“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.”– Laurell K. Hamilton
When someone is physically hurting, it is generally obvious to others. Bleeding, shouts of pain, or other common responses to bodily ails tend to send alarm to both the person in pain and those around them. This pain is typically acknowledged and met with understanding and support from others.
There is another form of pain, however, that is easy to overlook: emotional pain.
Depression impacts millions of people every year. There are various forms of treatment that have proven to be helpful, such as therapy and medication.
While treatment is often necessary, there are small things that you can do in addition to help yourself stay motivated:
- Stick with a sleep schedule. One of the most common symptoms of depression is low energy. When experiencing depression it can be tempting to stay in bed. You may find yourself sleeping a lot more than you typically would. Statistics show that staying in bed or taking naps throughout the day will only worsen depression and make it much harder to cope. Creating and sticking to a sleep schedule will help you develop and maintain a routine.
- Eat well and exercise. It’s no secret that what you eat impacts the way that you feel. Eating a well balanced diet is a good idea in general, but it is especially important when you’re experiencing low moods. Eating well and exercising, even if it’s just a simple walk around the neighborhood, can help improve both your mood and your overall thought patterns.
- Practice self-care. What are some things and activities that make you feel good? During this time, it’s helpful to intentionally treat yourself to things that are calming and improve your mood. Whether it’s certain smells, a song, or a trip to the park, giving yourself some time to unwind and enjoy small things can make a huge difference when put into regular practice.
- Practice self-compassion. Keep in mind that you’re not alone. Depression impacts millions of people around the world despite age, race, or socioeconomic status. It’s tough, but you can do tough things. Remind yourself that you’re doing the best that you can, and at the end of the day, that’s enough. While the journey can sometimes feel daunting, the results are well worth the effort. Reach out to someone, keep pushing, and before long you’ll find your way back to a happier, healthier you.
Written by: Salima Hart