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.
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…
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!
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.
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.
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 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!
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!
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.
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.
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?
A twenty-four-year-old autistic writer and designer from Sheffield. Tattoo obsessed, animal lover, self confessed bookworm and eclectic witch.