Depression is a horrible thing – it affects one in four of us, (though I think the statistic is much higher) and often, leads to more serious issues, such as anxiety, and insomnia, or conversely, can be fed by them.
I’ve always been hesitant to offer advice about managing depression, in part because I don’t want people to use my advice and get into more difficult situations, or worse, become even more depressed, so while I’m offering five suggestions, there are of course others.
My top five go-to’s when depressed
I’m not kidding when I say that these are my top five, and in this order. I am trying to take my medication far less, so none of these are ‘take your meds’, which I’ve found is a suggestion that happens quite a lot.
- 1.Have a relaxing bath or shower – find your favourite scent (whatever you have accessible) and have a bath or shower. I’ve found a great product on Amazon, called Feather and Down, which is a sleep spray, but their bath oil to milk is just divine. If you’re not a bath person, grab an indulgent shower. Break out your favourite moisturiser, shower gel, whatever you like that makes you feel better. If you’ve been less than great about brushing your hair, put it under a shower cap, you can deal with that after your bath, when you feel up to it, or if you want, give it a wash too.
- 2.Indulge in something just for you – my partner often brings me home ice cream or chocolate, but actually, what I like doing is having five minutes just to myself in the forest, which is why we go out to local forestry parks, or Arboretums. (yes, it’s called Forest Bathing, which is something recommended for depression)
- 3.Indulge in one of your hobbies – I know it’s hard to feel comfortable doing something only for yourself, but it’s important to try to relax into a hobby. And you deserve time to yourself.
- 4.Spend time with your pets – spending time with my cats is some of the best therapy for me.
- 5. If all else fails, if you have one, curl up with an anxiety blanket. If you don’t, I recommend getting one – they’re well worth it. Again, there are some available on Amazon (UK link – US link). I’ve had several anxiety blankets, and I’ve found that I sleep better, and I calm down faster.
The research based on anxiety blankets is extensive, but my own experience (anecdotal as it is) is that it’s a great aid.
While these suggestions work for me, the biggest recommendation I can make if you are depressed is seek help. Go talk to a doctor.
Do you have any suggestions for people to help them relax or find space when depressed.