How do I get through a depressive episode? These 10 rules are my bare minimum.
If you’ve been tuned into my blog or Instagram over the past few weeks, you’ll know that I’m currently navigating my way through a depressive episode. It all started about two weeks ago when my life came crashing down (or so it seemed.) Since then, I’ve been taking my meds daily and working my way through a combination of both good and bad days.
As each day has passed, I began making a list of rules to follow that have really helped me cope through the hard days. I know this list is by no means exhaustive and may not work for everyone. However for me, the combination of routine, coping mechanisms, and self-care have allowed me to thrive on good days and survive on the bad.
My 10 rules for going through a depressive episode
Shower every day. Without fail, no excuses.
Take your meds at the right time every day. Even if your brain makes you question whether you should, just do it. I have an alarm set in my phone for 9 a.m. every morning.
Do a social media clean-out. Unfollow anyone who doesn’t have a positive impact on your recovery. Then, go and find accounts that inspire you and make you feel good about yourself.
Always find #1Happy1Day Even though you are hurting, always find one thing a day that makes you happy or has made you happy in the past. Document on social media. Read more about the challenge here.
Get out of the house at least once a day. Even if it’s only for 10 minutes just walking around in your backyard, do it.
Choose TV and movies wisely. Dramas and horror selections might not be the best choice. Be highly sensitive of subject matter and steer clear of anything that could be even remotely triggering. My personal choices are always lighthearted and stand-up comedies.
Keep your space tidy. This includes purging any excess you don’t need. If clothes don’t feel comfortable or make you feel good, get rid of them. Go through stacks of papers and documents and shred anything you don’t need. Clear out your DVD and bookshelves. Dust, sweep and clean surfaces.
Find and lean on your circle of trust. Much like you did on your social media accounts, cut anyone who doesn’t have a positive impact on your recovery out of your life. Find like minded folks who you can confide in and will understand you, even if they are friends you’ve made on social media.
See your counsellor. Even if you don’t want to or think you need to go, go anyways. If you don’t have a counsellor, reach out and take advantage of free counselling help lines.
Document your moods. Document how you feel throughout the day and any possible side effects to your meds in a little notebook.
I hope you’ll find some of these tips helpful when you’re struggling. Let me know what’s missing from this list. What do you do to help you through rough episodes