This is a post about feeling depressed — and then digging out. Since today marks the first day of spring, I thought I’d honor the gradual return of more light, in a figurative sense.
While it may not always be detectable to others from the outside, because I’m still forced to work, look presentable, and function overall — when a depressive episode does hit, it can feel exhausting to fake a smile or complete simple tasks.
Although everyone’s experience is different, I’ve implemented some new habits that help me feel lighter and more in control.
1) Cleaned my house.
The condition of my house tends to be a pretty good reflection of my mental state. And the embarrassing piles (er, mountains?) of laundry that had accumulated over the winter months are no longer occupying various rooms in my apartment. Clearer space = clearer mind.
2) Cut off toxic friendships.
Trying to make me feel bad about myself? I don’t have the time. Bye.
3) Fighting negative thoughts.
I forced myself to become painfully aware of some of the constant negative thoughts I perpetuate internally. And then I would interrupt myself — “dude, stop” — to replace the bad thought with something more pleasant. Whether it’s repeating the opposite as true, or picturing something that makes me happy. The demons might still return, but they no longer dominate my headspace all day.
4) Minor physical activity.
Maybe someday I’ll make it to a gym, but in the meantime, I started to incorporate some very light exercise — extremely short jogging — during nighttime walks with Saki. I also added stretching and basic yoga to my daily routine. Even 15 minutes is enough to feel more relaxed and energized.
I’m no stranger to the concept of #treatyoself. But lately, I’ve indulged in various forms of more deliberate self-care. Whether it’s making extra time to relax, like using a face mask with weird ingredients … or giving myself something to look forward to, like planning that aforementioned solo trip. (More on that another time!)
It’s all pretty simple, but these minor changes feel much better. What helps you?
Dress: Target. Booties: TJ Maxx, old.
(Yes. Post title was inspired by this song.)