Updated: Jun 5, 2018
Anxiety and depression. Two words that most of us can relate to more than we'd like. What do you do when you feel these coming on? When they're already arrived? What are your go-to's?
As a 23-year-old who lightly suffers from both anxiety and depression, I understand that these are topics that need to be discussed MUCH more often than they are.
Anxiety is something I did not personally experience until about a year ago.
At the time, I was still "in the closet." I had been with my girlfriend for almost four years and we just weren't ready to tell the world.
The secret though, was starting to control my entire life. It consumed every thought, altered every decision, and changed my daily habits.
Since then anxiety has crept it's way back into my life in times of major confusion or fear.
Mild depression is something I've personally experienced two times in my twenties, and like anyone else that can relate, is something I do my best to avoid.
Avoiding depression? I actually think this is possible? Do I even know what I'm talking about?
Depending on the severity, I think there are ways that some people may be able to control how far they let themselves fall. This is dependent on many factors: the type of depression, someone's personal experience, lifestyle habits, and age, just to name a few.
How I Cope in Times of Trouble
As some of you may know, May is Mental Health Awareness Month. To actively participate, I made myself three promises. I was feeling sad, in a funk you may say, as we approached May 2018. I quickly reacted.
What can I do? What is something that will keep me motivated? Something to challenge myself?
If you choose to follow along, you do not have to give yourself three big tasks in a month, start with one and progress as you see fit.
1. Start a blog
For the longest time, I have wanted to create content. I love to write and I think that telling stories through writing is a beautiful thing. I always put it off with negative thoughts such as "no one would read it" or "I have nothing important to say". Instead of doing it for other people, I have started this for MYSELF, in hopes that it will help or inspire others along the way. On that note, here you are, reading my blog, and [hopefully] enjoying yourself.
2. Start learning to play guitar
Another thing I have wanted to do my whole life but never seemed to "find the time for" (as I scrolled social media for how many hours through out the day). Music has always been an essential in my life and I know that being apart of music, even if it's in a minute sense, will bring so much joy to my life. I went into our local music shop and purchased my first acoustic; the Yamaha FG800. I began learning notes / chords and cannot wait to improve.
3. Daily Meditation
I started this by downloading the app Headspace. It guides you through the basics of meditation and allows you to give yourself anywhere from 5 - 20 minutes of silence and a sense of calm in our non-stop hectic days. After finishing the basics there are meditation sessions for specific categories that may be beneficial to you personally. The difference this has made in my mood through out the day is extraordinary (10/10 recommend).
Tell me...what are a few things you like to do to help control your mental health?