Depression is terrible. I’ve been struggling with it for most of my life.
It sucks up all your energy and leaves you drained no matter if you got out of bed or not.
The pandemic has triggered the mental illness of millions. People are suffering. For some, every single moment right now is a struggle to keep afloat. Fortunately, mental wellness is being taken seriously now an disable deemed as a part of society‘s conversation.
Here are some things that have kept me going during these crazy times.
6 Reminders to Deal with Mental Health
1. You are Never Alone
Mental health has been stigmatized for a long time, but now people are starting to talk about it openly.
The secrecy was because most people would consider crazy anyone who believed they were possessed by demons. Or, call them witches and execute them.
Thankfully, we’ve evolved.
Mental health, and caring for it, has finally become more mainstream.
You’re not alone.
When I first thought that no one could possibly understand my depression, I was shocked. After seeking counseling for it, I realized that it wasn’t uncommon at all.
According to the World Heath Organization, over 264 million adults suffer from some form of mental illness, and nearly 800, 000 people die each year because of their mental illnesses. That is a staggering number.
Mental illnesses affect approximately 25 percent of the world’s total human populations. Other types of mental health issues exist as well.
The point is: Everyone suffers.
2. Having a Mental Illness Does Not Make You Worthless
Mental illness isn’t your fault because it’s not entirely within your control.
Depression and/or panic attacks aren’t something people choose to experience. They’re not voluntary.
For years, I felt like a total failure because I wasn’t happy for anything. Sometimes I even wished I would just die.
Depression isn’t something you can control; therefore, there is no clarity during depressive episodes.
Your mind gets foggy, and you can’t think straight. You’re tired and miserable, and you don’t even know why.
It’s not your fault.
Even though you didn’t choose your brains, you can still learn ways to improve your thinking skills. You can study different methods that others have used and adapt them for yourself so that they work for you.
Personally, physical activity helped me.
Taking that first step and starting off with momentum were the hardest parts for me.
When I trained, especially with another person, it distracted me from my problems and brought me a lot of relief when I really wanted it. Training was a great way for me to distract myself from whatever was bothering me at the time.
Other people who know me say that I read books, paint, learn instruments and/or video game to help them escape. However, the key is doing something.
This leads me to another point.
3. You Can Always Ask For Help
It’s never been better than now to seek out professional assistance for mental illness. There are entire professions dedicated to helping people who suffer from mental illnesses.
And you have the internet. (Or at least Google.)
There are countless apps, books, and videos dedicated to the subject. The problem lies in our own inability to be resourceful.
Don’t be afraid to speak up if you think you have a problem. You may not know for sure whether you really have a problem until someone else tells you so.
If you don’t act now, then you may never be able to take action again. You’ll always feel afraid.
Speak up. Seek help from an expert. Take immediate steps to solve your problem.
One thing that helped me was having close friends who I could confide in and talk to when I needed to. These friends would often admit that they had similar struggles, which made me feel less alone.
Once you start talking, I’ve found that most folks are happy to help out. And don’t get me wrong—it’s not always easy!
Vulnerability is often seen as something negative. However, once you share your vulnerability, you’ll realize that it was actually positive.
Will you solve all your mental health problems? Yes. It’ll take time, patience, and perseverance – but you can do it! You’re worth it.
4. You Will Have Bad Days (And That Is Ok)
“One bad week doesn’t necessarily indicate anything negative about your life.”
Don’t conclude that one bad day or even a few days means you’re doomed. It’s not true.
As long as I know that I am safe and comfortable, then I will not grow.
Some things we do don’t define us. Others do.
We mustn’t put too much emphasis on the circumstances. On some occasions, we may feel sad. Sometimes, we might shout, scream, or rant. Reacting in such a fashion doesn’t make us useless.
It happens sometimes, but it won’t last forever.
You’re going to have bad days sometimes. It may be a week. It could even be a month.
Remember that it’s part of the whole experience. The good, the not so good, the ugly, the unexpected, and the unexpected all come together to create an amazing experience.
We cannot ever be “everlastingly happy,” and we won’t always be “perfect.” So don’t aim for that. It’s just an illusion.
The person who pursues an illusion never catches it. Eventually they realize it was just a delusion.
Life isn’t perfect; it has its ups and downs, but no one can avoid them completely.
5. Small Wins Lead to Bigger Wins
We’re so busy doing things every single minute that they just keep piling up until we don’t even know where to begin!
It’s easy to become overwhelmed when we see so many things left undone. But if we take time out to celebrate our successes, even though they may be relatively minor, then we’ll feel better balanced.
The scales are so heavy tipped in the direction of what’s not there and what hasn’t been achieved. We only feel what’ s lacking. Not what we already have.
My ambitions are high; they’re backed by a strong drive to reach them.
Celebrate your wins! You’ve accomplished so much already. Don’t let your past failures define who you are today. Learn how to love yourself, and learn how to forgive others. You’ll feel better about yourself, and you’ll make new friends.
It was foolish for me to think that anything I did would be insignificant. Every step towards my dream is worthy of praise.
Do you think you’re similar to the younger version who I used to be?
Celebrate your successes! Acknowledge your efforts and pat yourself on the shoulder for a job well done!
If you don’t start taking the time to develop yourself now, you’ll have a miserable journey. You won’t feel any confidence at all if you don’t spend the time to develop yourself.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be big wins. Small ones are just as important.
Did you get up from bed today? That‘s a win.
Did you make your room? That’s an extra point.
Did you brush your hair? Exercise? Take a shower? Go to work? Those are all victories.
It doesn’t really matter if they’re trivial, but choosing to go to sleep when we don’t want to is huge.
We tend to overlook the times when we exerted self-disciplined effort. Then, we don’t feel proud of ourselves for doing so because we don’t have “the goal” completed.
Have a gratitude journal. This will help you drastically.
- Find yourself a nice notebook: Go to a local bookstore and buy one. Take it home and open it. Read through the pages. You’ll probably find something that resonates with you. Keep reading until you find what feels right. Get it.
- Write down three things you’re grateful for today. They can be big or small; they can be something you’ve already accomplished or something you hope to accomplish soon. You might also consider writing down one thing you’re grateful for about your life right now.
- Create a scheduled time to write. Note down your thoughts about the things that happened during the course of the work week. You may find that writing down these events helps you remember them better later. Also, if you keep a daily journal, you can reflect on how you felt throughout each event. By doing this, you’ll be able to notice patterns in your emotions and get an idea of whether certain situations make you happy or sad.
- Write down what you’re grateful for and why. Each day, I’ll write about 10 things I’m grateful for and why I’m grateful for them. I’ll start each entry with “I am so grateful…” followed by my thoughts. Then, I’ll end with “…because.” For example: “I am so grateful for my health because I know how quickly life can change.” Or, “I am so grateful that we have such great friends because they help us through good times and bad.”
6. You are Important
Your ego is a deceptive demon.
It will feed you lies that you aren’t:
- Pretty enough
- Good enough
- Talented enough
- Rich enough
- Tall enough
With the ego, there’s always something else you could be doing better.
It’s the nagging feeling inside your mind that says you “should’t” be where you are right now. Your ego is telling you that you shouldn’t be where you are because you should be further ahead than you are.
Ego compares you to other people frequently.
Stop. Breathe. Realize that you’re not where you want to be. That’s okay. The story is just beginning. You matter.
Instead of saying “You should”, say “Could“.
Whenever your ego chides you for not having something, say instead “I could…”
Here’s an example:
I should be in a relationship becomes I could be in a relationship.
I should be rich becomes I could be rich.
Replace any of your “Shoulds” with “Could.” Doing so will immediately shift your position, empower you, and help you achieve your goals.
“Should” creates pressure. “Could” creates power.
OK, I understand. Mental illness can be really tough.
However, not being able to feel helpless doesn’t mean you’re powerless. You can take action to get back your strength.
Mental health issues are not something to feel ashamed about. They’re just part of life. It doesn’t mean anything bad about you. And even diamonds have imperfections.
When you’re struggling, keep these six things in mind:You are not aloneIt’s not a person’s fault if they’re mentally ill.It’d be good if you asked for help.It’s normal to feel down sometimes.Celebrate the small winsYou matter
They’ll remind you that you’ve got things under control even if you feel like you’ve lost everything. Use them when you need them most.
Don’t be quiet. Don’t try to deal with these things yourself. Get some support, and remember that you’re important.