Randoms: Coping with depression

Random writing led me to think about all the little cumulative things I do to manage my mental health.

Here are things I do daily as part of my routine:

Night time

I do some form of exercise every single day. I finally joined the gym in June and am developing a habit. Monday, Wednesday and Friday is resistance training. Tuesday and Thursday is running. Saturday is yoga. Sunday is supposed to be a rest day but I find I need to do something so I end up doing a short 15min HIIT session.

I read a lot of self-help books. Recently read Mark Manson’s book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***k” and it has given me ideas of new ways of looking at things that have been life-affirming.

I now make the effort to maintain friendships.

I am constantly relearning the importance of communication.

Being open with my family about mental health.

By far the most significant thing was acceptance. Accepting that this is something I have that likely won’t be cured but can be managed.

All these little things and routines have helped towards maintaining a healthy mind even during trying times.

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21 thoughts on “Randoms: Coping with depression

  1. You had me up until the cold shower 😱

    Seriously though, it sounds as if you have worked out exactly what to do to manage your health – both physical and mental – and I expect you will develop new and different strategies at different stages of your life. I think lots of us could learn from your determination and coping skills.
    x

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    1. Lol. I have been doing the cold showers for over a year now and I cant not have one in the morning – its like I have not woken up until I get the zing and stimulation of a freezing cold shower. That first time it hits my scalp is always the moment I feel ready to tackle the day :-). Crazy but it works for me. You are so right about the iterative process – I am constantly reviewing and trying out new things based on my wide reading. Its an ever changing process. x

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  2. I am so impressed! I struggle as well, and like you found acceptance (and an understanding family) to be a big part of health. Keep on rockin’ it, Hila!

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  3. This is really helpful. I love to see someone using a lot of healthy activities and basics like nutrition and exercise as opposed to only a mountain of medications and then avoiding healthy activities, the way too many I have met seem to do sometimes. Even if medicine may work for some, how can anyone do without nutrition and exercise and healthy peaceful habits? I’m glad you have found things that work for you, and it’s good of you to share them so others may benefit too.

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    1. Thanks for the lovely words Donnalee. I am not on meds right now and its good for me to know that if things get beyond me the meds will be available to me. I have been on meds when I was unable to cope and they helped to give me back a sense of control. Its an ongoing process and all we can do is keep at it. x

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  4. Thanks so much for posting this. I too struggle with depression. I do most of the things you have listed, plus medication and therapy. (Exception: my shower has to be _hot_.) Curious about the probiotic – how does it help with depression?

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    1. Hi Kathleen. I read an excellent book by Giulia Enders called “Gut: the inside story of our body’s most under-rated organ”. She is a scientist and her speciality is the gut and she present all the current state of research on the gut brain axis. Its a really long read and she writes in an accessible way. In it she talks about different types of probiotics and what they do. Based on that I started taking probitics at the end of last year and I feel the difference in my mood when I have forgotten to take them. They have worked for me but it took trying out 3 different types for 6 weeks each before finding the one that worked best for me. The benefits are mild but in combination with the other things I do – they have remained in my routine. There is plenty of research on the gut brain axis and I’d recommend the book as a good starting point. Hope that makes sense.

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    1. Lol! I am so used to the cold showers now I cant not have one. I do have hot showers in lieu of a bath at night before bed though. I now associate hot showers with getting ready for sleep.

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  5. I left a comment here yesterday and it seems to have been eaten by the internet. Anyway, the gist was,

    1) depression sucks balls, and I’m sorry you have to deal with it too
    2) meds are another option that should not be overlooked if you need them (I see from a later comment that you are of this opinion too – phew!)
    3) I love your blog and have just moved to W Yorkshire and thank you for giving me an entry into the sewing scene here even if you didn’t realise it

    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lucy and welcome to West Yorkshire! I am so glad you enjoy this little corner of the interwebs. Sorry that you had to rewrite your comment though I really do appreciate your taking the time and effort to do it again. I prefer to not be on meds if I can manage but knowing they are there and can help me helps. It did take trying out several types before getting to one that worked well for me. I hated the first 4 types that I tried and felt despair at the idea of being on them for any length of time. I had a really great GP who worked with me encouraging me to keep at it until something worked :-). Have you taken in the fabulous fabric shops we have on offer here in W.Yorks? X

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