This blog post comes on a more serious note than usual, as many of us are going into that dreaded exam period. It can sometimes be hard to keep your thoughts positive in such a stressful and difficult time period, but we recognise that for some people, feeling depressed is a constant state of mind. We have written this blog post to discuss methods that we have tried, and friends of ours have recommended. As a disclaimer: we are not psychiatrists and this blog post should not replace a trip to the doctors. We encourage anyone who is experiencing dark thoughts to go to their GP, or call one of these free help hotlines.
Depression is more common than we think, with 1 in 4 people having the disease in their lifetimes. It’s more than just a mood, and can manifest itself in many different ways. Those with depression find day-to-day life increasingly difficult. Beyondblue offers a comprehensive list of signs and symptoms here: http://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/depression
Below are some of our own tips for short-term help.
- If a bad event happens in your life, carry on
This sounds bad. In no way shape or form are we suggesting that you completely forget what has happened, but more don’t let it bring your life to a standstill. My mum’s advice when my friend passed away was ‘don’t stop living, don’t stay at home in your room crying, make sure you keep going to work and seeing your friends.’ This piece of advice changed my life whenever anything bad happened – whether it be a breakup, a really bad mark on a test, or any event that had a negative impact on my mood.
Other wise words from the most inspirational woman in my life were ‘Nothing stays the same forever, even if things are going really badly and you are hating your life, everything is temporary’. This gave me insight that no matter how bad things are, things inevitably change and naturally you will find something that improves your quality of life eventually.
- If social media is making you anxious or depressed, get off it
There is quite honestly nothing worse than sitting on Facebook or Instagram and thinking that everyone is having a better time than you. A friend once said ‘Why are you comparing your everyday life to someone else’s highlight reel’. No one will ever show themselves looking bad having a boring day at home watching banal television. Even #nomakeupselfies have a filter on them. Something I personally found therapeutic was deleting the Facebook and Instagram apps (but keeping messenger) so that I was only accessing these programs on a computer. A social media detox is really good every now and again, and you will find that you stop relying on it for entertainment all the time.
Even if it is only a walk around the block, the endorphins that your body releases when you exercise instantly make you feel better. Not only are you making your body feel good (because lets be honest, no one feels great after lying on the couch eating food all day!) but you’re also getting outside and breathing in the fresh air. Looking at the beauty that is around you is sometimes a really great way to take your mind off things.
- Call a friend
Sometimes feeling alone can be so overwhelming, and as humans our natural instinct when feeling depressed is to isolate ourselves even more. It’s a natural defence mechanism built into our brains, as we are feeling vulnerable and don’t want to get even more rejected. Call one of your closest friends to chat (you don’t even have to tell them you’re feeling down if you don’t want to), and instantly feel better as you two have a laugh together.
These tips are just a few that we personally believe work for us, however every person is different. If you feel as though nothing will ever get better and are having more dark days than good ones, these are warning signs that you need to get professional help. Never be afraid to reach out ❤