The third Monday of January every year has been labelled as ‘Blue Monday’, the most depressing day of the year. That’s all well and good but what if you struggle for the 364 other days of the year?
There’s a great piece written by Anita Sethi on The Guardian Online who says:
“It’s important to acknowledge that, despite the PR over this particular date, depression can strike on any day, at any time of year.” And she’s right.
There’s no shame in it and as it stands, 1 in 4 people suffer with their mental health. So you’re in good company.
Some days, like so many, I find it hard to comprehend getting out of bed and starting the day. Talking to people seems like a mission, the head fog seems too much and the prospect of being productive while my head is elsewhere seems foreign. However, there are a few things that I do to help myself. These might help you too.
OK, bit obvious, however sometimes I forget to take calm, deep breaths. Especially if my mind is playing tricks on me. Sometimes I’ll sit and take eight deep breaths in and out just to clear my mind. It helps me re-focus too.
It might sound like a cliche but I’m a real advocate for it. If you’re feeling like the weight of the world is on your shoulders and you need some space, go for a walk. Take a stroll on your lunch break and listen to some of your favourite songs. Go to the gym (if you’re part of one), do a bit of yoga, go for a run, anything that will help you let off steam and get the endorphins going. I’m really bad for not getting my bum out of my office chair when I need to so I’m making an effort to do this more. It really helps.
Positive quotes or an uplifting article can make you feel a bit better. I love Pinterest so I’ll take a look at a few and when I crack a smile, I write down the quote in my notebook so I can look at it. My best friend bought me a book for Christmas that has lots of amazing quotes inside it. Whenever I feel down, I’ll go to this book first and see what it can do.
Whether you listen to an interesting podcast, your favourite album, an uplifting playlist or your favourite radio station, treat yourself to time alone in your mind with you. Surround your mind with something you really like and enjoy. I like listening to my London Marathon 2016 playlist because it reminds me of how awesome the experience was and the playlist was put together by lots of great friends.
You might not want to talk to anyone but it can really help. Whether it’s telling a friend, partner or colleague you’re not feeling too great, they might be able to help. Or, they might just leave you alone to have the space you need. Talking about what’s wrong over a cuppa can really help to take the weight off. Sometimes, I find, that what my mind is telling me, isn’t necessarily the truth. If you’re a writer, write how you’re feeling down. As a blogger, I definitely find this helps me.
Take a social media break
Social media is something I both love and hate. I work on it daily and try to keep up with what’s going on nightly. Sometimes, I see things that really put me on a downer. Whether it’s someone going on holiday, getting married, doing incredible things that I’m not doing, it gets me down. I do try to remember that the majority of what’s online is what people want you to see about them. But still, this sense can get lost in the depressed fog of the brain. Take a little break from it. I try really hard at night to put my phone on ‘Do Not Disturb’ and not look at it. I also put it face down on the night stand. I then pick up my book and get engrossed.
You’re not alone. If you’re feeling really down and feel like you can’t cope, I’ve been there too. I know this might not help, but I’d like you to know. I posted a few weeks ago about having a complete meltdown and filmed what it was like. I also then rang my local GP and asked for help. But this was a big step and I was supported by my amazing partner.
Remember, you’re awesome and you can get through it.
Mental Health Foundation