Depression is a reality. We all go through it in some form or the other. At times we can recognize it and at other times people cannot recognize it and end up living with it throughout their lives. Thinking that this is how life is supposed to be lived. Depression is a silent enemy who does not differentiate much. Be it rich or poor, male or female, west or east it goes everywhere. There could be multiple reasons for depression including medical. The best advice is to accept you are suffering from it and seek help with counsellers, psychiatrist etc. But there are times and phases where you cannot get any help. Not even a friend to talk to. The depression can be a normal happening in your life- it comes and goes.
(Please note- I don’t think anyone can be happy all the time or think or feel positive every moment. It is just not possible. And it is very much okay to feel depressed once in a while. That is being human. The technology around us makes us feel that we are the only ones going through this but the reality is different. Everyone feels but no one talks about it. So please do not go on someone’s Instagram or FB, What’s app status and pictures and start comparing your life. The real life is very different- at times happy, at times boring, and at times just depressing. But it is okay).
You just need someone to talk to and they may not be a full-fledged doctor- just a friend, your family or someone you are comfortable talking too. What do you do then? Sometimes it is just you and your depression.
Dealing with your own depression if it is not chronic or intensive is doable. You would just need to follow through a process. You will not be able to follow the “process” at times but that is okay.
Below is something I would do to fight off those days. Don’t let them win.
- Exercise– What usually happens when you feel depressed is that you don’t feel like getting of the bed. That is your first reaction. Force yourself out. Do not think of anything else in that moment. Your only task is to get out of the bed and go for a walk or exercise outside in nature.
2. Always remind yourself not to binge. When people feel depressed either they overeat or do not eat at all. Focus on eating normally. No too much sweet/sugars, absolutely no pizzas, cold drinks, energy drinks or any fast food items.
3. Eat healthy– We like it or not the fact is our mood, behavior, and emotions are a function of some chemicals inside our brains. If we can naturally increase chemicals that help us stay stress-free we should do that. Exercise is one of those ways. Eating junk will take you the other way.
4. Faith– Personally, we all need an anchor. We all need to have faith in something- it could be a god, yourself, any other higher power, future or anything but there has to be something. It is challenging to live without faith. So have faith in something. If you don’t have it in you then develop.
5. This one is hard and it is continuous work. You have to assume your responsibility. Your own ownership. And this has to go deep inside you. If you need to hammer this on to you please do that. It will be the best thing you would do to yourself. Become independent. Support yourself, manage your finances, buy yourself a house (if that makes you feel independent), take your family out on vacation. Get that feeling of freedom, freedom from self-sabotage.
6. Move out. Don’t stay at home. A change in environment is very important. The same setting may induce strange feelings and pull you down.
7. Visit places of power. For example, I believe in god. So when I feel low in life I would go to a temple. If you are an atheist you can try spending more time with nature.
8. This is probably the most powerful one. Help someone. Push your self to go out and help someone you don’t know. Maybe buy a kid something, buy food for the hungry, feed a stray dog, go to an old age home and spend time with elderlies, go do something for someone where you know they cannot repay you. Give your time to them. I don’t know why but this has a healing power. The act of doing something for someone without expectation.
9. Learn a skill. Learning is an important aspect of growing. And growth is the essence of life. Whenever you learn a new skill your mind gets rejuvenated and stronger. Your mind is also a muscle the more you use it the stronger it gets. And hence less prone to depression and stress.
10. Get bored. It is fine if you are getting bored. Boredom is also a part of life and we should accept it. Most of our issues arise because we waste a lot of time in fighting the reality. The best way is to accept the reality and then figure out a way to deal with it.
I decided to accept it and write about this on a public platform because I go through these phases and I know how painful they can be. Usually, we don’t talk about them but I think it is okay to share and important to speak about them. What I have talked about are the things I do to get myself back on track. I have to push myself to do them but once I start, I feel better and more in control.
Hope this helps.
Originally published at medium.com