March 20, 2017

Dealing With Depression: My Story

Let me start off by saying that by no means is this post a "cure" for depression. I just want to share how I have coped with my depression and what has been working for me lately. I will be talking about the methods that I have used to make my days a bit more happier and less gloomy. I'm not saying that now I never struggle with depression (I wish), but I have figured out little ways that help me cope with it. There are times in which my depression is too much to handle and I cry for nights and sometimes I don't feel like getting out of bed. There are times where I am the happiest person alive and everything is falling into place. When I am at my happiest I feel as though I am waiting for the moment when my happiness goes away. Let's get started on how I've dealt with this for years:

1. Getting rid of negative people in your life:
This is one that is easier said than done. Throughout the years I've noticed that there has been a consistent pattern with how people have affected my well-being. I've done things to impress people that were never really my friends to begin with but I was too caught up in the idea of having friends. Some people are just so negative that just being around them automatically changes my mood and just makes me sad and question why they are so rude and just not a nice person overall. For the past 2 years I've been working on cutting off "friends" from my life by simply distancing myself from them. This might not be the best approach of letting go of friendships but this has worked for me. This can be as simple as unfriended them on Facebook, Snapchat, and other social media accounts. I feel as though throughout the years I've discovered who my real friends are and the type of person that I want to associate myself with. 

2. Journaling
For the past 3 years I have had a fair share of "journaling" and it was something that never stuck around because I simply did not know how to journal properly. I was more concerned about filling up a page instead of writing down what I truly felt. For the past month I have kept one journal and I have found a system that works for me. I am strict about writing down my happenings from everyday but I don't beat myself up if I miss a night since I always make sure to make it up the next day. My method is now simpler since I only write down about a paragraph whether it's been a negative or positive day. If it's been a negative day with negative thoughts, I always write down "things will get better, it just takes time", "happiness is my end goal", etc. These positive quotes really helps me into looking forward to the future and ending my day on a positive note. I have a reminder that sets off around 9:30 p.m. every night which is around the time I start getting ready for bed on a weekday. If you are wanting to get a journal I highly suggest picking a journal that instantly makes you happy when you see it. I bought myself a unicorn journal that just makes me smile every time I see it. You can check it out HERE

3. Pampering Yourself
When we are feeling depressed we tend to not want to do anything for ourselves. I cannot tell you how many times I have gone a day(s) without showering or brushing my hair because I felt like it wouldn't make a difference in the way I was feeling. 

I have a weekly routine where I always do a hair mask, face mask, and most of the times give myself a manicure. Feeling great about oneself should come from within but sometimes we need that extra boost. When I have my pampering days which is typically on a Sunday and Wednesday night, I always feel happier because I feel refreshed and like a whole "new" person. Starting off I'd say to just look at yourself in the mirror and just tell yourself how beautiful you are and how strong you are. This can be done while applying moisturizer or brushing your hair and trust me it will make you feel a bit more happier in the inside. 

4. Looking back
There are nights where I question my life and myself a lot and don't think I will ever achieve happiness or overcome my depression. Nights like these when I feel as though I cannot talk to anyone about my feelings I always go on my phone and look through all of my pictures. I have so many pictures on my phone that were taken from my happiest times in traveling to Ecuador, adventures with my boyfriend, hanging out with my friends, etc. that i honestly begin to cry because I get reminded of how lucky I am to have experienced such great moments with the people that I look and it just makes me look forward to my next adventure and being reunited with my best friends. 

5. Seeking professional help
I had a great therapist back in my undergraduate years when I attended the University of Virginia. I always look back at my therapy sessions and am so grateful to have connected with such an amazing human being. I felt as though I really received closure and was living a great life until depression hit me hard again a couple of months ago. I decided to seek help again but unfortunately I haven't found someone who can give me the kind of therapy sessions that I received back at UVA. I am a big believer in seeking help and knowing when to as for it and I feel as though being honest with my boyfriend about my mental state has really helped a lot because knowing that someone understands you and is willing to just listen when you need to vent is extremely helpful. I challenge you to open up to your best friend, partner, parent, or anyone that you can trust and see how wonderful it is knowing that you will always have someone there for you. 


Next steps:
As time passes by I really want to get into meditation. I am a newbie when it comes to meditation so I have to research this further as I feel though this will help a lot. I also want to start reading self-help books that deal with depression and guides you on being happy and living a positive life. This may sound silly but I feel as though if I pick up on coloring it will help since color always brings me joy and the idea of not thinking about anything and just coloring away brings me much peace. 

I really hope this post has helped you or given you some tips on how to deal with depression. Just know that if you are going through some things that life will get better. Focus on what makes YOU happy and just surround yourself with good vibes only. 

XoXoXo- Jess

***If you are experiencing a medical emergency, are in danger, or are feeling suicidal, call 911 immediately. Suicide Hotline: 800-784-2433. Immediate Medical Assistance: 911. Crisis Call Center: 800-273-8255 or text ANSWER to 839863.***




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