Why are so many throwing it all away? I hope my story helps those out there who have walked the same road. I have suffered from depression from 1998: The combination of a traumatic delivery, my parent’s divorce, the national scandal, and my eccentricities created a perfect storm that needed to be dealt with. Over the years, I developed a collection of tools to help me cope. If you suffer from depression, I hope you find a few useful tips:
1. Get some exercise: It doesn’t have to be daily, and it doesn’t have to be sweaty or excessive. Go for a 20 minute walk, choose 3-6 sets and lift light weights for 10-15 minutes, whatever helps you move around a bit. Trust me, it makes a huge difference!
2. Find someone to talk with: Whether you rely on friends or a professional counselor, find someone to share those many moments of self-doubt and grief.
3. Eat healthy meals: Do you include a fruit or vegetable with every meal? If not, start now! Are you limiting foods that make you feel low? Are you including foods that bring you up?
4. Limit alcohol: Alcohol is a depressant and will just expand those feelings of hopelessness and grief. I know the first drink or two has the opposite effect, but trust me, limiting alcohol is a positive!
5. Embrace your passions: Do you have an activity that brings joy? Then do it! I love my music! Singing at our local Commission on Aging and performing with my local Irish girls’ band helps me forget the darker times and focus on more positive things.
6. Surround yourself with friends and loved ones: Spend the majority of your time with those who want what’s best for you. Of course, we should make time for our family. However, occasionally we have to spend time with family or family friends who are not kind; you do NOT have to devote excessive time to those who enjoy your discomfort. You have the right to head home early or pass on a get together.
7. Read The Untethered Soul: Do you have a frequent negative monologue? Read this book and learn how to cope with your “Watcher at the Gate.”
8. Have you thought about ending it all? First, take a deep breath. You have options and you are not alone. I strongly encourage you to reach out to someone and just talk, talk about what ever is on your mind, the last day’s adventures, your favorite meal. If you are not ready for that step, have you tried the steps listed above? You owe it to yourself to try. You are worth it!
Be kind to each other!