If you missed my last post, let me catch you up by telling you that I'm once again experiencing severe depression. Yes, I will be seeing someone for it (only admitted it to myself yesterday), and yes, I have excellent coping mechanisms in the meantime, which is what I'm telling you about today. **Note: These tips do not replace professional counseling or, in some cases, medication.**
First Tip: Make A Schedule
Last night, my boyfriend made me make a list of things I needed to do today. He added things, including "get up no later than 7," "workout," and "write or paint" (which is partially why I'm writing this blog).
Second Tip: Find Someone to Hold You To It
In my case, my boyfriend made sure I was up, that I worked out, and helped me when I couldn't make a decision on what to do next, even with the list right in front of me. (That indecisiveness is one of those side effects of depression that nobody talks about.) However, it takes a village, and I have four people close to me who know my diagnosis and are helping me cope.
Third Tip: Go Outside
My boyfriend and I made sure this was part of my schedule. If it's sunny, this could mean taking work out onto the porch to do. But even just getting outside to go get groceries gives you a small dose of Vitamin D and some movement.
Fourth Tip: Work Out
This is what my boyfriend had me do first thing when I got up. Not because he wants me to look a certain way, but because he knew what I'm about to tell you: Exercise releases endorphins and endorphins help fight depression.
Fifth Tip: Connect
Making connections with people, even meaningless little jokes with your cashier, can help lift your mood. If at all possible, do this in person - handshakes, hugs, and other physical touch can be very good for you. However, even on-line can work if it's a connection with a genuine friend who you actually have honest conversations with on-line.