss the amazing blessings that God gives us everyday.
Check on your friends and share some love, we could all use a little more love.