Being a human being is the most fascinating journey. There are many times when we truly feel the sense of awe and wonder that is present all around this planet, but there are SOOOO many times when we feel freaked out, frantic or fearful, and more often than not, it's about stuff that hasn't even happened yet (and probably won't).
Don't think you are the only one feeling the way that you do
For some reason, when we are feeling in our darker place, we think that everyone else is 'doing fine', and that there is something wrong with us, and us alone. OR we go into denial, and play the 'everything's fine' number, often using drink, drugs or even device time to bury the angst way down deep. And there are CERTAINLY many of us doing that!
The World Health Organisation cites that over 400 million people worldwide suffer from depression and has launched the Mental Health action plan 2013 - 2020. The majority of people do not receive any kind of treatment, particularly in developing countries. It STILL seems to be something that is not openly talked about, although wonderful people like TIm Ferris and our very own John Kirwin are paving the way by bravely sharing their own experiences around depression.
Are you taking care of your own mental wellbeing?
I am not saying that everyone is depressed, but I DO think that many of us experience levels of anxiety, worry and fear that we shouldn't have to tolerate. More often than not it is because our boundaries are out, and we are simply overdoing it. If this stays unchecked, you do risk spiralling into depression (and if you want to know if you are depressed, then a great place to start the enquiry is by taking the simple test here. If you do think that you are already there, please go see your GP straight away, just don't do it alone for a moment more.
Here are some great tips from the wonderful website depression.org.nz (with links to more information on each) on how to manage the glum days;
- Get some exercise
- Keep in touch with your friends
- Sleep well
- Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs
- Relax and reduce stress
I know it sounds basic stuff, but I also know a number of people who are directly affected by depression, and who swear by these strategies.
I think one of the things that has really helped me, has been realising that we are all messed up in the head, to some extent, and it is just one of those tricky things we need to navigate. In the past, my tendency has been to get all dramatic and intense about it, focus on what's not working and play the victim card, feeling completely powerless. Now whenever I get that THUD feeling (usually first thing in the morning, and yes, it still happens), I notice it, acknowledge it, and get more committed to doing the things mentioned in the above bullet points. One other strategy that I love is writing in my gratitude journal every night, it doesn't need to be much, just a couple of acknowledgements about what has been great about the day. I also have compassion for myself, rather than beating myself up when I feel ungrateful, because that REALLY doesn't help the situation!
Here's to being human, and all of its foibles!!