7 Tips for Times You're In Between Depressive Episodes and Feeling 'Good'
I sometimes get periods of time when I’m not particularly struggling with anxiety or depression, but I’m stuck in a rut somewhere in the middle, reevaluating my life and unsure why I’m doing so. I can never think logically about what to do. I can’t cling to any sense of identity or concentrate on anything to take my mind off it. It is such a specific numbing feeling and at the same time very blurred, making it completely overwhelming. It’s a topic I haven’t yet found to be addressed from a mental health perspective and I know various others who experience the same feeling. None of us have read an article about it before and it’s time we did. To tackle this, I thought I’d really put my mind to the test and try to give some good ol’ advice.
Here are some tips for when you’re feeling like a loose end that never ties up:
1. Talk to someone.
Whether it’s over the phone, through a message or in person, sharing your “thought load” with someone can take the pressure off you. I normally find once I admit to feeling down or lost, I start opening up about it and there is a feeling of acceptance in the air. Leading me nicely to tip numero dos.
2. Accept your situation.
Acceptance is one of the hardest things, but being aware when you are feeling a certain way can be quite comforting sometimes. I find when I realize how I’m feeling and say it out loud, it motivates me enough to find a new spark of identity or at least create some movement amongst my thoughts to think clearly. I believe acceptance of a situation is halfway to recovery.
3. Try a change of scenery.
Moving somewhere new can do a world of good. If I’m in a cold room with no sunlight, I will tend to move to a warmer room with the sun shining in, where I can cuddle my dog! I find it allows me to be a little more comfortable and I can then put more of my energy into thinking clearer and realizing I’m not a lost soul.
4. Listen to music.
Listening to music really can change my mood quite dramatically. If I want to feel more thoughtful, I will listen to calming music with honest lyrics. If I’m feeling a little lost, I will try to put on music that will either distract me or give me the knowledge that I’m not lost and alone. A band that currently motivates me is called “The Lone Bellow.” Their music is a mix of upbeat feel good tunes and storytelling ballads with a folk/country flair. Be sure to have a listen.
5. Have a network of support.
Make sure you have a network of people around you. Knowing you have friends and family supporting you will give you comfort if you ever feel on your own. They can distract you from your mind’s situation for a little while or just cushion the blow when times are rough. And I know, times can get so frickin’ rough. You must also remember pretty much anyone who is human will have a time when they feel lost or don’t quite know what direction to take. Though we lead vastly unique lives, most of us will share similar feelings and situations. Stick together.
6. Use your calendar.
Schedule something in your calendar. Don’t completely fill it because sometimes this makes it harder to achieve tasks. Just one or two things to give you direction. The other day I went to the library by myself (a massive achievement for the anxious side of me!) and I really enjoyed scanning the array of books on every shelf. I borrowed a couple of books about writing and also found myself drawn towards the photography section – a hobby I haven’t really touched for a good few years. This one hour of my day gave me heaps of inspiration, aspiration and direction.
7. Be mindful.
Go for a walk, exercise, meditate or be creative in some way. Painting is one of my favorite things to do as it feels incredibly therapeutic and I end up focusing more on what my paintbrush is doing than what my head is doing! Yoga is also a love of mine. It gets the oxygen flowing, gives me space in my head and tricks me into doing exercise!
Many of us will have “off” days where we feel a little lost and other times when we will go through long phases of ruminating on thoughts and feelings. Be it one day, a week or several months when you find yourself feeling this way, I hope you utilize these tips and get back to being the amazing, unique person you still are.
Follow this journey on Sarah’s Headspace.
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Thinkstock photo via Transfuchsian.