Ok so I disappeared yesterday because of a pretty crappy low (yay, depression). Now I’m back and I’ve been looking after myself for the past 2 days now I want to share 10 ways to help when you’re on a low. These help for me, hopefully they will for you as well!
1. Take a shower or bath
When I used to have a REALLY bad low, before I was diagnosed my Mum would always send me to the shower to calm down. Now when I have a low it’s always the things she recommends first. I don’t know why but water has always made me feel calmer.
2. Be comfortable
When you’re feeling particularly rough you do not need to wear super tight skinny jeans. Today and yesterday were comfy jumper and jean days. Also at night make sure your comfortable with some good PJ’s and an early night, even if you can’t sleep being able to relax will help.
3. Take some time to think about what YOU need right now
Do you need sleep? Do you need to go for a walk? Be around friends? Work out what it is you want and need to make yourself feel even a little bit better. I’ve had plenty of days where for the morning I had to be alone but later my friends made me feel a lot better. It’s a personal thing and taking baby steps if you need to.
4. Talk it out or write things down
Some of my best songs have come from horrible moments. Writing or talking, generally just getting it out of your system is healthy. Of course there are other ways too, some people do art or sport, whatever works for you.
5. Eat some good food
Screw the diet. Comfort food is the best. For me a bit of chocolate and a good cup of tea can really make all the difference.
6. Get some natural light
10 minutes of sunshine is proven to boost Serotonin levels, even if it’s overcast try and go outside. I know what it’s like when all you want to do is lie in the dark and forget everything. When I feel like that and just want to be alone I walk to my local shop, it only takes 5 minutes and I don’t talk to everyone
When I used to hear this I used to get irritated, why if I didn’t want to get up would I want to exercise? I know by now that just being around the horses lifts my mood and going riding is great to make me have a more stable mood, it gives me something else to think about. I can’t ride every day though, so Sunday I decided to head to the pool (the only other exercise I can stand) I only done half an hour but felt much better.
8. Put yourself around people who make you feel happy
It usually takes me a little while to get to this part. For the first part of my lows I normally want to be alone but gradually I’m ok being around people. Moving in with Ali was a hugely positive part of getting better since moving to uni, sometimes I’ll see friends or text my mentor to see her but I almost always phone my Mum to talk things over. Support is always key.
9. Have a little treat
If I’m sad and go wandering I usually buy myself a little something partly to cheer myself up and partly because I left the house, because sometimes that’s the absolute worst part. It’s usually just something small, a bar of chocolate, cupcake or a book, whatever money I have spare really.
10. Don’t be so hard on yourself
Everyone has good and bad days, depression or not. Don’t blame yourself if you’re out for a day or even longer, just work through as best you can and don’t beat yourself up!