This week, I’ve been having one of the worst depressive episodes I’ve had in years. I’m no stranger to depression and anxiety... they have been my faithful companions for most of my life. I tried meds before, but they just made me fat and more depressed. So I have been coping with mental illness on my own.
For the most part I can manage it pretty well. I have developed some pretty effective coping mechanisms throughout the years. When I was younger, I wasn’t as rational. I would cut myself, pop prescription pills, drink, starve myself, have sex... anything to make me feel “better.” My mental health journey has taken me to some dark places, but I always seem to find the light. Here are some strategies I use to help me fight my inner demons when I feel like giving up.
Those days when my emotions try to drown me, I have to remind myself that the feelings are temporary. Whenever I feel worthless I tell myself that these thoughts are a result of a chemical imbalance within my brain; they are not real. I repeat that to myself until the irrational thoughts start to fade away.
There is no point in trying to bottle up your feelings. Just let them out! Cry even when the tears don’t make sense. Listen to sad/angry music. Punch a wall (cover it with a picture later!), throw your clothes everywhere, scream out loud. It may sound childish, but sometimes it helps to pitch a fit... just don’t take your anger out on people or pets.
I like to exercise when I’m upset. Physical pain helps release emotional distress. Also, it’s acceptable to talk shit to yourself while working out. You can run another mile, you chubby bitch... 20 more reps hoe! I have the best sessions when I’m upset, and I always feel better afterwards.
KEEP YOURSELF BUSY.
It’s hard to have negative thoughts when your mind is occupied. I like to stay busy with tasks that require attention to detail—puzzles, arts and crafts, cleaning, organizing, etc. Meticulous work forces me to focus on what is in front of me, which tends to calm me down.
These are just a few things that help me when I’m feeling down. I hope this post helps someone who suffers from anxiety or depression. What are some of your coping mechanisms?