“Worrying doesn’t take away tomorrow’s troubles. It takes away today’s peace.” – Unknown
Most of us who suffer or have suffered from a form of depression and/or anxiety can recollect their darkest times or “rock bottom.” Eleven years ago, I found myself at my rock bottom suffering from severe depression and anxiety. I can say with certainty that I have learned a lot about myself since then: my inner strength, compassion, patience, and understanding. Although I am a transformed person comparatively, I still wrestle with my own apprehensions on a daily basis but have learned many tools, tips, and tricks that work for me. Here are a few I would highly recommend:
Mmmm…I love me some meditation. Over a decade ago, I was having a terrible time coping with my anxiety. My husband (then boyfriend), introduced me to meditation. I first had an audio clip that focused on centralized breathing. This may seem silly, but it was such a major breakthrough being able to harness my thoughts. Try to focus on your breathing for 3 straight minutes without thinking about anything else. I bet you can’t because it’s amazing what pops into your head! Meditation is an exceptional mental exercise that helps me focus and strengthen my mindfulness.
It’s ME time!
Many professionals and mommy vloggers (one of my favorites is Juggling the Jenkins!) talk about “me time” and the awesome benefits this time has on your mental state. It took years for me to be comfortable with the idea and not feel completely selfish. Any amount of time is beneficial; 15 mins is great, but a couple of hours a week is ideal for me to refresh and reset. During this time, I don’t think about doing chores or “things I should be doing” instead I let my mind go blank, forget the world for just a second. I partake in activities I love: catch up on my horror movies, go window shopping, have a drink with friends, etc. I take full advantage of this time so I can become the best version of myself with a renewed sense of patience and liveliness.
The dishes can wait!
Enjoy the little things, be spontaneous, and take advantage of the opportunities! It’s so much easier to sit inside and watch TV. Many thanks to my husband for irritating the crap out of me to get me out of my comfort zone. Every day we face a never-ending, overwhelming to-do list. So, when my 5-year-old asks if we can go outside and ride bikes? Yes, absolutely! Go outside and enjoy the sunshine! Your dishes will be waiting later. Can I drop everything every time? No, because then we wouldn’t own real dishes, just paper plates, and plastic cups.
As Dr. Suess once said, “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”
Communication is major!
THIS IS HUGE! If you’re not feeling the best or maybe even a little off, don’t hold it in! Talk it out! My biggest hurdle was and still is trying to communicate what I’m feeling. But once I do, I feel amazingly relieved and invigorated to create a game plan to get myself back on track. It’s key to have that loved one or a professional you can openly communicate without feeling ashamed or judged (because there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of!)
“If a problem is fixable, if the situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.” Dalai Lama