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5 Things I Do When I’m Struggling With Depression

06/07/2018

For me personally, depression has always been the mental health condition I struggle with most. 

It saps me of all my motivation, ambition and energy, not ideal when you’re trying to establish your own brand and business.

Not only that but it can literally come out of nowhere! 

At least with my anxiety I can make a logical guess when it might be a problem and plan ahead for it; going to a new place or when I’m out and about on my own are almost guaranteed to cause a panic attack of some kind. But depression isn’t like that, it just shows up whenever the hell it feels like it! 

I can be feeling absolutely fantastic, things can be going great and I should feel excited and proud about what I’ve achieved; then suddenly I end up feeling empty, worthless and like I should just give up trying. 

Occasionally it gets to the point where I don’t even what to be here anymore; not that I’d ever follow through with those thoughts, but they’re there nevertheless.

Whitby Harbour

I’ve been struggling for the past few weeks, which is why I’ve been somewhat absent from social media and haven’t been able to get as many blog posts up as I would have liked. I hate how much it impacts on my plans, and I’m genuinely worried that it could become a real problem if I do become self employed. 

I’ll be in charge of making all my own money and will need to be making the most of all the hours in the day; not laying in bed staring at the ceiling for hours at a time. 

Luckily there are a few things I can do to help on days like this…

Accept that today is going to be a bad day 

I’m one of those people who constantly has to be doing something; if not I’m a lazy waste of space who is wasting her life and will never achieve anything.

My brains words there, not mine. 

But when I’m having a bad day, its essential I actually recognise and accept that fact; otherwise I just end up making myself ten times worse! 

Whitby Abbey Ruins

Strangle, if I accept that I’m having a bad day I can actually end up being more productive than if I keep trying to force myself to work. Once I’ve removed all the pressure and put away my to-do lists, I can relax and let my mind subconsciously map out a blog post or design a new print for my store. Then when I’m in a better place mentally, I can just sit down and write or draw since my subconscious has already done all of the hard work.

Self care 

You wouldn’t expect your body to work day in day out without a rest, so why do we expect it of our brains? 

Self care is such an important part of life, but one that people seem to put at the bottom of their to do lists. Mostly because the media has a habit of portraying self care as something really fancy that you need to spend hours a day doing, when in fact it can easily be incorporated into your day to day life. 

It can be the little things like making your bed, having a long hot shower and washing your hair or getting dressed and doing your makeup. Whatever it is that makes you feel good about yourself, take some time out of your day to do it. 

Sheffield Futures Self Care Hoodie and Book

At the same time, don’t push yourself to do more that you can physically and mentally manage. It’s perfectly normal to feel lethargic and tired when you’re fighting depression, so if all you can do is pull on some comfy clothing and nap all day, don’t beat yourself up over it; be kind to yourself.

I regularly just pull on my self care hoodie, a pair of PJ bottoms and alternate between napping, reading and binge watching something on Netflix!

Grab a big cup of water and some healthy snacks 

I have a really bad habit of just snacking on junk food and not drinking enough water when I’m in a bad place. I loose my appetite and don’t even want to get up/move, which means getting up and cooking a while meal is the last thing I want to do.

To try and counteract this, I’ll force myself to get up first thing in the morning and fill up a big cup of water that I can sip from throughout the day. I’ll also make sure to grab some healthy cereal bars and dried or fresh fruit to nibble on throughout the day.

I’m not going to lie, I also grab a bar or two of chocolate while I’m at it…I mean, there are studies out there that suggest chocolate increases serotonin levels in the brain, which then helps boost your mood…no idea if it’s true or not, but thats my excuse and I’m sticking to it! 

Get a shower and brush my teeth 

I get so lethargic when I’m depressed that even doing something as basic as having a shower or brushing my teeth takes up too much energy. 

I know how disgusting that sounds but its true, not just for me but for countless other people too. Not looking after yourself is one of the most common side effects of depression, and for me personally, I think I used to use it as a for of self harm when I was younger. 

But it turns out that getting a shower is a real mood booster for me! 

Soap and Glory Face Wash | Benefit Cosmetics Boing Concealer | Blogosphere Magazine

I’ve always loved being in water and it never fails to make me feel better; no matter how bad my depression is. I also have a trick of using orange scented soaps, as the scent helps wake me up and makes me feel energised. 

Once I get out I’ll brush my teeth and do my basic skincare routine, then I can usually capitalise on the fact that I’m up and moving to get some other things done. As long as I don’t stop moving for too long, I can sometimes manage to draft out a new blog post or catch up on the housework. 

Reach out to someone

This is defiantly the hardest thing for me to do. I’ve always been a very private person and my instinct is to just keep everything to myself and solve my own problems. 

Thats probably the worst thing I can do! 

Holding everything inside just means that when the inevitable meltdown happens, its ten times worse and I have no one there to help me get out of it. So this past month or so, I’ve been working on being honest with my closest friends and actually messaging them when I’m having a bad day. It was really hard at first, but I’m slowly finding it easier to just slip a “I’m having a bad mental health day” or “I’m struggling with my anxiety/depression/eating disorder today” into the conversation. 

And surprisingly it’s actually helping me so much.

Soap and Glory Face Wash | Benefit Cosmetics Boing Concealer | Blogosphere Magazine

Knowing that they are there for me and happy to just let me vent whatever I’m feeling, without having to worry about being judged or laughed at, is so helpful. Once I get all the negativity out of my system and say it out loud, I tend to start feeling better and more positive; I can start to argue with the negative thoughts and use it as motivation to prove them wrong! 

What helps you when you’re struggling with depression?

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5 Things I Do When I’m Struggling With Depression

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49 responses to “5 Things I Do When I’m Struggling With Depression”

  1. ruthinrevolt says:

    Yet another brilliant post, Jade. I’m the opposite to you – it’s anxiety which bothers me the most – but I still have some pretty bad down days and I do a few of these, too. Like accepting it’s a bad day and not giving myself a hard time, and definitely having a shower! It usually gives me a little boost, and makes me feel less like I’ve achieved nothing.

  2. Jade Marie says:

    Thank you so much Ruth! ☺️ I think a lot of people struggle with anxiety more tbf, it can impact your life in so many different ways 😔 glad to know some of these work for you too though- I think I’d live in my shower if I could! 😂

  3. Some great tips! I’ve been working on eating more healthy snacks when depression strikes – I’m terrible with grabbing the closest pack of biscuits instead! I love that you included showering & brushing your teeth, too. I’ve found that that’s a huge factor itself!

  4. Alys George says:

    Jade, this was honestly such an inspiring post. I’ve suffered with depression for going on almost 10 years now, and so many of these ways of doing little things to help in your day, are honestly so true. Just something like getting up and having a shower, changing into different clothes can make all the difference. Not every day is going to be perfect, but as long as we keeping fighting for ourselves that’s most important part of it all.

  5. Okay wow reading this has honestly really benefitted me. “You wouldn’t expect your body to work day in day out so don’t expect it of your brain” I’ve NEVER thought of it like this before!! I suffer a lot more with the anxiety side of things but I have suffered quite badly with depression in the past and man I wish I’d had this to read then. It’s so difficult not to be hard on yourself when you’re in such a bad mental state but I’m definitely bookmarking this to help me in future. What a bloody great post, Jade!
    Alice Xx

  6. lifeofshar says:

    brilliant post. I am the same, when I am feeling a bit down/depressed I never like just sitting around doing nothing, I feel like I always have to be doing something too! Which makes me feel mentally better but physically very tried. Self care is so so important, the simple things like having a bath and like you said brushing your teeth! People think that the only self care is taking your meds but it’s not, the little things help me massively, clean bed sheets, a bubble bath, hot chocolate, soft legs, fairy lights, a book or netflix, this is what I like to do when I am feeling down in the dumps too. https://lifeofshar.co.uk/ xx

  7. Jade Marie says:

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one who reaches for the biscuits; I once had a whole packed of chocolate digestives to myself! And I wanted to keep the post as real as possible, I know that a lot of people struggle with getting up and showered when they’re depressed, but it seems to be something people don’t dare speak about!

  8. Aaliyah Hunt says:

    This year I became self employed beauty therapist before I even started my blog and at first I wasn’t earring a lot of money and that really got me down, I didn’t go out, I cried a lot and it was hard, I’ve never thought I had depression but maybe I did struggle. I feel like I’m coming of it now but it’s still hard! I hope you do find it easier to cope, this is such a really great post xx

  9. Jade Marie says:

    Thank you so much Alys! I completely agree; its the little things that make the biggest difference to your mindset. Just getting yourself up and moving can do the world of good! And that is such a good point, no matter how much we might feel like giving up, we have to keep fighting 🙂

  10. Jade Marie says:

    I’m so glad to know this has helped you so much Alice! And it’s just something thats always struck me as odd; our brains need rest just as much as our bodies do 🙂 Hopefully you’ll be able to remember that and not be so hard on yourself in the future 🙂 A lot of people have said they struggle more with anxiety (and don’t get me wrong, my anxiety holds me back so much) but I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress with that that year, whereas my depression just seems to be getting worse the older I get 🙁
    Thanks again lovely!!xx

  11. Jade Marie says:

    I completely agree! Self care is extremely important and can be all the little things that you love, it doesn’t have to be the same as everyone else 🙂 xx

  12. I love this open and honest post. Its so true that its so difficult to really find out what makes you depressed but there are so many great ways to mind yourself when you are depressed, and you’ve listed them here. Well done. Great post.

  13. Jade Marie says:

    I’m sorry to hear you felt like that lovely! Owning your own business is stressful enough, but when you aren’t earning what you want to be, its very easy to become depressed about your future. I’m glad to hear that you’re starting to come out of it, and I hope things continue to improve for both your mental health and your business 🙂 xx

  14. Jade Marie says:

    Thank you so much lovely, I always try and be open and honest on my blog! I hate it when people glamorise things like this, and being so honest can be really helpful for other people who might be struggling with the same problems!

  15. I totally agree! Well done!

  16. Alys says:

    What an honest and raw post, I appreciate you sharing this. Depression is so hard to deal with, as you said it can come out of nowhere. Self care really is vital in these situations!
    Alys xx
    https://alysjournals.com/

  17. Malou says:

    ‘Then suddenly I end up feeling empty, worthless and like I should just give up trying.’ This is so relatable and it’s still so weird every time it happens to me even though I’ve had it for years now. I find that different things help for different people, but it’s really nice to get an insight into what you do in order to cope. I really dislike brushing my teeth when I’m depressed. It’s probably why the dentist has to fix things every now and then for me… but it does help me to reach out to other people too, but only if they instinctively know what to do or not do! I also think it’s really important to just accept it if you have a bad day. Usually the night can reset it for me, because I tell myself that tomorrow is a new day. I’m sorry you sometimes even feel like you want to end it, but don’t give up. The fact you’re talking about this here and opening up the conversation for other people is really brave.

  18. Bexa says:

    This is such a helpful post Jade. I had bad depression a few years ago and found it so hard to motivate myself. Reading this back then would have been so reassuring. I agree, the little things like drinking water can make a big difference. Also showering can be a good mood booster. Fantastic post and thank you for sharing. Take care of yourself lovely <3 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

  19. Jade Marie says:

    Thank you so much Alys 🙂 I always try and be as honest and open as I can in these kinds of posts!xx

  20. This is such good advice, I suffer from depression too and when I’m down the last thing I want to do when I’m down is to put effort into my appearance or shower, but it always makes me feel a little better when I force myself to do it

  21. Jade Marie says:

    I’m sorry to hear that lovely! I wish I’d read a post like this myself when I was younger; I was so hard growing up and not knowing or understanding what I was going through- which is half the reason I wrote this! <3 xx

  22. Ada says:

    Omg, YES! I relate so much. There are some mornings where I have to force myself to shower and brush my teeth just so I can feel like I accomplished something… like, hey, I feel like crap, but at least I’m clean. As well as the healthy snacks. You have to plan around your mental health.

  23. When I’m struggling with depression. I focus on the self care aspect of things. I’ll take a nice hot bath , or relax and watch Netflix. I try not to write a day off as a bad day , because anything can change within the day. I just accept that I’m not having the best moment and I’ll eventually let it go

  24. This is such an important post Jade and I’m so glad you brought up the point about working for yourself and mental health. The last few days have been not easy for me, too and I’ve had to tell myself each morning “you have to work otherwise you won’t earn any money”. I don’t have a boss to ensure I do those things – so it’s so difficult to get my head in the right place otherwise I would have stayed in bed and watched YouTube all day. I think it’s important we take the odd day off if were feeling really bad though. I hope things start looking a bit better for you! xxx

  25. This was beautiful! I 100% agree with all of these! I need to remember that it is good for me to reach out to others during my low times.

  26. Zoi says:

    These are perfect tips. Even if it’s the bare minimum it helps and you don’t feel worthless. Depression is so hard to deal with so thank you for bringing awareness and help to the subject. It needs to be talked about more.

  27. Annie says:

    Absolutely brilliant. So clear and such helpful tips. x

  28. LaNese Harvey says:

    Thanks for sharing these tips. Some of my closest friends have suffered from depression so this helps me understand them more.

  29. This was really great 🙂
    Thank you for sharing…
    It’s a daily struggle, keeping yourself afloat when your own thoughts are pulling you down!
    Sending lots of love!

  30. I really love how you have shared your tips on depression despite it being a subject which can be very difficult to discuss. You have given some very useful tips and I found it interesting to read! X

  31. Jade Marie says:

    It can be so hard to make yourself do it, but I definitely feel so much better when I do!

  32. Jade Marie says:

    Definitely agree! Some days all I can manage is brushing my teeth and getting a shower. It’s still an achievement though and we should celebrate it!

  33. Jade Marie says:

    Thank you so much! Reaching out is so difficult but I hope you can, it really does help x

  34. Jade Marie says:

    Thank you lovely, it really does need to be spoken about more- there seems to be a taboo around it unfortunately

  35. Jade Marie says:

    Thank you lovely!x

  36. Jade Marie says:

    I’m glad my post has helped ☺️

  37. Jade Marie says:

    Thank you lovely 😊 it really can feel like you’re fighting a constant battle with your own mind!

  38. Jade Marie says:

    I’m so sorry to hear you weren’t doing well Jenny, I hope you’re feel better now and you know where I am if you want someone to talk to 😘 I definitely think it’s good to take a day or two off if you can, sometimes forcing yourself to work can just make things 10 times worse 😔 and I’m doing much better now thank you!xxx

  39. Jade Marie says:

    Thank you so much ☺️ I think the fact that it’s seen as a “taboo” subject still is one of the reasons I wanted to write the post!x

  40. George Simon says:

    Super helpful and practical post! I really appreciate that you acknowledge that it’s okay not to push yourself.

  41. Kayli says:

    Thanks for opening up and sharing. I love this post so much 💗

  42. Accepting that I’m having a bad day and not forcing myself to do all the things I do on a good day is definitely the thing that works best for me, and I also find that I then end up doing more than I would have expected! Just not expecting too much on a bad day is a real winner.

    Cordelia || cordeliamoor.squarespace.com

  43. Jade Marie says:

    I’m glad to know that helps you too! ☺️

  44. Some amazing tips here, I suffer with anxiety and panic attacks so slightly different to depression but these steps are really helpful for both. Thanks for your insights.

    Kate, http://www.okkate.com/

  45. Jade Marie says:

    I’m glad to know these tips can help you too lovely!

  46. TammyB says:

    Great post!!! My bad day was. 2 days ago…I wish I had read this then. In the middle of the episode it is hard to think rationally.😉
    Thanks for the great content

  47. Jade Marie says:

    Thank you! 😊 I’m sorry you had a bad day but hopefully this’ll help if you have another one 😊 and it can be but I’m quite lucky that my brain is logical even in the worst of meltdowns…not that it helps much 😂

  48. Thanks for sharing the things that you do to lift yourself up. This was a great post 🙂 Personally, when I fall into the jaws of depression the best thing to do is not to overthink it. Paying too much attention to negative feelings does not make sense. What you need to do is try to convert this negative energy, negative thoughts into something that benefits you more. My best writing pieces tend to be written when I am struggling with depression the most.

    Kind regards, Laura / https://laustworld.blogspot.com/

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HI THERE!

Thanks for stopping by! I’m a twenty-five-year-old digital media graduate with a passion for writing and a desire to change the way we view mental health and autism. I’ve owned jademarie.co.uk for nearly two years now, and its slowly changed from a place where I would brain dump whatever was going through my head that day, into a place where people can come for help, advice and hopefully a bit of a laugh. I do occasionally come out with a witty sentence or two. Mostly by accident.

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