We all have those days. You know the ones, you can just sense…something. It’s hiding around the corner, creeping up when we turn our backs to it, watching over our shoulders ready to pounce when we are least expecting it. Depression has a way of creeping up when we least want it to. But sometimes, the monster isn’t always as scary as we first thought,as long as we have the tools to cope in the first place. And there are a few simple things we can all do that can make those days a little less scary to deal with.
Throw in the Towel.
Imagine trying to ride a bike with a flat tyre. Each time it is out of air, pumping it up, only for it to deflate again a few moments later. It all seems a rather pointless task. Sometimes, you are better off getting off the bike and accepting the status quo rather than fighting a battle that we can’t win. When depression has a full tight grip on your very being, it is very much the same. Sometimes we need to stop re-inflating ourselves with pull-yourself-together’s and what-is-wrong-with-me’s and just…be. Take a deep breath, and surrender. It is okay to be depressed. It is okay to feel emotional. It isn’t self indulgent, just honest.
It is rather an unspoken notion, and one that can be frowned upon – especially to those that often spend so long tendering to everyone elses needs before their own. But -it is okay to sit back and say “okay, what do I want? What do I want to do?”. It might be something simple, like abandoning the hoovering for a day and catching up on some trashy TV. It might be reading the book gathering dust on the shelf, or visiting that café you walk past every day, and vowing you will go in – one day. Treat today as that “one day” – and live it. You should do something every day just for you, that puts a smile on your face.
Gather the Troops.
Depression has that funny way of becoming so self consuming that everything and anything becomes so inconceivably overwhelming for just one person alone. But that is the thing – you don’t need to face it alone. Friends, family, Facebook, Twitter, Support Groups, Helplines, if I have learnt anything over the past four years, is that there is always SOMEONE there, even when you least expect it. You are never alone, you just need to look in the right places. Avoid those that speak in clichés and clever catchphrases, and opt for those that will really care.
It’s Okay to Cry.
I think it is as British as queuing or complaining about the weather, but we do have a knack for that “keep calm and carry on” façade, even when it is the last thing we want to do. The problem is with those ‘fronts’, is that they are plastered and covered and patched up so many times, it becomes a mish mash of nothingness, before it crumbles completely and leaves you even more vulnerable than before. Sometimes its okay to just let go and cry. When you release all that tension and emotion you do feel a little better afterwards. And the world is still standing, still turning. Carrying on as normal. A few little tears won’t change a thing on the outside, just makes you feel a damn sight better on the inside.
Just Say No.
It is a vicious circle that we all find ourselves in at one point in our lives or another, compromising ourselves to keep others happy, neglecting our own well being as a result. We give in to others, for fear of what the consequences of the “no, thank you” could entail. This results in feeling empty and resentful to others, feeling even more depressed than we begun.
Taking back a little control is terrifying, but well worth it in the end. Much like anything, practice makes perfect. Start with the little things, like someone else making the cup of tea for a change, or saying no when you are offered that second biscuit (okay, bad example. Biscuits are always a yes area!) but you get the idea.
Remember that you, as a person, are entitled to say “no thank you” to anything you don’t wish to undertake if it doesn’t feel right for you. Remember that in order to change the way you feel about a situation, the only way of changing the cycle is to start the change with you.