Millions of people worldwide are impacted by depression, and this epidemic only becomes worse the less we talk about. Ending the stigma around mental health requires openly talking about our struggles, and remaining authentic on our journeys.
If you, or someone you know is going through depression, anxiety, or another mental health struggle- please know that you are not alone. There are so many people out there who want you to know that you matter, you are loved, and this world needs you.
Most cases of depression require support and treatment from a professional, however, there are steps that we can take to decrease the weight that we carry. Often, self care can feel incredibly difficult to engage in when you are struggling with mental health so it’s important to create self care activities that are easily accessible to you, even in those low moments.
Read on to explore gentle and easy self care ideas for depression, anxiety, and rough mental health days:
- Change your thoughts and your environment. When we are in the midst of a challenging mental health day, we may have trouble thinking positive thoughts. Often, depression can take over and cause our thoughts to spiral to darker and darker places. In moments like these, when you can’t generate your own positive and loving thoughts- it's time to get them from somewhere else! Put on headphones and choose a calming affirmation track (like the many we have available within our courses, or within the affirmation studio) and do your best to just listen. It can be so powerful to have uplifting and loving thoughts in the background of your mind when you’re down, and this method is incredibly low effort. I also recommend changing your environment while you listen- consider taking a short walk outside, enjoying a bath, or simply sitting somewhere cozy where you can gaze out the window.
- Take your mind off of life with a positive movie, show, podcast, book, or magazine. It is absolutely okay to distract yourself from these difficult emotions and experiences. While this self care idea will not cure you, it can certainly help to comfort and soothe you while gently shifting your mindset to something more uplifting. When engaging in this particular self care activity, it is very important to ensure that the content you choose to consume is overwhelmingly positive, inspiring, and uplifting. Make a commitment to steer clear of content with violence and negativity- your subconscious will thank you!
- Decrease social media time, and increase outside time. Depression can be exacerbated by the consistent use of social media and tech; it can also be reduced by spending time in nature. When you’re feeling depressed, (though it may be hard), commit to staying as screen-free as possible. If you’re itching for entertainment, take yourself outside and simply focus on your senses. What does the sun feel like? What colors do you see? Is there a breeze? Birds singing? Consider basking in the sun if available, taking a walk, or even trading in social media for real life connection- you can phone a friend, or even schedule a short and sweet meet up with a supportive loved one.
It is true that depression can make self care challenging. To navigate this as best as you can, consider creating your own self care list for moments when you’re feeling really low. That way, you don’t have to think about it- you can simply choose one activity a day to bring a little light back into your life.
Above all: be brave, be strong, and persevere. You are here for a reason, and this too shall pass.
DEPRESSION/ CRISIS TEXT LINE USA: Text HOME 741741
CRISIS/ SUICIDE HOTLINE: 988