Sometimes we all have to cope with extra stress, especially when dealing with anxiety and/or depression. This entry is about all that struggle, not just as it occurs in regular life, but specifically when it comes as part of the pain related to emotional/mental illness. (I tend to use these terms interchangeably, when it comes to anxiety and depression.)
In my previous entries, I discussed how Depression and Anxiety are real diseases which adversely affect a huge percentage of Americans. I also urged us together to fight our social stigmas and reject our resistance to get help. As a society, we all need to discuss mental illness openly and without judgment.
Meanwhile, as our society gets over itself–and modern doctors search for a cure–we need to deal with these diseases as best we can. Let’s put up a good fight! And that means using every tool we can.
To that end, here are some suggestions to deal with the stress and pain of anxiety and depression. This is my personal list. If you have any you’d like to share, please “Comment” below this entry and add your own!
- Do calming things such as: listen to music, meditate, exercise, do yoga, go for a walk, read, or draw.
- Express anger in healthy ways like: rip up paper, scream into pillows, draw your enemies and splatter with paint, sing REALLY loud, or run very fast!
- Make soothing tea or hot cocoa. (Studies show chocolate can boost endorphins in the brain1.)
- Get hugs from family & friends. (Maybe not strangers. >.>” )
- Get counseling. (From certified professionals, not Joe on the Corner. See above.)
- Sit or nap in the sun for a while. (Cats do it! look how chill they are.)
- Chat with friends.
- Take your prescribed medication (if applicable) EVERY day.
- Note: please do not self-medicate–drugs & alcohol tend to have bad rebound effects!
#1 Tip – Hold On!
The #1 tip is just to HOLD ON. The worst pain of depression and anxiety passes relatively quickly. If you can just HOLD ON, things will look different, soon.
… Don’t look at me like that! Yes, I do know what I’m talking about. I’ve been there. Even in my darkest days, my most terrible thoughts would pass in a few hours. I would wake up going, “why did I want to do that? It’s not that bad. Life still sucks, but look, here’s ice cream!” So just try to focus on the little, good things to keep you going day by day… or hour by hour, if you need to!
And remember… if things get too tough – Dial 988 and talk to an emergency crisis counselor!
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