I’ve seen countless blogs about how others should love us through depression. I’ve sure you all have seen them too with titles such as: “Things to Remember When Loving Someone With Depression” or “How to Love Me and My Depression.”
Although most of the blogs with these and similar titles are good reading material and “share worthy” I wanted to switch things up, cut the bullshit, and face the fact that many of us don’t know how to love our own selves through depression and anxiety.
It is no secret that I have struggled with depression and anxiety through the years. I try to be very transparent in this area of my life in order to open the eyes of those around me, help those in need, and make depression and anxiety seem a little more relatable and a little less taboo.
10 Ways We Suck At Loving Ourselves Through Depression/Anxiety:
1.) We Make Excuses
When I get depressed or am feeling anxious I become the queen of excuses (no matter how far fetched the excuse, I’m sure I’ve used it a time or two.) I often find myself making excuses for everything when I’m feeling myself slip into a low-point. Whether you haven’t showered for two days, you haven’t attended class all week, or you can barely get yourself out of bed… there’s an excuse for that. Don’t fall into the “excuse” way out of things trap. Although there is literally an excuse that can be found (or made up) for everything and anything do not take the easy way out. Instead find excuses on why you SHOULD shower, attend class, and roll out of bed. (Or whatever else it is that you’re making excuses for).
2.) We Forget To Take Care Of Ourselves
If you’re anything like me then you know how easy it can be to put other’s needs in front of your own. When your mental health is detiorating it important to remember that you simply cannot pour from an empty cup. Do not overwhelm yourself more by trying to fill every minute of free time up with a distraction. Focus on yourself, your needs, your health, and your happiness. Make choices that benefit you and push you closer to clarity, health, and joy. Wake up early and fix your hair real nice, or wear your favorite outfit, stop by your favorite coffee shop, listen to your favorite song and learn how to spend time doing things that make your world a little better.
3.) We Can Be Jerks
There is a thin line between putting yourself and your happiness first versus being a selfish jerk. I have crossed the line more times than I’d like to count (or admit). Loving ourselves during depression and spouts of anxiety sometimes requires us to allow others to love on us too. I sometimes get caught up in the “independent” lifestyle where I “don’t need no help” from anyone. (Which is total bullsh*t) In return, I have hurt those close to me when they were trying to reach out and help and overwhelmed myself by trying to tackle everything on my own. Never use your depression or anxiety as an excuse to neglect, abuse, or shut out the people who love you most.
4.) We Stop Nourishing Our Bodies
When I find myself at a low point it becomes really easy to either forget to eat or eat everything in sight. It goes without saying that nutrition is a really important factor in our health. Make yourself eat even when you don’t feel like it. Make yourself some quick and healthy snacks to fuel your mind and body. (One of my favorite go-to’s when I need to relax is a tea called “Tension Tamer” that helps with stress!)
5.) We Play The Blame Game
Although life has it’s way of throwing us curveballs and taking us on trips to hell and back… ultimately our happiness is up to us. (Don’t @ me with nonsense about how you cannot be happy because of xyz, refer back to #1. No excuses!) It is no one else’s “job” or “duty” in this life to make you happy so do not rely on others for your happiness. (You won’t find it.) It would be easy for me to blame my ex and the breakup for my depression, I could point blame at my previous jobs, I could point blame at the university I attended, I could even blame my dog on some days. Truth of the matter is is that other people/institutions/things will disappoint you at some point or another, however, at the end of the day you must find joy on your own and drop your finger pointing and take responsibility for yourself and your own actions. What are you doing for yourself to better your environment?
6.) We Seclude Ourselves
Sometimes when we find ourselves in a depressive rut it is easy to seclude ourselves. There is so many misconceptions, stigmas, and stereotypes when it comes to depression and anxiety. I often find myself not returning calls, texts, and messages and shutting myself off to those nearest to me during dark times because it’s “easier to shut up and suffer than explain and ask for help.” Please do not fall for that trap. When we are hardest to love is when we need love the most! Always have someone you can call or reach out to when you feel like your life is a mess. If your friends aren’t willing to be your shoulder and backbone during life’s trials then they aren’t really your friend to begin with. Forget your fear, drop your guard, and find someone you can be raw and honest with during your hard days.
7.) We Worry Too Much About What Other People Think
Be brave. Be bold. Be honest. In other words, to hell with whatever anyone else thinks of you. If you’re having a bad day and all you want to do is listen to sappy songs and scream at the top of your lungs, do so! If you want to reach out to someone on Facebook because you’re feeling alone, please do! (P.s. My inbox is always open for those who feel like they need to talk but have no where to turn.) If you want to sing about it, write a poem about it, or just be honest and open about your struggles I highly encourage it! I have seen way too many people suffer in silence out of the fear of judgement from others. I have lost some really good people in my life to suicide and I wish that they would have felt confident enough to ask for help before it was too late and that is something I want to see end. There is no shame in getting help and/or reaching out.
8.) We Let Social Media Take Over
It is always important to remember how fake social media can be. Don’t get me wrong, I looooveee me some facebook, twitter, instagram, Snapchat… you name it, but it is extremely important to separate yourself from reality and the fantasy land we portray on the internet. Stop comparing your life to the lives of others we see on the screen for the grass is always greener where we water it. Nobody’s life is perfect or glamorous all the time, don’t get caught up in that lie.
9.) We Numb
Instead of focusing on the situation at hand it is so much easier to numb our feelings when depressed and anxious. Temporary fixes can lead to dependency problems, addictions, and even more turmoil. Save yourself time, money, and energy and focus on yourself, your feelings, emotions, and goals. Re-evaluate why you’re feeling the way you are and try to come up with solutions and goals to combat it. Numbing is temporary, solving the problem is forever.
10.) We Don’t Celebrate Our Victories
Last but certainly not least is celebrating our victories. Did you get out of bed this morning? Did you eat today? Did you listen to a sad song without bawling your eyes out? Did you leave a job you hate? Make a big move? Victories big or small deserve to be celebrated. Celebrate yourself every once in awhile. Take yourself to dinner. But yourself a coffee on the way to work. Take notice when you see yourself improving or taking steps to improve your mental health.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression and are serious about getting help and making positive changes in your life please get help! Talk to a doctor, a family member, close friend, teacher… etc. It’s never too late to experience the happiness you deserve!
much love, peace, and good vibes,
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