A while back, I wrote up a list of things that help me cope with depression and/or anxiety .(which you can find here). Between then and now, I’ve thought of some other tips that I missed, so I figured I’d share them with you.
- Yoga: I was one of those people who was completely against yoga. Honestly, it seemed pretty ridiculous, and I was pretty nervous about going to a place where people could judge about everything from my body to my flexibility. However, now that I’ve started yoga, I’ve discovered that people are really non-judgmental. It also really helps me clear my mind: when I’m doing yoga, I’m either focusing completely on the stretch or there’s literally nothing on my mind. It’s amazing.
- Pilates: This one is super similar to yoga, and a lot of the benefits are the same (I do both, and Pilates works as well to clear my mind) but you get a better workout with Pilates (and you do a lot more for your core). Both help mentally and physically (they help with back pain!), but if you prefer a more active kind of workout, Pilates is probably a good choice.
- Art: You’ve probably heard that study that says that art helps reduce stress even if you’re terrible at it, and it’s absolutely true. I am not a great painter, and I probably never will be, but there’s a lot of satisfaction that comes with finishing a painting that you’re proud of (no matter how bad it is). Furthermore, it’s another activity that can help you clear your mind because you’re focused solely on the painting and none of your problems.
- Writing fiction that no one will ever see: There’s something really therapeutic about letting your imagination go wild on a piece of paper and knowing that no one will ever see it and be able to judge you based on it. It’s basically art, but with words.
- Watch some John Oliver: Or the Daily Show, or Stephen Colbert, or whatever gets you laughing. After all, humor makes you feel happy, and isn’t that what we want? Plus, your mind will try to figure out why you’re smiling and will decide that its because you’re happy.
- Talk to an animal: When I’m feeling particularly down, I’ll talk to my dog (the one in the picture) and for some reason, that always makes me feel better. I don’t really know why it is; maybe it’s because he’s cute, or maybe I’m forcing myself to speak happily to him, or whatever, but it really works.
- Do something you love: This seems like a no-brainer, but I’ll say it anyway. Do something you love. If you love singing out loud, do that. If you love rolling down hills, do that. If you love watching sports, do that. Basically do anything that makes you feel happy (but draw the line with murder. Don’t murder anyone).
- Not being afraid to ask for help: I said this in my previous post, but it deserves to be repeated. I know from experience how hard it is to admit that you need help dealing with your affliction. However, it is important, and a big step in getting better comes from not being ashamed of having a problem and needing help to get better. Despite the stigma around mental health issues, depression, anxiety, panic disorders, and everything else are nothing to be ashamed of, but they are deadly diseases that need treatment. So please, if you are dealing with something, find the courage to ask for help.
I hope this has helped!