For those that aren’t aware, I’ve struggled with both anxiety and depression for years, but they really started to effect my daily life when I was around 15. In the last year my anxiety has skyrocketed and I continue to go through bouts of depression where my “lowest points” last a couple of months. Everyday feels like an unstable roller coaster.
If you’ve ever suffered from either of these illnesses, (or, God forbid, both like I do) you understand how scary and draining just getting out of bed in the morning can be.
Living with anxiety and depression forces me to want to sleep constantly. I can sleep for 13 hours and still wake up exhausted. It’s like a never-ending fatigue. It makes working on my blog, editing, and writing very difficult to complete as often and as well as I would like. It makes going to work everyday even worse. My anxiety attacks have even forced me to go home early from work and my depression has at times made me call in because I didn’t feel strong enough to get out of bed that day.
Anxiety and depression not only effect my life, but also those around me. It makes having successful relationships very, very difficult. It makes it hard to be a good daughter, girlfriend, and friend on a daily basis when my draining exhaustion and fears take over my world.
While I do struggle with all of these issues on a daily basis, I still do my best to fight these illnesses every single day. I started by trying to fight the anxiety with medication, but that didn’t last long. I quickly realized that while that might helpful for other people, I became a little too dependent on it and I didn’t want to live that way.
After giving up the medication, I took the next step and sought out a therapist. So, yes, I am currently in counseling for my condition and it’s been very helpful. I’m getting the chance to talk about my painful past that has helped shape my anxiety and depression into what it is today, and I’m also learning coping methods as well. I really wanted to share my own personal tips for combating anxiety and depression on a daily basis because I understand the struggle. I understand how tired you are. I understand that you feel alone, helpless, and defeated. I understand that eventually you reach a point where you just don’t feel like you can fight it anymore. I’ve been there, and there are days where I’m still there, but I know that giving up will only make me weaker. The fighting is what makes you strong.
So, here are a few tips below for how to fight:
Seek professional help
I know it may sound like a big deal, but talking to a therapist or a counselor really is not that hard and it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Everyone needs a little help sometimes. All I did was look up local therapists, checked reviews, and made the phone call. I answered a few questions and they found a therapist for me that specializes in anxiety and she’s been super helpful.
Get a pet
My dogs make coming home a really happy thing for me. I love having the company, always having someone to snuggle with and having someone to go on walks with. Having those little companions makes my days happier. It also gives you a sense of responsibility and that can really help with the whole ‘getting out of bed’ thing.
Force yourself to do things
After I get out of work all I want to do is come home, crawl into bed, and stay there until the next day. I have my days where I get weak, and yes, it happens on occasion. In the spring, that’s what I did for months. Really. I got out of that by forcing myself to do things. I force myself to go on long walks with my mom and Coby, I spend time working on my projects, reading, playing basketball with Will, and I’ve also been spending a lot of time with my friend, Krystal even if it’s just watching a movie at her place or going out for drinks. We’re also going to start going to the gym together. For example, just last night I had plans to go to the Detroit Tiger’s game with my mom. I felt exhausted after work and wasn’t up for going anymore, but I still forced myself to go. I had a blast and had some really good quality with my mom. It was just what I needed and it was much better for me than staying in bed all night.
Lean on your friends & family
Whether you need to call a friend to talk about your feelings or go out and do something, have a good support system. There are times I’ve called Will in the middle of the night just because I needed to talk or needed some comfort. I’ve very open and honest about my conditions with him so he understands how to handle these situations. Other times, I just go over to Krystal’s and we do something fun together. When you need some support, comfort, or just some extra love, turn to your family and friends. They’re going to be a lot more willing to help you than you’d expect.
Be honest about what you’re feeling
If you truly want to fight this, you can’t lie to yourself. Be honest about what you’re dealing with and don’t try to hide from it. Hiding from it will only prolong your healing. Even when it hurts, face your struggles head on and fight them.
Even though there are times when I hate going on walks or working out because I feel too mentally and physically exhausted, I really do always feel better to get out and get my body moving. When I’m working out I’m able to clear my head and put things into perspective. My anxiety slows down and I’m able to think more rationally.
Do things that make you happy
About a week ago, I had the day off of work with no plans so I actually had a “me day.” I went to my favorite book store, bought two big stacks of books, got my favorite green tea from Panera, went shopping, and ended my day with a bubble bath. Generally when my depression and anxiety get really bad, I crave being around those closest to me. I find comfort in that so forcing myself to spend some time alone was a big step for me so do the same for yourself.
Workout, paint, read, go shopping, get your hair done, write, or take photos. Find what makes you happy and go do it!
Find a purpose
I don’t know my purpose in life. I have no idea why I’m here or what I’m meant to do, but I do know that I love blogging, editing, and writing. Having these things gives me a reason not to go to bed so early. It gives me a reason to make a to-do list and start checking things off. So find something that works for you. Give yourself that purpose and work towards making it the best you can.
Talk to God
Prayer is the most powerful tool and I really believe that. Whenever I pray, I feel stronger and life becomes not so scary anymore. Everything in my life begins to feel a bit more manageable. Prayer might seem a little daunting, but you’ll get used to it. There isn’t a right way or a wrong way. Just talk to God like he’s a friend. He’s always listening.