Mind and body energy are the vital parts of understanding and coping with your mental illness, especially in the case of my depression. Our bodies through depression suffer from a tortured mind and a strained body. When these two factors are not in balance, the darkness fills up all the places unmonitored, and before you know it you’re in “the deep end” feeling at loss, fatigue and helplessness.
Sound familiar to any of you?
What could I do to protect and maintain good energy levels?
1. Identify What Makes You Happy
Such a difficult question! For many of us and myself during my times of depression, there was nothing that could make me happy. Depression can turn even the most positive idea into a negative one.
Personally, it was my lack of self-esteem that was holding me back from experiencing my true happiness. I identified this through many group counselling sessions.
I would suggest looking into this particular type of counselling if your mind energy is stagnant. I found the support from others to alleviate loneliness, and the feedback to contribute to my understanding of the root of my self-esteem issue by hearing objective opinions, rather than the familiar sound of my own internal voice.
2. Spring Clean
I threw out old clothes, old memories – anything that gave me negative feelings or the wrong type of nostalgia. I found outfits that I could not identify with anymore, so I ditched them instead of holding onto them.
3. Thinking Space
Decluttering your living space can do wonders! I googled colour schemes in line with zen and meditation perspectives and ended up painting my walls white, installing white tables and buying black paintings, ornaments etc.
Although white gives a calmness, the black “mist” I feel inside sometimes is part of my personality too and I wanted to embrace it. Create a space that reflects the honesty of how you feel, and you will find comfort in your thoughts.
4. Keep a Journal
Despite the countless people that suffer from depression – you can still feel so alone. Talking about it with others still makes me feel nervous and vulnerable, and so I use a diary as a tool for writing down my feelings in a place where I feel comfortable.
I have found myself reading back and not recognising the person who wrote it. The words seem new, and ironically I learn more about myself once the shadow has passed. I have been able to identify triggers for my depression that I may have been “blind” to, until I physically read them on paper.
If you find yourself stuck on why you feel depressed or the source of your issue, this might prove an amazing tool for you to use.
Throwing back to my high school days, I remember being completely saturated in sports, feeling “physically full” – where my body was tired in the right way.
Exercise is not something I should have put on the back burner. My distaste for the gym wasn’t going to go anytime soon, and so I brought the gym to me. My weekend mornings now consist of getting up a little earlier than usual, putting on my favourite music & doing a deep stretch routine and then a few sets of weights or maybe a short walk. This gives my body a chance to release its tension, and my mind a break from racing thoughts.
Exercise also helps to increase your tolerance to stress. The more you expose yourself to regular exercise, the easier it becomes to deal with physical stressors. You are essentially strengthening your body to adapt, and this proves really helpful to combat those unplanned waves of dark moments where all you want to do is curl up and sleep.
Overall, it is really best to find what works for you. It’s a long road and takes much self-reflection, but hopefully, the above tips will be able to point you in the right starting direction.
Written by Saijhal C.W | @simplyembracing | www.simplyembracing.com