Before I begin I just wanted to say that I am in no way a professional, I don’t have all the answers ( if I did I wouldn’t suffer myself ) but I do have some ways that help to keep my low mood at bay and I really wanted to share those with you because you may be suffering from Anxiety, Depression or PND. You may be just starting out with these feelings or you may have been suffering for long enough but just haven’t found what works for you yet, and that’s the key, what works for one might not work for another so although these ways help me you may find they do nothing for you but what you will know as I have known is that anything is worth a try, after all you are here reading this because you have typed something in relation to “help with depression” into google!
More than anything I want to help so I really hope that some or at least one of these work for you.
In some way I think I’ve always struggled with mental health, for as far back as I can remember its been a part of my life, just a piece of my puzzle as to who I am. I’m Very in tune with my feeling, I’m very over sensitive and I can quite easily make a mountain out of a mole hill, sometimes its ok but sometimes it gets me down. Over my adult years so far I’ve tried a few different types of treatment.
NHS counselling: Absolutely wonderful to have as a service but sadly just not readily available as it should be, it’s already been recognised that people are just waiting too long to be seen! This sadly was my problem first time, by the time I had my appointment I had luckily somehow rectified myself however had been left months of suffering, sadly some wait too long and don’t. I also tried CBT through the NHS which I think is a great service however at this time of my life I just wasn’t ready for it, I didn’t focus enough or work well with my counsellor and then I convinced myself I was ok and no longer needed it. When I needed counselling for a third time I went private, I in no way have endless amounts of money, in fact I used some of our savings because I knew I just couldn’t wait that long again.
Private counselling: If you could afford it I would highly recommend, not only can you more or less be seen straight away but I actually got matched with the perfect councillor for me, and we made more head way in my problems than I had before.
Medication: Now I’m really fussy with medication, ill hardly take a paracetamol but at a time in my life when I honestly was screaming for a break from my own mind I accepted help from my doctor in the form of meds. My thoughts on this are each to their own, at the end of the day if you and your doctor think this is what you need then it’s what you need, it definitely gave me some clear thinking space but all meds are different and all cases are different and just because you need them doesn’t label you in any way.
Me today: So as you can see I’ve tried a fair few things, these days I still have my moments, for me a lot of the time it’s caused by hormones as they have changed since having my second daughter and when they spike I can get really low and my mind will get foggy but I always try to do include as many of the bellow in my life as these 10 tips really help to keep me steady.
My Top 10 tips:
- Bring the outside in: Here in the uk nice days can be limited which means spending lots of time outdoors isn’t always achievable. I find having some green plants in the house, real or fake can really help to cheer you up. If you can manage real plants then these are great because they release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide which helps to purify the air and eliminate harmful toxins. Bringing some green into your house can also boost concentration and productivity which as you will know we lack when we are feeling down so id highly recommend getting a few house plants!
- Exercise: So obvious! Not always our most favourite thing unless you’re a gym lover but exercise is great for boosting your mood as it releases all those feel good endorphins, it’s also a great way to clear your mind and is a great distraction from all your worries meaning that your brain can take a break. Now I’m definitely not saying you need a gym membership or that you need to spend hours working out but even something so simple as a 15 minute brisk walk can help, which moves me onto point 3…
- Get Outside: Granted no one really wants to go out once the heavens have opened but I do highly recommend making the most of those nice days. Not only will a walk class as your exercise helping to release those feel good endorphins but your also incorporating point number 1 as of course outside you have no end of grass, green plants or even trees! Whats even better is that on a sunny day you will be soaking up some much-needed vitamin D, something we lack in those winter months which can also contribute to depression. It’s no secret that feeling those summer rays on your skin can help boost your mood.
- Mindfulness: Inside or outside it doesn’t matter, I’ve found using mindfulness apps can really help to calm and quiet the mind therefore releasing some unwanted stress and tension. Even just sitting outside and learning to tune out of your own thoughts and soak up all the noises outside, the birds, the wind, the cars it can really help shift your focus and give you the ultimate sense of calm. I can promise you that mindfulness is not just for hippies ( definitely nothing wrong with hippies ) but I know some people automatically assume it’s not for them but how do you know unless you try?
- Talk: These are not in any particular order but if they were this would be number 1, no body should suffer alone. I know from past experiences that your first thoughts are of feeling like a burden or that no body will want to know but if they are a real friend or they are your family then they honesty will want to be there. If you can’t talk to a friend or family then talk to a doctor, councillor a stranger! Just talk. Talking will help you to not feel alone, it’ll help to release everything you’ve been building up inside and it can help to create a new perspective, sometimes just saying your thoughts out loud can help you find the answers. Hand in hand with that would be writing it down, another outlet to help clear your mind. You can of course just write everything and anything so long as it helps or you can get yourself a special journal, they even do self-help ones these days that have lovely mood boosting quotes and a bit more structure to them.
- Self help books: Now I know what you are thinking but some are really good, Bellow are a couple I’ve read and would highly recommend. ……………………………………………………………….1) Fearne Cotton, Calm or Happy. 2) The Secret.
- Tidy House Tidy Mind: This one is very important to me, if my house is not tidy or there’s no order to anything then my mind is blown! I try to keep on top of things most days but sometimes especially with young kids this isn’t always achievable, and I do have to be realistic in my expectations, berating myself because it’s not as it should be will not help my mood at all, but acceptance that it is what it is will, however when I can at least once a week I like to give the whole house a Tidy up putting all back in its place. I also like to live as minimalist as I can, luckily I’m the total opposite of a hoarder so this one isn’t that hard for me but I enjoy a good clear out and I like to live in a clutter free space as best I can.
- Social media breaks: It’s no secret that social media has been linked with depression, all those unrealistic shots and perfectly happy lives can reduce your self-esteem and make you feel inferior but that said social media is also an amazing platform to have and can also have benefits to help your low mood such as support pages etc or even in sharing your story to help others. However I think breaks from social media are great for clearing the mind and being more present in the moment. I regularly take breaks when I feel the need and I always feel refreshed and full or creativity upon my return.
- Eat well: This one Is not my “forte” haha, but I do try my hardest. In my discovery for what clearly makes me tick I have discovered that high sugar foods for example can really effect my mood, the sugar highs followed by the sugar lows have been linked to depression, This doesn’t mean you should no longer enjoy a sweet treat but I think everything in moderation, When we are feeling low in general it can be quite easy to fill that little hole with some comforting high sugar foods that give you that happy high for a whole 5 minutes followed by the sugar crash which then leaves you feeling worse than how you started, I have been on that rollercoaster for along as I can remember and it’s definitely one I don’t ride any more, keeping your blood sugars level will really help to keep that low mood at bay. To conclude this point, avoid those binge urges, eat wholesome food that will fill you up for longer and stave off those sugar cravings, eat all the colours of the rainbow, not only does it make your plate look cheery but all those vitamins will help with your health and your brain function!
- Sleep: I love sleep! however when I am feeling low and anxious getting to sleep can be quite tricky. The right amount of sleep however can help depression. Sadly the difficult part is that it’s a vicious circle, sleep can help depression and anxiety but depression and anxiety can lead to poor sleep. Again I’m no expert but there are things you can try. Reduce screen time before bed, nice warm relaxing baths (particularly with lavender) , pillow sleep sprays, reduce caffeine before bed and the amount of sugar consumed etc. Hopefully braking that circle will help to improve your mental health and well-being.
So they are my top tips, they may or may not work but I think there is a space in all our day-to-day lives to include some of these and just hopefully they may help, if of course you need to see a doctor then of course do because as I say I’m not a councillor, doctor or qualified at all in mental health, these are just some simple ways that help me based on my own experience.
Bellow are two videos, the first one is connected with this video and the second one is an old one so isnt the best but it talks more clearly about my battle with depression.
Enjoy and take care of you XxX