About 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience some form of mental health problem every year, with anxiety and depression being the most common mental health disorders in the country. I myself have suffered and still do to some degree from depression and anxiety. I don’t mix well and get incredibly anxious around groups of people who I don’t know that well; I am also quite sensitive and if I am not aware of what is about to happen face-to-face e.g. rejection from a recreational activity, house stresses, conflict etc, then I will just cry. If I have an idea about what is going to happen or have been given the information in advance then I wouldn’t turn into a blubbering wreck; I also have those hard days where I just want to hide away from the world by staying under my duvet.
So here are a handful of ideas I have used which have helped me throughout the years and I hope they might be of some use to you.
I have always had pets whether that be Cats, Rabbits, Guinea Pigs or Hamsters – more the latter in recent years due to living in private accommodation. I love pets and not only are they cute and fascinating to watch, but they also offer companionship and can keep you going when you are having a bad day.
A big no-no to a TV in the bedroom
Never and I mean never have a television in your bedroom. I used to have one in my bedroom when at university and would lay there and watch it instead of getting out of bed. I now don’t have a television in my bedroom or have one in my house – I go to Jimmy’s house instead to watch it. This has helped me get out and about as well as conversation with someone instead of just hiding away – it is the little things that help.
Mobile phones have no place on your bedside
I am terrible for doing this, especially when your phone is just an arm’s length away from you and it is the first thing you pick up when you wake up in the morning – you reply to messages, surf the internet and then before you know it you’re playing Tetris and a hour of your day has just disappeared. Keep your phone or any other devices away from you when you are in bed or leave them in another room, so that when you get up you have to go into a different room, which will do a heap load of good for your well-being.
Find something you love
Over the last year, I have reduced my working hours and have been attempting to take up more recreational activities in my spare time e.g. theatre, arts and crafts, genealogy, days out to heritage sites, attending more festivals and music gigs etc and by doing these extra activities it has helped me get out and about, meet new people and has enhanced my knowledge and awareness of our culture which surrounds us.
Set daily goals
Just setting small goals each day can help with your health and well-being. Try going for a 20 minute walk, attempt something new at work, join a Yoga class or wash up and dry your crockery straight away after you have used them and then tick them off your list.
Living with depression can be hard, especially when you have to drag yourself out to do stuff. Not every day is going to be a good day, but don’t punish yourself if you do have a bad day, just look after yourself and help yourself come through the door and start a new chapter in your life.
HOW DO you cope with depression? I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR YOUR STORIES. COMMENT BELOW!
Pictures from Flickr except from the hamster and Fountains Abbey ones – I took them