Today I am going to talk about a taboo topic that I thought I would never be a spokesperson for: depression.
If you know me, you’ll know that I am always ready to have a good time and situations can rarely get me down… well, until now.
How would you define depression you may ask? My depression is a spiral of thoughts that will not leave me alone, and just keep pilling up and spinning over and over inside my head. It is a daily task trying to keep them away from controlling my mood and ruining day to day situations—but just with anything new in life, it takes a lot of practice to get better at it which is what I am currently attempting to do.
I’ve battled with anxiety for as long as I can remember which has made me more agile at trying to take charge of this chaotic organ called my brain, and calming myself down when needed.
I am not a certified doctor or therapist by any means but here are a few things that have worked for me:
Step away — Whenever a negative thought creeps up and tries to get inside my head, I usually stop whatever I am currently doing, maybe completely step away from the situation, walk outside, and realize I am having that thought. I then work on getting my mind off it by turning it into something positive—as cheesy as it sounds, it works every time!
Create a positivity list — A good way of keeping depression from controlling your day is collecting a list of positive affirmations, quotes, sayings… whatever you know that when the moment you read them will turn that horrid thought into a happy situation.
Pick up a new hobby — Surfing has been my to go to activity and it’s usually how I start off my day three times a week. A sport like surfing helps me clear my head by letting me become one with the ocean, and 95% of the time gets me away from stressful thoughts that I was having prior to getting on my board. The moment I put my wetsuit on, I usually close my eyes for a few seconds to clear my head, then run to the ocean to enjoy some nice well deserved waves!
Speak up — Having a nice chat with a close friend, your significant other, or even seeking therapy are ways that I always encourage people to try when dealing with depression or anxiety. I feel like keeping your inner thoughts to yourself could be toxic and just stress you out even more. I am lucky enough to have people around me who I know if I ever get too into my head, they will act as my anchors and listen to everything I have to say.
Take a break — I am a self proclaimed social media addict and workaholic so taking a mental health break is a rare occurrence in my life. The older I get, the more I understand that acting like a hermit for one day and avoiding your phone to submerge yourself in a book could be the fastest cure to unnecessary spiraling thoughts. If taking a mental health break is not your jam, plan a day trip! Getting away for a little while and taking time off from a worrisome situation could be the solution you’ve been seeking for.
Write it down — Ironically enough, this is what I am currently doing right now. I’ve heard from many people that jotting down your emotions could be the easiest and cheapest therapy that many take for granted. It really helps me get my thoughts out in paper and out to the universe/God to take care of.
Music — Whether is picking up your favorite instrument or playing your favorite song, music has always been a cure to my stress. My to go to artists at the moment are Trevor Hall, his music focuses on positivity, spirituality and all that is good in this world! As well as First Aid Kit, I’ve always been in love with their harmonies and their music instantly calms me down.
Choose a Healthier Lifestyle — A small change that has helped me keep my spiraling thoughts away has been choosing to live a healthier lifestyle. From ditching the couch, for a nice ocean swim. Changing the way I look at food has also made a huge impact on the way I feel and look at life. You are what you eat might sound like the most overused saying in the book, but it’s overused for a reason… because it’s true! If you feel like a food group no longer benefits you, ditch or replace it with something better for you. Always, always, ALWAYS listen to your body first before making any drastic changes!
I hope that someone finds my story and advice useful, and understand that there’s more people with mental health issues out there who know exactly what you’re going through and are willing to hear you out.
You are NOT alone!