Depression – How To Make It Through The Day

Did you know that around 5 million people in the UK live with some sort of depression? That’s a lot of people and I’m one of them. Recently, that black cloud that sits in my periphery has been drawing in. These days, I recognise the signs that a storm is brewing and I know what’s about to engulf me. Today it has hit and I feel worse than I have at any point this year. There is no rhyme or reason behind it. No cause or association. It’s just the way I’m wired.

However, I’m well used to this pattern. Being that I have a young baby, you are probably thinking postnatal depression. It isn’t. I’ve lived with it my whole adult life and probably most of my teens. When it really hits, like it has today, I feel like my mind fogs over and my body is laden down with heavy weights. Any kind of meaningful interaction or conversation is difficult, emotions are high if provoked, I lose my appetite and my body closes in on itself, willing the outside world to disappear until the cloud lifts.

But that said, I am a Mama to two gorgeous people and I have a life and responsibilities. Shutting down or closing off isn’t an option and I have had to learn some practical techniques for dealing with depression. Being that so many people suffer with the unpredictability of these storms, I want to share with you a few tried and tested tips for coping when one hits.

Dark storm of depression

Top Tips For Living With Depression

  • Stay in bed. Probably not what you thought I’d say but if you do have the option to rely on a family member for just a few hours or even a day then do it. Giving in to the darkness of depression, sleeping and even having a good old cry for just a little while can sometimes give you that bit of space you need. Today I did not have this option so I’ve skipped to step 2.
  • Have a hot bath or shower. Wash away a little bit of the blues. The heat, the water, the (hopefully) time alone may just clear a tiny bit of the fuzz.
  • Get out in the fresh air. You won’t want to and it’s a direct contradiction to point number one but if staying in bed isn’t an option or you have completed that phase then you need to force yourself out into the fresh air. Sometimes it will clear the cobwebs and sometimes just seeing other people going about their business can kick start you into doing the same thing.
  • Stay hydrated. It goes without saying that you will feel worse if you are dehydrated. You will feel more tired, more sluggish and more miserable. Drink water and lots of it.
  • Go to your happy place. For me, this is and always has been writing (hence here I am writing this!) Whatever floats your boat, try to force yourself to do a bit of it.
  • Step away from social media. We are all addicted to some degree but the fast-paced, intense world of competitive comparisons is not the place you need to be hanging out today.
  • Be kind to yourself. Depression goes hand in hand with hating yourself but on these dark days, try to be kind to yourself. Admit you feel like crap, that this is a bad day and take it as easy as possible.
  • Talk to the people who you live with. Admit that today is a bad day. Let them know. Spell out what you need to get through the day. Don’t expect your other half to just know you are suffering.
  • Medication. If you cannot shake it and you are having way more bad days than good, consider speaking to your GP about medication and alternative therapies. There is no stigma attached. They can and do help people.

I must stress that these are only the tactics that I use to get through a bad day. There is no medical facts of evidence behind them but they may help you a little if, like me you find yourself at the mercy of an internal storm.

Best of luck

xxx

 

 

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21 Comments

  1. Julia
    October 16, 2016 / 4:07 pm

    I hope you get better soon

  2. October 16, 2016 / 8:07 pm

    I’m sorry to hear you’ve had a bad run of it, these are great tips though and relatively practical and achieveable, it’s not about moving mountains, it’s about clearing a path to the next day which HOPEFULLY won’t be as bad as the preceding one. I find being kind to myself extremely hard which is something I know I need to work on…also loved your first point because so often that can be seen as wallowing, but it’s not, it’s giving your exhausted brain a couple of hours to switch off. Much love xxx

  3. October 16, 2016 / 8:20 pm

    Really great piece. I suffer with depression as well. Always have since the second was born and find it really hard to shake at times. I can’t give advice because I’m still battling it too. Thanks for raising its profile though. Maybe if we all talked about it more then asking for help would be easier.
    The Unsung Mum recently posted…The Unsung Mum and the Terrifying Twonado  My Profile

  4. October 16, 2016 / 8:26 pm

    I’m sorry you are having a tough time at the moment. I also suffer from depression and have done since being a teen. I’ve learnt how to spot the signs of when things are getting too bad. These are all great tips. I’m currently taking a bit of time out from social media and blogging but I just wanted to comment. X

  5. October 16, 2016 / 8:50 pm

    A hot shower and fresh air work wonders for me when I feel the gremlins nibbling at my ear. I picture the shower washing away my troubles and getting out of a hot shower into colder air sort of seals that… Great tips Fi. Fresh air would probably be my top tip in fact. When we can recognise the triggers, boy does it make it easier to deal with… Thankfully I haven’t ‘suffered’ for years now but I’m never naive enough to think that I’m immune to a full-blown dip at any point.
    Carol Cameleon recently posted…Join in with #HighlightsofHappy on Instagram 14 ~ share your happy!My Profile

    • October 17, 2016 / 9:01 pm

      That’s a great expression Carol! It really does feel like that sometimes! I’m glad to hear you are feeling good at the moment though! Thanks for stopping by and leaving me a comment x
      A Mum Track Mind recently posted…My New York Bucket ListMy Profile

  6. October 16, 2016 / 9:17 pm

    Big hugs Fi, I’m sorry to hear you’ve had a rough day today. I hope that tomorrow when you wake up, you are feeling much better. There are some great tips here, and I hope that lots of people find this post useful. Claire x #triballove
    The Pramshed recently posted…Our yearly trip to Center ParcsMy Profile

  7. October 16, 2016 / 9:46 pm

    Sorry you’ve had such a battle with depression over the years, Fi, but I’m glad you’ve found coping mechanisms and are able to take a step back and think ‘this too will pass.’ Also, thank you for your honesty and for sharing, which isn’t always easy but the more folks who do talk about it, the more it helps others and the more it helps to remove the stigma that unfortunately still exists….I really wish this wasn’t the case…As an ex-pharmacist I know it’s just like any other medical condition or illness be it a broken leg or chicken pox or whatever…It isn’t something to be ashamed of and I am grateful to you for having the courage to share and to help. Hope you feel better soon, lovely lady xx Big hugs.

  8. October 17, 2016 / 2:30 pm

    I’m so sorry you are going through this, I suffered with PTSD after Oliver and it was a horrendous time. You are so giving and wonderful to share what helps, through this post others won’t feel so alone, sending love x

    • October 17, 2016 / 9:04 pm

      Thanks Vicki. Really sorry to hear you suffered at what should have been a really happy time. Life’s cruel like that sometimes but it’s a testament to your positive attitude that you fought back and hopefully are feeling a lot better these days xx
      A Mum Track Mind recently posted…Developing Through Play – Brightplaybox ReviewMy Profile

  9. October 17, 2016 / 9:19 pm

    I ‘m so sorry to hear it’s so tough for you. I too suffer from depression and have done so on and off most of my life. I was diagnosed at 10 years old. It doesn’t strike all the time, but I have days where it all gets too much. People have tried to pin the PND tag on me, but that’s not the case. I’ve had a depression on and off for so long that it almost seems normal to me.

    I find a lot of the things you have listed help me too. Thank you for sharing your feelings and your coping tips.

  10. October 18, 2016 / 9:14 pm

    Thanks for sharing your experiences honestly Fi – I hope the cloud lifts soon. I admire your openness – you are so right depression shouldn’t hidden away. This is a good list – it’s amazing how I fail to get myself a glass is water all day some days and that for me is a Leo sign that I’m not looking after myself and in danger of being engulfed. Take care, Xx

  11. October 19, 2016 / 6:39 am

    Fab post, really helpful. It’s admirable the way you have accepted you have bad days and that’s that. Sometimes I have bad days and I best myself up about it and ask why rather than just getting through. Thanks for sharing xx

  12. October 20, 2016 / 9:05 pm

    My husband suffers from bipolar depression. The tips above are even things I have to do when the depression drags me down. I hope you feel better today. Thanks for sharing.

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