One of the major keys to dealing with anxiety and depression is to get ahold of it before it spirals out of control. But exactly how is that done? Also, having a plan for when it does spiral out of control is necessary to expedite your recovery to mental and emotional stability. Therapy, scriptures, and affirmations are three major tools that have helped me. Also, having someone you trust when you can’t talk to your therapist and having a SOURCE, which I call God/Creator/Divine/Source when you have no one to talk to is major. For me, Source is always available but, I know there are things I can do on my own to help myself. And this is encouraged by Source.
I think you should really get to know who you are and how things affect you. The only way to do that is to be totally honest with yourself. I am sensitive as I found most creative people are. It allows us to channel our emotions into what we are creating. I have a tendency to take things more personally, overthink, and overanalyze. I have learned how to back out of those things and become an observer for the most part. I also know that it takes me time to move past things. Over the years it has become easier to move past things. I think that comes with wisdom and not age.
Here are some of the things I do to help me to get ahold of anxiety and depression:
I acknowledge what I am feeling and then I ask myself why I am feeling it. What happened? Who said it? Consider the source from which it came from and are they credible? No one is more credible than God for me. If it’s coming from a person I don’t know, a person that is negative, a person that doesn’t like me, why would I feed into their opinion? Exactly. Unless, deep down inside I feel that way about myself and I am honest if I do! If they say, “You are ugly” and lately I have been ripping myself apart I’m going to feel bad. BUT YOU have the power to change what you feel by changing what you think and speak.
I use affirmations for anxiety and depression. If I feel afraid to sleep, I say to myself over and over, I am safe in my body. I am safe in my home.
I use scripture pertaining to whatever I am feeling or scriptures to contrary. If I feel weak, I say I am strong. If I feel afraid, I say God has not given me a spirit of fear but of power and love.
I say, “Oh. I am feeling some anxiety today. I can fold my clothes. I can do some work as I work through this. I can do some exercise.”
If I have persistent thoughts or episodes, I make an appointment with my therapist (currently searching for a new one).
I talk to a friend I trust.
I cry. Crying is a release.
I pamper myself. I take hot showers. I oil and lotion up. I give myself a pedi/mani or go get one. I soak in a lavender Epsom salt and pink Himalayan salt mix. I schedule a massage session.
I go to my bathroom and read my yearly marching orders or my affirmations to reset my brain.
Now, what about when anxiety is CODE RED or depression is CODE BLUE!
My plan is to shut things down for a day or two this can include social media and putting phone calls on hold.
I call my therapist.
I rely on all the things above.
I immerse myself in Netflix, a blanket, and the couch.
I allow myself to sleep.
I lose myself in a hobby.
BUT the maximum I give myself is TWO DAYS and then I MUST come out of it. Anything longer than that can set me up for darker and deeper holes that are difficult and require help to come out of. I come out of it by pushing, forcing, and dragging myself to get back to a routine. A little at a time. And during this time, I make sure personal hygiene stays on top. If you don’t wash your face, brush your teeth, change clothes, shower, YOU WILL FEEL EVEN MORE LIKE CRAP. People tend to let themselves go in bouts of anxiety and deep dark times of depression.
During this time, I stay hydrated. I do allow myself some treats but I also make sure I eat as healthily as possible. Too much sugar or salt will make you feel worse. I add one of those packs of Vitamin C to my water. I sit on the porch. I go for a walk. I do 10 minutes of yoga if I don’t feel like doing 30. I do tai chi because it is slow movement. I may just stretch every two hours.
I hope this helps someone. Recently in Memphis, this week, we went through so many tragedies many of us are feeling things we can’t explain and some of us know exactly what we are feeling.