If you’ve clicked on this, you have probably experienced struggling with depression or a depression slump. Believe me when I say you’re not alone.
Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses, but also one of the most pervasive. While it can be effectively managed, that doesn’t necessarily mean it can always be completely eradicated. In fact slumps are pretty common!
So what is a depression slump? It can have many faces. For me, a slump can appear as a bad mental health day where it feels beyond me to face the day. It can also appear as a general but persistent ‘fog’ that feels like apathy or just not caring.
Depression is something I have faced for years, and I know that finding things to help a slump can be hard. However a slump looks for you, here’s 5 simple but effective ways to help:
Please note I am not a mental health professional, I speak from my own experience with mental illness. If you are struggling, please seek professional help or check out some crisis resources here
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1. Get out of bed and wash your sheets
Have you experienced a slump that makes you not want to get out of bed? Get up. Wash your sheets.
Not only will it make you feel productive because you’ve done something, but there is nothing like fresh smelling and feeling sheets. Use some fabulous smelling fabric softener for an extra bonus.
2. Have a bath or shower
I honestly prefer baths to make myself feel better, but I don’t even have a bath right now, so make do with what you’ve got.
A depression slump can cause you to start neglecting personal hygiene. In fact I’ve spoken before about how it can be a sign that your mental health may be slipping.
Having a shower or bath and getting clean can feel like seeing the world with fresh eyes. Aside from the obvious benefit of being clean, it can also be really soothing.
While you obviously can’t use a bath bomb in a shower, there’s also something therapeutic about feeling fresh water stream over you. Work with what you’ve got, but get clean!
3. Talk to family or a friend
If you’re in the throes of a depression slump, talking to someone may feel like the last thing you want to do. In fact that feeling may be a form of self destructive behaviour.
As much as you don’t want to, reaching out is important! I know you probably want to be left alone, I’ve wanted to be left alone too. That doesn’t mean it’s what I needed.
Reaching out doesn’t mean you have to have a deep conversation about everything in your head, even just small talk can help you reengage with life.
This is important because it can help you snap out of your own head.
4. Engage in self care
I’ve spoken before about the importance of self care, and it really is important!
For me, self care is horse riding or picking up my Kindle. (I know people thing it’s cheating if I’m reading on a device, but it’s waterproof, holds multiple books and it’s easy to send any book I like to it, what more could you ask?) Whenever I’m in a depression slump, or even just having a crappy day, I know going for a ride or getting absorbed in a book will snap me out of it.
Self care can mean different things for different people, so don’t narrow it down to what others do. Do what makes you feel good! If that means blasting music and dancing in your room, do it. If it means exercising, great! Whatever it is, make time for it and do it.
By engaging in self care you’re reconnecting not only with the world, but with yourself.
5. Write in a journal
If you haven’t started a journal, you should.
Not only is it a super helpful way of visualising your thoughts in a non biased way, it’s a great way to vent without repercussions. You can write exactly what you think without worrying about hurting anyone’s feelings, it’s a great way of blowing off steam.
If you’re not sure where to start with a reflective journal, consider subscribing to my email list for a free 2 page template! However if you need something a little more comprehensive, check out these workbooks. I personally use the mental health and anxiety workbooks from these guys which have been a game changer for structured reflections and tips.
If you’re not ready to dive that deep, simply pick up a cute journal and scribble down whatever comes to you.
Know when to get professional help
There is no shame in seeking professional help. This is something I struggled to accept but if your depression slump won’t go away, or if you’re in a bad headspace, it might be time to reach out for help.
Be honest with yourself about when that point is. It can be incredibly enticing to ignore when things are getting bad, but ignoring it will not solve it, and can make it worse.
A key part of knowing yourself with mental illness is knowing what’s normal and manageable for you, and what requires more intervention.
Be kind to yourself during a depression slump
Depression has a nasty way of making you feel bad about yourself. The hardest part to recognise, is that it’s the depression talking.
These slumps are normal, and you deserve to be kind to yourself. It took me a long time to accept that there was nothing shameful about having bad times.
While you’re in a slump, be gentle on yourself. Show yourself some love, beating yourself up won’t make you feel better.
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