Things I Do to Manage My Depression and Anxiety
I saw a friend’s post for #WorldMentalHealthDay where she described how she does about 20 things a day to combat her depression and anxiety and I (a) loved that and (b) realized that I have my own list of things I do on the reg for the same reason. So I decided to write mine up and now I’m sharing it.
~10 things I do to manage my depression and anxiety~
1. I go to therapy once a week.
Tomorrow I see my therapist at 10:30am and I love it. Why did it take me so long to start this? Perfectionism isn’t cute. It’s just life-disrupting.
2. I take antidepressants.
Shame kept me from taking these for a good while, but I’m glad loved ones talked me out of being ashamed. I’m much happier on them. I love being able to take joy in little things like painting my nails.
3. I try to be honest with loved ones even when it’s hard.
I try not to say everything’s fine if it’s not. I push myself to trust that my loved ones can handle me on my bad days as well as my good days. When I started doing this, I found that all the ones that mattered came through and my relationships deepened because of it.
4. I make time to write because it makes me happy.
I’m a writer and I always have at least five million passion projects going on. Six months ago I let myself switch to a freelance work lifestyle so I could have more time for passion projects and I’m so glad I did.
5. I make time for dogs because they make me SO happy.
I volunteer to dog-sit and I challenge myself to ask strangers’ if I can pet their dogs because a year ago I realized that I wanted more dog-time in my life until I actually adopt my own. They are just the greatest.
6. I strive to eat healthy, but don’t beat myself up if I don’t.
I like to eat vegan because I feel good when I do, but I also enjoy more indulgent foods when I’m out. This balance got easier when I became less of a perfectionist. Green smoothies are awesome and they’re easy with a good blender and frozen fruit/spinach.
7. I strive to go to the gym, but don’t beat myself up if I don’t.
Sure, I would like it if I worked out more than once a week, but I’m also really busy with day-jobs and passion projects, so I make it a casual thing to help manage stress. If I go this week, great. If I don’t, no big.
8. I journal for 3 pages when I’m feeling emotionally gunky.
I write out all my thoughts and feelings real messy-like. It’s freeing and gets a lot of anxieties out of my brain and on to the page. Then I can go be productive. Google “morning pages” for inspiration.
9. I take breaks from social media when I want to.
This one’s hard because I love social media but after the November election and after seeing how the news often affects me, I decided to be more touch and go when I needed to.
10. I post sticky notes in my room with mantras and reminders.
I don’t care if it’s cheesy. It really helps. My favorites are: “Good enough is good enough,” “You’ll know what to do when the time comes,” and “Slow down to move forward.”
Wanna play? What do you do to manage depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions?