Mental health can completely wreck your daily routines – whether it gets in the way of your job, your hobbies or your social life. You cancel plans, stop going to the gym, give up on your side hustle. Everything seems pointless when your brain is telling you that you’re not worthy to do any of it.
When depression and anxiety have completely taken over your life, it’s hard to recognise where you are going with your life, heck, it’s hard to see what the next day will look like and whether you’ll be able to get there.
Believe me when I say, hitting the bottom isn’t the end for you. You can start to climb up again. It just takes some time to actually want to.
When you get to that point, it’s overwhelming. How can I get back to that person I was? How can I start up all the things I let go? How will I tackle all this as well as continue to look after my mental health?
Depression and anxiety makes things seem impossible. It makes small tasks look like mountains, and big tasks look like a mission out of space.
Baby steps are key, and there are things you can do that will help you feel up to the challenge. Or at the very least, make you feel a little better and a little more inspired.
- Create an inspiration board
Even if you don’t have a board, use your wall. Write down what things you would like to be doing again, or things you’ve always wanted to do, and stick it up on the wall. Write big dreams and little dreams. Write big steps to take and the little steps. Let your imagination take you to your ultimate dream life, however far away that may seem, and put it all up there for everyone to see. This kind of thing really helps get out of a funk, and really helped me feel a lot more hopeful after having a down day of depression.
- Write a diary entry, write anything
It can say anything, it doesn’t matter. As long as you are spilling out some of your pain, some of your ambitions, or what you had for breakfast, you’re helping to unload your busy brain. This helps me unclog a foggy brain, and though sometimes it’s made me cry, it’s helped me feel a little less lost in thought than I had before. Plus, depression hates it when you let things out – it prefers you to keep it all inside to stir and marinade – so show your mental health who is really in control.
- Talk to your support system
Whoever it is – your SO, your mum, your grandpa, your cousin – give them a call (or a text, if you’re a millennial). Talk about anything you like. Mental health is something that is difficult to talk about, so don’t feel pressured to discuss it. Talk about a future plan that you have in your diary, or a meet up with said support system. Talk about one of those ‘crazy’ ambitions you’ve told them about before. Put the world to rights like you used to. These sorts of conversations always lift my spirits and get me thinking about the person I used to be before depression. Though it can be sad to think about your previous self, it can remind you of what you used to want from life, and how even though you are going through a tough time now, your dreams can still be made possible one day.
- Watch an uplifting film
Lots of 80’s movies have those wonderful montages of somebody either a) getting their lives back on track, b) taking steps to win over their true love, or c) working out to becoming a super athlete. These inspiring sorts of films can help you believe that anything is possible and that you can achieve things. Even if you don’t start today, you can start one day – remember that mental health needs time to heal. Recommended 80’s films: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Footloose, Big, The Breakfast Club, Beetlejuice (read more about them here). Other films I would recommend: Legally Blonde, Hector and The Search For Happiness, Obvious Child, Chef, and all Disney/Pixar movies.
- Go for a stroll or a drive
Seeing some outside can really clear your head. Whether you would prefer a drive, where you can listen to your favourite karaoke playlist and find stress release by singing as loudly as you can, or taking a walk around the nearest National Trust-esque area, moving yourself outside will give you a little activity for the day and feel less claustrophobic within your thoughts.
- Listen to an album
What artist perks up your mood? Give them a listen. What particular album were you obsessed with when you were younger? Stick that on. What’s the name of that band that your friend keeps recommending to you? Put their top tracks on. Listening to something other than your own thoughts can be a great distraction. If the album has positive connotations and memories, that’s even better. My go-to is Miami Horror’s album All Possible Futures – there you go, a friend’s recommendation.
How do you manage feelings like these? Make sure to comment below!