Last week, I learned a new coping strategy from Students Against Depression‘s website.
It’s quite simple: don’t wait for inspiration to do an activity, because – let’s face it – with depression, that could take some time.
Rather, if you are sat at home, staring at the wall, frozen with indecisiveness and a lack of enthusiasm for anything, give yourself one activity (getting dressed, getting out of bed for a shower, going for a walk, buying groceries, compiling and then playing a new music playlist) and just DO IT. Don’t think: just get started. I know it sounds easier said than done, but try it just once and see how you find it.
And once you get started, and do that activity, you will feel so accomplished. During a spell of poor health, I really did encounter the benefits after taking myself out for a walk in the local park. It was incredibly tough at first, but I practised mindfulness, repeated several positive affirmation statements to myself (“I, Emma, am more than good enough; I deserve to be happy, loved, treated with respect”). I sat by the canal, watched (and counted!) the ducks, basked in some sunshine, and reached the top of a hill to admire the London skyline. It was only once I got home, got a cup of tea, and had a chance to reflect that I realised it was worth than initial huge burst of energy.
The seemingly little things, so often overlooked as big achievements when unwell, have to be remembered at the end of each day – it’s momentum to push through and beat the demons within.