With the year coming to a end, it’s only natural to reflect back on all that has happened over the last year. Or in my case, all that hasn’t happened… If we’re being honest with each other (which we def are) I spent a good amount of the year on the couch in my pjs… crying, snacking, and binge watching TV series after series because I am depressed AF. And now everyone is busy decorating for Christmas and planning for Q1 of 2018 while I’m over here all stoked that I actually found it in me to put on some pants to go to Whole Foods and get some more coffee this morning.
I’ve always been pretty depressed. I started taking anti-depressants when I was 12. Then somewhere around 17 shit REALLY hit the fan and it kind of didn’t stop until last year. In those 8 years or so, I was too amped up in fight or flight mode to even think about depression. I mean, I saw a therapist for most of that time but I never really thought I was depressed. Then once I moved to Colorado last year, things settled down and the depression really settled in.
Related: I Have Mental Illnesses & It’s Okay
Somewhere around May to June-ish I stopped running my business. I told all of my advertisers I’d be taking two months off.. which actually turned into six. I just could not use my brain to think. And even if I could… I just didn’t have it in me to do any work. The financial goal I set for the year no longer mattered. I couldn’t care less if I could afford to shop, eat, or live. I just wanted to melt in my bed and stay there forever.
Buttt obvs that’s not very realistic because rent.. bills… and life… so here are 9 ways to deal when you are depressed AF.
9 Ways To Deal When You’re Depressed AF
1. Just call it what it is…
But like maybe a touch less dramatic? Sure… talking openly about your depression and how down you’re feeling might make some people feel uncomfortable but I’m gonna let you in on a little secret… You don’t want those people in your life anyways.
When I have really bad dark days, I call it what it is. I tell my boyfriend my depression is bad, my suicidal idealization is high, and that’s what he’s working with for the day (or week… or month…) soooo likeeee pick and choose your battles here babe #justsaying. In my experience, calling it the way it is just makes managing the bad days a little easier.
2. Go easy on yourself
Or just full on quit your job and deem every day “No Pants Day”. Whatever works for you! JK, JK. Kind of. But seriously, if you have days where you literally just can’t even… just don’t even. Give yourself permission to just take it easy. Recognize that there is something going on in your brain beyond your control and if that hinders your ability to finish your to-do list, or learn a new language, tame a mountain lion, or even just getting around to doing the laundry… it’s a-okay! Which brings me to my next point.
3. Buy a ton of extra underwear
Because even people who aren’t depressed don’t want to do laundry soooo imagine trying to get that ‘ish done when you’re depressed AF. Buying extra underwear gets you a little extra time between loads. #justbeingreal
4. Get support and use it
You need people in your corner for those dark days. Whether it’s family, friends, therapists… figure out who your supports are and have their contact info on hand and ready to use. AND ACTUALLY USE IT!
yoga things that feel good
I’m partial to yoga but some people just can’t get into it. I get it. Find something that makes you feel good and try to push yourself to do it even on your super down days. On days that I feel too down to make it to a class, I at least try to spend a little time doing some light stretching and/or yoga at home… which is basically just crying in childs pose… whatevs!
6. Learn something
And I’m not talking about rocket science here people. Just take something on that’s a little bit of a challenge to keep that fire inside you burning on those days when you get super super down. For me, it’s handstands. It’s a challenge that I can work towards every day… even on the days where my brain is totally turned off and I’m 100% checked out… I can still work towards a handstand. Watercoloring, knitting, baking from scratch, and sweet dance moves are a few other things you can try if handstands aren’t your thing.
7. Communicate what you need
Contrary to what our brains trick us into believing when we’re depressed, there are people around us who love us, care about us, and want to do whatever they can to make us happy or at least feel a little bit better.
My boyfriend has been talking about quitting smoking since he picked it back up again when he went to visit Florida last March buuuutttt it hasn’t quite happened yet. Then last week I communicated that him smelling like cigarettes reminded me of my dad which was making me uncomfortable and push him away and he quit cold turkey right then and there. Just communicate.
8. Leave the house at least once a day
Gross, I know. I don’t wanna either buttttt we gotta! It’s so good for us to get out of the house and interact with others at least a little bit. And if you have to leave your house for work well then you’re already better at this then me and just stop bragging about it, okay?? JK but if you work from home like I do… getting out of the house once a day might be a serious challenge. Go to an exercise class every day, a coffee shop to do a bit of work, or even grocery shop one day at a time to keep you getting out of the house.
9. Make a list of everyone and everything you love and refer to it often
It’s probably best to formulate this list on a day that you are feeling somewhat okay… but make a list of everything and everyone that you love… things you love to do… eat… smell… touch… write it all down and keep it with you for those dark days. Pull it out and read it over and over and over whenever you are having a hard time or feeling hopeless.