++ 6 Ways to help yourself through depression ++

    6 WAYS  TO  HELP YOURSELF THROUGH  DEPRESSION.

+ Don’t bottle things up. If you’ve recently  had some bad news, or a major upset in your life, try to tell people close to you about it and how it feels. It helps to re-live the painful experience several times, to have a good cry, and talk things through.  This is the mind’s healing  mechanism.

+Do something.  Get out of doors for some exercise, if only for a long walk. This will help you to keep physically fit, and you may sleep better. This will help you take your mind off those painful feelings which only make you more depressed when allowed to sweep over you.

+ Eat a good balanced diet,  even though you may not feel like eating. Fresh fruit and vegetables are especially recommended. People with severe depression can lose weight and run low on vitamins, which only makes matters worse.

+Resist the temptation to drown your sorrows. Alcohol actually depresses mood, so while it may give you immediate relief, this is very a temporary and you may end up more depressed than ever.

+Don’t get into a state of not sleeping.  Listening to the radio or watching TV  (it’s on all night) while you are resting your body will still help, even if you’re not actually asleep, and you may find that you drop off because you’re no longer worrying about not doing so!

+Remind yourself that you are suffering from depression–something which many other people have gone through –and that you will eventually come out of it, as they did, even though it does not feel like it at the time. Depression can even be a useful experience, in that some people emerge stronger and better able to cope than before. Situations and relationships may be seen more clearly, and you may now have the strength and wisdom to make important decisions and changes in your life which you were unable to do before.”

SOURCE: Depression. pg. 9. Pamphlet published as a service to the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Reprinted in THE ANTIDEPRESSANT TABLET,  Number 1  Number 4.

NOTE: This post was first published as a BLOG in September 30, 2015.

You can click onto the “tools of recovery”  listed on the  drop  down   menu at the Depressedanon.com website to discover more helpful tools for recovery from depression.

How to live outside the box? The depression box!

If you really want to begin to “live outside the box“, a description of what the box feels like and looks like might be helpful to you.  First of all, a box has an identifiable shape. It is a box mainly because it contains something–whatever that might be. And when we speak of the subject of depression, we talk about depression having us boxed in. The box as it is used here, in this context is a metaphor for feeling enclosed and which there is no exit. It is like being trapped or like in a prison.

Now, in order to live outside the box we want to live creatively, which means  that we are having to learn  how to live outside the box. Now, if you  find  this hard to believe -stick with me now  as I will explain what I mean.

Just briefly, my own experience with depression can be used as an example. First of all, when I was depressed I thought that I was losing my mind. The box that I put myself in was getting more restricting by the day and making my life hell. I could see no way out. I was trapped. What could I do I asked myself?  As hard as I tried, I couldn’t just will these feelings and scary  thoughts away–like taking a broom and brushing them out of my life. No matter which way I turned I hit a wall. With no answers forthcoming on how to keep my head above water, my body slowly  was being sucked down into  the quicksand of despair. The thought came to me, much like that small glimmer, a tiny light so far away, but nevertheless  a light. It was  like the lighthouse which with its  intense brightness warns seafarers that rocks were nearby and to be watchful before approaching. My mind began to race here and there for a way out of the box and then it hit me —   get moving. Move the body. Get busy.  The key out of this prison was already in my hand. And now, those of us here in the Depressed program of recovery,who have been putting “out of the box” ideas to work in our daily lives, we want to share what has worked for us and we know, if you actually use them for your own recovery, they are  bound to  ultimately free you. That is the promise I share with you today.

The following activities,  listed below  are some of  the tools that will get you “out of the box” when you get serious about using them.

I think taking a close and personal look at the following tools will not only help you get  “out of the box” but can be tools that you will be able to utilize, day after day as you continue your recovery.

  1. Exercise is a great tool if you happen to be depressed.
  2.  Getting out into nature will also help put your mind on beauty and your surroundings.
  3. Overcoming fear is also a great place to learn how to get out of the box. Learn about “first fear” and “second fear.” Fear doe seem to be at the center of our life when depressed.
  4. Recite the “SERENITY PRAYER” as often as you need it.
  5. The present. Staying in the now.
  6. Making use of the God box. This is an exercise, a simple one at that, which helps us learn the discipline of “letting go.”
  7. Feelings need to be examined and expressed. We will look at why expressing feeling is  so important,  instead of having them bottled up and causing all sorts of physical and emotional problems.
  8. Disable negative thinking: learn how to short circuit negative thoughts when they pop into our minds.
  9.  Reading Depressed Anonymous literature and all material on the subject of depression.
  10. Learn how we all have choices. We make those decisions that bring us closer to freedom–not those that continue to imprison and box us.
  11. Journaling is a great tool for writing down what has been our experience for the day.  It helps to clarify our thinking and puts things into perspective.

NOTE

In the next post, I will begin placing attention on each of the eleven ideas listed above.  Gradually we can take time to evaluate  our response to each individually and make our own notes as how to use these recommended ideas  for our own recovery.

Hugh

I WILL NOT MAKE A NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION FOR 2015.

It is no wonder that after all these years that I have finally got smart. How many times have I made  a resolution to do this or do that and most often as not I couldn’t make it past the first week without falling on my face. So is NOT making a resolution, in fact making a resolution? Well, I think yes it is. I Can’t win!  But don’t you think not doing something is easier that trying to do something that could be challenging and even uncomfortable. And I say to myself, “myself, yes, right on!”

For instance let’s say that I make a resolution  to get up out of bed and do an exercise activity to get my day started. I am making a resolution to do this three times a week. So far so good. I just know from what I read and from other folks who exercise how helpful this is to  put some of our depression symptoms in the back seat. And then we decide that Monday is the day we start our program of exercise.  And Monday comes and we decide that today is too soon to start and we tell ourselves we’ll do it when we feel better. Right now,  we tell ourselves, I am just to tired to do any activity at all today. So there goes the resolution.  So, now we wait for Wednesday to get started.  And on and on the resistance to do anything to overcome our depression symptoms goes by the wayside.

Another scenario is from my own past. When I became depressed I really didn’t have a clue what was going inside of me but I knew something wasn’t right. I could hardly force myself out of the bed in the morning–couldn’t wait to get off work so that I could go to bed–before 5PM. Most unusual for me. I was gradually losing any purpose for my life.   Work.  Bed. Work. I was scared and thought that I was losing my mind. Could not retain a thought. Could not remember a paragraph that I had just finished reading.  What to do? No answer popped  in  my mind. But I knew one thing–I had to get out of bed and go to work or there would be no way to take care of my bills.  So I made a commitment to exercise. One day at a time. A resolution?

I just knew I MUST force myself out of bed…sneakers at my bedside — alarm clock across the room in which I had to get up to turn the awful sounding thing off. In time , by forcing myself to get up, go exercise, I gradually found the fog lift. I learned a great lesson.

Let’s put it this way if you will. I knew something worse would happen if I didn’t get moving. For me there was no “I’ll do it when I feel better,” and putting off taking care of myself. Nothing can happen unless you make the choice to do something today. Is your life at the same point as was mine?  If it is, then force yourself to do what you don’t want to do and watch as feelings, moods and behaviors all begin to change.  For the better you! Happy New Year! One day at a time. All we have is this 24 hour period. Treat yourself kindly!