I have been depressed for so long now. It’s been years really. Ever since I was diagnosed with bipolar I have been struggling with depression. It comes and it goes. Some days will be better than others. I will feel a sense of happiness and contentment, and then out the blue, it will hit me a sense of depression and unhappiness.
Being bipolar I am used to the change in moods. It is cyclical and I always feel “different.” This contributes to me wanting to stay at home and do nothing really except blogging or meditation. I don’t know how to describe how I feel when I write, but it is a feeling of calm and relaxation. I really feel like I can get in a “zone” and get a lot accomplished.
Night times are the best time for me. I seem to just come alive at night and I am very active. No wonder I suffer from insomnia. But pretty much ever since my bipolar diagnosis 6 years ago I have been a night owl. There’s just something about the night time which soothes me.
So I am posting this post about depression so you can have some strategies to use if you are feeling depressed. I am just going to write about what works for me because we are all different, and what works for me might not work for someone else, or it might help, you never know.
What I do when I am depressed is this:
- Writing and Journalling – this is by far one of the best things I recommend to do. When you are bipolar or depressed often there is a jungle of thoughts floating around in your head. Getting these thoughts out of your head and onto paper will relieve any stress you may be feeling. I find blogging and writing articles to be therapeutic because it allows you to reflect on how you are feeling and also it just allows you to express yourself. My favourite site to write on is Medium. They have great writers from all around the world on there, and I pick up ideas from the site.
- Sit in the sun (barefoot) – when I feel depressed I like to go to my favourite spot in the garden, it’s a seat that faces towards the afternoon sun. I will sit there in the sun for at least 30 minutes (depending on the time of day) and just soak up the sun. The sun is great for Vitamin D and many people with depression lack this particular vitamin. The reason why I say I sit in the sun barefoot, is the fact that putting your feet on the earth and connecting to the soil is very healing. It’s called ‘earthing’ and your feet absorb the negative electrons from the earth which brings relief to mental health conditions. It’s not just grass and soil but is also concrete.
- Take a Hot Shower – I always use this as part of my go to. I like to get out my smelly shower gel and use it on my body. The nice smell or fragrance of the shower gel is a welcome relief and it feels nice to use it on my body. I like to pray/meditate in the shower and reflect a little. I use chemical free, preservative free, shampoo, conditioner and shower gel. I think using as little chemicals as possible is best for your body.
- Wash my clothes/clean my sheets – There is nothing better than the feeling of clean sheets when you go to bed at night. I try to wash clothes and sheets regularly and just keep things clean. Nothing is more stressful than having smelly clothes or bed. Keeping stuff clean gives me a sense of control and I sleep a lot better.
- Talk to someone who cares – the act of talking to someone brings a lot of relief. Just knowing that someone is there to talk to brings peace of mind and a sense of relief. You can talk to someone close or even a stranger. It doesn’t really matter, the fact that you are expressing yourself, your emotions and getting things off your chest is the main thing.
- Go for a walk – I must admit I haven’t been exercising that much lately, but I know when I do I feel better. Exercise is great for releasing endorphins or feel good chemical into the brain. The different scenery, plants, trees at the local park is often what your body needs during a depressive episode. The fresh air is also good. Try going to a river, or beach for the best effect on your mood.
- Take supplements – I take Ashwagandha to help particularly with my stress and anxiety. This herb is known as Indian ginseng and brings welcome relief to depression and other symptoms. Take a high dose supplement of Ashwagandha if you have mental health issues as it is more effective. I also take Fish Oil supplements and magnesium. They both are really beneficial for depression (and also bipolar). I generally take my supplements in the early afternoon so that they will help when I have to go to sleep at night. However, you can take them in the morning too so they help your mood throughout the day.
- Breathing exercises – I like to focus on my breath when I am feeling depressed or even anxious. The very act of slowing down your breath and getting in tune with your body will help to center your thoughts. I use a great little tool called Dodow particularly when it comes to going to sleep at night. Dodow is great and teaches you to slow down your breathe and relax. It is made by a French company and is quite inexpensive. Here is my full review of the product. 🙂
Those are some of the main go-to strategies that I implement when I am depressed. They are generally low cost and easily available to you. You don’t need to go to a gym or a yoga class or pay money to get relief from your symptoms. Relief can be just as simple as taking a shower or sitting in the sun.
What do you do when you are feeling depressed? Feel free to leave me a comment. 🙂