by Priyanka Sarkar, chemistry and biology graduate, India
Before focusing on any particular strategies, I want to emphasize that loving yourself is more important than anything on this list. Be your own cheering section and make sure you do that every day. Treat yourself with love and respect. If you do, others will, too. This phase tests your patience thoroughly but trusts me it ends (even though it may not seem like it) with you attaining wisdom. Now the coping strategies that helped me through depression.
1) Acknowledging and establishing a connection with my feelings
Generally, we tend to avoid unpleasant experiences and feelings as a mechanism to heal ourselves but numbing doesn’t work. The desire to numb is highly likely to be triggered in an emotionally-draining situation only to haunt us later with greater severity. It’s important to be aware of what we feel in order to closely monitor them and avoid the rumination that follows.
If there’s one thing that has helped me throughout the whole episode of depression, it’s introspection. Not only does it make us more aware of our mind it also helped me develop the wisdom to tackle any unpleasant situation in a lot better way.
3). Choose physical activities over sedentary habits
Staying physically active and getting out of my comfort zone is a wonderful and constructive way to get my mind off the sad and depressing thoughts. Even 15 to 20 minutes of workout every day is a good start.
Meditation can be immensely helpful and super nourishing if done regularly. Basically, it teaches you to pause the everyday hustle and live in the now. Constant brooding over our past failures, miseries, and thoughts of an unpleasant future further intensifies the depression. That’s where meditation becomes as a savior!
5). Forgive yourself
It’s important to let go of our failures. Moreover, it’s important to realize that life gives us a lot many opportunities, don’t be harsh on yourself.
Reading has helped me greatly post-depression. It gives your mind a constructive piece to think about. The more diverse the read, the better it is.
7). Reach out to people, friends and loved ones
We often think that it’s impossible to convey ourselves and our thoughts to someone else but trust me there are so many people willing to help you out and lend you their time and affection. Talk and verbalize your thoughts. When you give words to your thoughts, it empowers you to deal with the same.
8). Maintain an everyday journal
This is where you can pour out all your emotions.
I wish all of you, wherever you’re in your journey, the power and resilience to move forward. All the best!
Note from Anne Moss: Priyanka and I “met” a few years ago after I lost my son, Charles to suicide. She found the blog on a google search. We’ve been emailing back and forth for years now. What an honor to have been on the sidelines to see how this young lady worked through her darkness, progressed, and found hope. She is currently looking for graduate opportunities in the United States.