Understand the warning signs of depression in yourself and learn the five things you need to be focusing on in order to keep your mental health strong!
Today I’m talking about a touchy subject! Depression. Now, before you stop and say “this doesn’t affect me”, please read on because the tips I share can help anyone maintain a strong mental health. Not just individuals that suffer from depression.If you suffer or have suffered from depression in the past, there are things that you and I will likely battle on a daily basis. Inevitably, these things will filter into future relationships no matter the capacity; family or friend. Yes, it’s the baggage we need to work through.
With depression you will constantly wonder how we are coming across to people for fear of upsetting or hurting them. You internalize any differences and believe that ours are the weaker of the two. Of course, we know that’s not true. Take your side for what it’s worth and compare it to the other. More than likely they are both logical.
You will also feel like there is something wrong with yourself and that you are damaged. You are NOT damaged! We live in a society that really screws us up mentally and everyone is worthy of a healthy mentality. You must work to have peace with that every single day.
With depression, you will constantly reflect and soul search to understand the why’s of how things happen. In doing so, understanding and shouldering every side of a situation can leave you feeling helpless and confused about your own personal well-being.tand and take on every side to the detriment to my personal well-being.
You will constantly hear, fight and believe your internal critic. There is a voice of truth that exists and you must begin to hear that above all of the negative.
You will believe that it is a good quality to being a sensitive and being able to understand feellings outside of your own. While this is a great quality to have, it can also hinder the beliefs of our thoughts.
You are hesitant to accept your perceptions of things. You need to have faith in your perception of things but also understand that it’s incomplete. I’ve been told the way I perceive things isn’t right and I will forever fight that.
With every bad there is a good though; you love with everything you have in the only way you know how, messes and all.
Feed Your Mind! The most crucial step is to feed your mind with positivity! With social media and news around the world, it is so easy to take in negative things around you and not even realize the impact it can have on your mental well-being. Take action to fill your social media feeds with positive and encouraging followers and friends. Read articles, books and magazines that get you out of the news that is laden with negativity. Pour music into your ears that lifts you up and doesn’t encourage you to wallow in your depression. Feeding your mind with all of these things WILL keep your depression at bay.
Feed Your Body! Today’s society it riddled with fast-food and processed foods. All of these things bring the balance of vitamins and nutrients our body needs way down. You’re body is not going to be able to function correctly without the whole, natural foods that your body was designed to consume. We are a society of fake – and fake foods is no exception.
Feed Your Soul! If you do not make a concentrated effort to provide yourself with self love then you’re soul is going to be affected and weak where depression will begin to set in. You need to be engaging in activities that bring you joy and happiness. Maybe you don’t know what that is right now since you’ve always focused on outside people to bring you happiness and that’s OK. It’s time to start figuring out what those things are and start implementing them today. Feeding your soul can look like meditation and self-care but it can also look like painting and singing. Whatever makes your soul happy, DO IT!
Feed Your Connections! I know there are times when you want to hole yourself in your home and just deal with things as you see fit. While this may be OK as you work through some hard things, you have to get out and connect with the people who bring you hope and encouragement! Be careful though – some of the friendships we have can actually be contributing to our depression. You need to take heed and assess which ones you need to deepen your connections with and maybe some that you need to step away from. Being able to have a sounding board in a friend who supports and encourages you to do the RIGHT thing is going to be key to staying mentally healthy. We are hard wired for connection and so it’s an important step in maintaining mental health.
MOVE! Lastly, get up and move! It is a proven fact that you can not be sad after having worked out or done some sort of physical activity. That doesn’t mean that moving is going to cure your depression overnight, but it will get you on the path to a healthy mindset. The “feel good” endorphins that you hear fitness people talk about are a very real thing! Get up and dance to some of your favorite music. Go for a walk around the block a time or two and invite a friend. Engage in some sort of physical activity that gets your mind on the activity at hand versus where you could be currently.
When you are depressed you must realize that you are dealing with a very sensitive, fragile version of yourself. Neglecting yourself or pushing through your depression as if it doesn’t exist is not an option. I am a proponent of self-care no matter what state my mental health is in, but I attempt to place greater emphasis on self-care when I notice depression knocking loudly on my door.
If you begin to notice any of these symptoms in yourself, it’s time to do some active work on ALL of the above areas:
Please know that this DOES NOT take the place of a licensed professional. If you are experiencing feelings of self harm, please reach out to a professional.
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