Why hello there. It’s been a while.
(UPDATE: I actually started writing this post in January, and never published it. It is now July.)
So in my about me, I’ve mentioned my depression and I wanted to touch on that today. Especially dealing with depression while caring for a small child.
While I wish I could give a good reason for being so absent. I just can’t. Matter of a fact is my mental health has not been fantastic this month. I’ve been battling with my depression which has been worstened by the one year anniversary of my father’s death. I’m nursing myself back to being able to function “properly” so I kind of wanted to share about what I’ve been doing to aid in this journey. Especially as a parent who is a stay at home parent. Caring for a small person who depends on you when you yourself can barely function is a struggle. A struggle, but a learning process. Part of this disease is learning to deal with the punches your brain throws at you.
Here are some of my tips for functioning while feeling like shit.
Open the windows as soon as you get up.
The sunlight will remind you that you need to get your shit together and start your day.
Make coffee as soon as humanly possible.
Caffiene is an instant mood lifter for me, and when you are cracked out on caffeine you can be a lot more productive.
Try to plan at least one small outing.
Even if it's to the grocery store. I usually start off with a trip to the coffee shop. (typical Jes.) Accomplishing a small task, especially being in public helps remind me that I can do things. Not to mention sunshine is supposed to help with depression.
Hug your small (or medium sized) human.
You are their entire world, and it's scientifically proven that a hug increases the hormone Oxytocin. Which makes you feel less shitty.
Do something for yourself.
Put on a facemask, wear a shirt that you feel badass in, go get that burger that you've been craving.
If you feel like crying. Do it. Even if you have to cry in front of your kids. I see it as a good reminder that you are human and have emotions.
Talk to people about what you're feeling.
From my experience and half of the reason I'm writing this post is that most people aren't well versed on the ins and outs on anxiety and depression. You may not feel like delving deep into a conversation when you're in the throws of depression, but even telling someone you're not having a good mental health day is a great step in moving forward. To make it even easier I got these "Anxiety" and "Depression" necklaces from Jen Gotch x Iconery. Depending on my mood, I wear one or both and it's opened up some great conversations with strangers. Not to mention 100% of the proceeds to to a great charity Bring Change to Mind which supports mental health advocacy. Jen Gotch (CCO and founder of Ban.do) also has an awesome Emotional Rating System that her and her mom came up with.
DO NOT GIVE UP
Be it situational, chemical, or seasonal, never stop searching for answers. I've been dealing with this issue for 13 whole years, gone through so many different medications, done therapy, stopped taking medications (don't do that), and because of my persistence, I've finally reached a diagnosis that actually makes sense.
(Touching on this in another post, because it deserves its own spotlight)
Those are just some of my personal things that I try to remember to do when going through a depressive episode and I hope that it helps someone out there.
Don't forget to reach out to your "strong" friends who you know are suffering. A simple text or a kind word goes so far.
What do you guys do on days when you can't function properly?