Mental Health Awareness Week
Mental Health Awareness Week
From depression, anorexia, bulimia and anxiety Where would I be without my struggles in this field?! In this post I talk about how I learnt to cope with depression and how you can too.
No matter how many self love workshops you do, how many daily gratitude lists you make or how many 'high vibes only' people you hang out with depression can still loom into your emotional field and squash you like a ten tonne gorilla.
Depression is not just being sad, it can be a highly complex chemical, nutritional and hormonal shit storm that flattens even the most positive of people.
Top tip... never say to anyone whose suffering from depression "what have you got to be depressed about, think of all the people worse off than you" keep reading to the end of this post to find out why this is one of the worst things you can say.
Below are my own personal tools and discoveries that I made over the years I battled with depression and how now (even to this day) I use them if I feel the dark mist creeping in.
Begin to familiarize yourself with its pattern and note down certain times of the month that exacerbate it - this can mentally prepare you next time.
Look for triggers such as lack of sleep, certain foods, emotional drains, toxic people or places and remove these from your life asap.
A lot of our triggers come from childhood wounds so looking after yourself like you would your own best friend or your own child can be key to self soothing.
Sit with the feeling of depression as if it is a small child who needs consoling, cuddling and loving. The more you try to run from it the louder it will cry, turn around and face it full on by taking the attention away from the thoughts and focusing everything you've got on just the feelings and sensations in the body. Notice that without listening to the story in the mind they are just sensations.
Remind yourself of all the times you have experienced this before, that it has been this bad in the past and it always does always pass.
Massage - physical touch is an absolute must (even a long hug will do the trick). Reflexology grounds the energy down in the body away from the mind and an Indian head massage takes the attention away from the thought stream. Massage is connection! connecting at a time when you want to disconnect can alleviate depression a million fold.
Here comes the elephant - trivilase depression and personify it, give it a colour, a name or even an animal... This makes the experience have less weight, draw a character of what depression might look like - some say Eeyore is depression personified beautifully.
Sex - this is also an incredible release of endorphins that gets the energy back into the body and of course it also makes you feel connected.
Outing it - just by speaking up and telling someone you trust 'im going through some dark feelings right now' can help to alliveate the symptoms within minutes. Sometimes just acknowledging your experience outright gives it space to be accepted within you and a lightness will come.
Physical exercise - just 10 minutes of movement is enough to feel the endorphins kicking in and shift the energy centre. Even better if you can do it outside for the vitamin D and also there are fractals patterns in nature that have been shown to alleviate depression and anxiety that you just don't get indoors.
So why is it important to never say to someone who is depressed "what have you got to be depressed about, think of all the people worse off than you"...
Well you might think this is helpful or that it will help them to snap out of it and cheer them up, but it won't... Chances are the person suffering already knows how fortunate they are and has already wracked their brain a million times to try and figure out why they are depressed to no avail, by pointing out to them that what they are experiencing makes no sense to you completely invalidates their feelings. It makes them wrong, it makes what they are experiencing wrong, it makes them feel like a terrible person for feeling so blue when they can't find any really good reason to.
If someone's depression is suicidal and they have said something along the lines of "I wish I was dead" it would be good to remind them that it is not death they truly want but a desire to just feel different.
The invisible disease that has no face is a hefty burden to experience for the one going through it and the people closest to them, but by having some coping tools, seeking the right guidance and getting professional help might just change someone's life and even save it.
I still use the Lumie light during the winter months when I can't get enough natural vitamin D (plus I use a vitamin D&ak oral spray by Better You LTD) I also supplement with a high strength dose of probiotics called Vsl#3 and am clued up about the importance of a high fat low carb diet rich in essential nutrients and amino acids, a must read of mine is The Mood Cure by Julia Ross and also learning how to balance your hormones (enough tips and tricks for a life time right?) If I've missed anything off that you have found helpful please share below as you never know who it might help.
I hope this post can help anyone suffering out there, I've been through so many of the dark cloud storms and I wouldn't wish the experience on my worst enemy. The skies do get brighter... every time... hold out for the sunshine ☀️
All my love