8th November 2017
The past few days, particularly in the evening, have been difficult. My recent blog posts regarding my heart hurting and evenings reflect how I’ve been feeling- I’ve been pretty low. There are times when it just feel like nothing helps. When I feel like this, I don’t have the motivation, or even the want to try things like yoga, exercise, or any of the self-care stuff we’re exposed to that people write and talk about. There are times when I’m sobbing, I can’t even think straight, let alone try and help myself. Any task feels like too much – nothing could possibly distract me from the pain I’m feeling. This is when we need to simplify everything and think about the smallest of things in life that can keep us going. They may seem trivial and ridiculous, but I’ve found, particularly yesterday, that these really do help, even if only temporarily. It isn’t about solving everything and making you feel better because that isn’t realistic when you feel like this. It’s about doing something, or treating yourself to something to make things even the tiniest bit easier and taking your mind away from how you’re feeling and what’s on your mind.
So lets get started.
Have a shower.
Evenings are quiet. I’m alone in my room, with my thoughts and difficult emotions and I’m really struggling to deal with them. Yesterday evening I put my phone to one side which I habitually look at when I feel low, and I jumped in the shower. I just focused on how the water felt as it ran over my body, and I shaved and washed my hair so that I was in there for longer and had other simple things to focus on. I felt cleaner and more refreshed after and it was the simplest of tasks that just helped me to feel a bit more grounded, and simply walking in to another room can help.
Have some music on in the background
If you’re gonna cry and mope around, why not do it to some music? It’s better than sitting in silence. I did this yesterday and found that at times when I otherwise would have been riddled with more negative thoughts, I was focusing on the sound of the music and that helped somewhat. Again, I’m not trying to advocate some kind of mindfulness or meditative practice because again, atleast for me, I just can’t do things like that when I feel this bad. It really is just simple things like this.
I found that looking through some websites and browsing for clothes helped to take my mind somewhere else for a bit. I can’t do this for too long otherwise it bores me to death, although some shops I’ve been captivated by the great stuff I’ve seen. Examples are new chic , boux avenue (ooof) and shein , 2 of which I discovered through pinterest which is another thing that can be good to browse through when you feel shit. I ended up treating myself a few times this week (sorry not sorry) and when I came home feeling crap yesterday morning I was cheered up by my new pair of shoes arriving. Again, it sounds trivial, but it really is the simple things that can keep you going when you feel the black dog returning.
I’m quite bad with this sometimes. When I’m at uni and I feel crap, I just buy a meal deal and some chocolate and scrap any ideas of healthy living. Tonight, for example, I’ve brought some muffins and chocolate to tuck in to when I watch The Apprentice (hold that thought!). When I got home with treats in my bag I actually felt quite excited in a really sad and lame way, but again..don’t forget how simplicity is key here! I’m sure eating tasty food releases some kind of chemical like it does when you exercise so it does make sense, although I often take it to the next level and continue eating even when I’m full..I can’t help it!
Find a programme to look forward to.
There have been a few programmes recently that have given my evenings more structure and given me something to look forward to. Examples are The Apprentice , Ambulance (a fascinating programme following paramedics in the West Midlands) and Dr Foster (no longer on bbc iplayer but is on Netflix). For me, the key thing here is that it’s something you really enjoy, not just any old programme. If I just watch something that doesn’t excite me, then I just end up having it in the background and I continue moping and probably sobbing like an idiot. The Apprentice tonight will keep me occupied – if it wasn’t for that I’d probably be twiddling my thumbs and feeling a lot more anxious.
Declutter your email inbox and/or tidy your room/house
Simple activities such as getting rid of unimportant emails, making your bed, chucking out old things you don’t need, and cleaning can be really simple yet effective tasks when feeling depressed. I decided to look through my inbox yesterday that had something like 600 emails and got rid of most of them. Oh, and the annoying promotional things you get telling you to buy this and get bla bla off products when you shop with them. I’ve signed up to stuff I don’t even acknowledge, but I can do that another day. I replaced my bed sheets etc yesterday evening after my shower which again just helped me to keep occupied with something. I think anything that gets you up has got to be better than sitting moping all night.
So there we have it. There are some of my ideas, and I hope it inspires some of you to think about what little things can help you, particularly when you’re experiencing the awful symptoms of depression that get you down.