Well intentioned ideas are not always what works
When you don’t suffer from any mental health issues, like that of depression, it can be very easy to have “helpful” advice and well-intentioned interventions you may think will alleviate someones’ depressed mood. Yet the truth is there is no steadfast or correct answer, every person experiences depression very uniquely. Some respond to medications and therapy/counseling great, while others it doesn’t work. Some have found that a change in diet and adding exercise have helped , while, again with others it did nothing.
Whether it is just the beginning of the new year and you want to take healthy and proactive steps to improve your mental health, or wanting to find new ways on how to better manage your depression, the below may be helpful.
A recent article from Cosmopolitan, shared five pieces of advice on depression that the author, Kate Lucey, found useless for herself as being someone who has been diagnosed as having depression.
- Utilize the times when you feel less bad
- Communicate with family, friends, loved-ones that depression is a mental health illness
- Get a plant / add some greenery to your world
- Follow positive social media accounts that make you happy
- Allow yourself to feel however you need to feel
I found that each piece of advise above to have a positive or helpful impact on my own mental health.
It is important to first acknowledge the times that you feel bad, awful, depressed, or however your mood declines. Whether that is physically writing it down in a journal or to yourself, making a point to note your change is mood is key. Once you become routinely more conscious about your mood change, you can better utilize the times when you feel OK.
Allowing yourself to feel crummy is extremely helpful as well. It seems common for many, including myself, to try to block out or try to “snap out of it”, when really all that is doing is further sabotaging your ability to actually accept your depression and allow yourself to emote ( a good cry can prove carthartic).
Holistic is a fuzzy term but the whole person really does matter
Adding some green to your life has proven to help mental health. If you are able to get plants in your home, bringing in some greenery is a very good idea. If you have a crazy kitty that decides to eat any plants you bring, I found walking around the neighborhood and focusing on the green plants, trees, flowers, and overall beauty of nature, takes me out of my head and makes a difference at the end of walks.
Lastly, increasing more of things that makes you feel good and less alone is great. Most of us are still living pretty restrictive lives due to pandemic, so social media, or streaming is a large portion of my life. I find when following funny, cheesy, or positive content help to lift up the spirits.
If you are struggling with mental health and need support here are a few resources: (National Alliance of Mental Health/ NAMI.
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