Take Your Power Back From Depression
Grief Coach Elise Perry
Depression is one of the most common complications of chronic illness. It’s estimated that up to one-third of individuals with a serious medical condition have symptoms of depression.
Living with a Chronic Illness is hard alone and adding depression onto it doesn’t make coping any easier. Oftentimes individuals have to adjust to both; Chronic Illness and depression. I was one of those individuals who had to adjust to both.
At birth I was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Anemia, an inherited blood disease. Living with Sickle Cell Anemia I am in and out of the hospital, dealing with being fatigued, constantly taking pain medication and trying to manage work and maintain a social life.
At a young age I learned to be strong because I knew Sickle Cell wasn’t going anywhere. I thought being strong was not showing any weaknesses so I would mask how I felt. I would tell people it was fine but in reality I was struggling, struggling to maintain happiness, struggling to identify what was really bothering me and struggling to figure out who I was. I bottle these things up and answer everything with I’m fine . I didn't know that this would affect me later in life.
My Chronic Illness was impacting my life and not just my health. It was showing in my friendships, my relationships, my mood and even in my workplace. I recall a time in my life where I was going to work everyday but my mind would be in another place. I was honestly showing up to work so I wouldn’t get fired. I would go to work everyday, do enough to stay in compliance and out of upper managements view but I would sit at my desk and just scroll on social media my entire shift. My life became this routine, dragging myself out of the bed, getting to work, sitting at my desk, scrolling social media, going home cooking dinner and going to bed and then I would repeat this cycle all over again the next day.
Approximately a month had passed and I had been hospitalized twice back to back before I realized something was wrong with me. I started to realize that symptoms of depression were showing up in my life. However, I was uneducated so I just thought everything was ok. I was isolating myself, I stayed focused and I felt an overall sadness every day like there was something more to life but I could not put my finger on it. I knew it had to be more and something and to change because I did not like how I was feeling, this was not who I was. I started my search for a therapist. Once I found my therapist I began my journey to healing and before I knew it was being diagnosed with situational depression. I honestly was shocked because all I can think about is no not me, I can’t be depressed. After hearing my therapist tell me I was dealing with situational depression I was determined to learn more to become better.
Situational depression is different from clinical depression but can feel very similar. Situational depression can be caused by stress or a traumatic experience. When I found out that I was dealing with depression, work was stressing me out and I no longer wanted to be there. I often deal with depression around the anniversary of my parents death.
Navigating through depression I was able to learn how to cope better. Learning how to cope with depression has allowed be to live a more happier fulfilled life and I am going to share tree tips on how you can take your power back from depression;
The first tip is: Take The Time You Need- Unfortunately, depression doesn't have an end day and its like the weather, forever changing. You will have great days and you will have some bad days. Take advantage of those great days and take the time you need when you have your bad days. When you are having great days bask in the days and boost your self image by being kind to yourself and prating positive thinking. When you are having a bad dad remember that it is ok and that this moment will not last forever.
The second tip is: Find Somethings That Makes You Happy- When I finally was diagnosed with having situational depression I knew I had to make a change. I would go to the water and journal, I would also listen to music and cook some of my favorite foods and drink an adult beverage Oh, and a little two step dancing. Getting the body moving helps with physical activity relieves stress and can make you feel great.
The third tip is: Set attainable goals- Lengthy to do list can be overwhelming so break them down to smaller goals. For example, cleaning the house, cleaning the bathroom. Once you have completed the small goal go onto the next goal this way you have tangible achievements and not a lengthy to do list. Click here for a link to an easy to-do list that will help manage your goals.
The fourth tip is: Get some rest- People with depression often have trouble sleeping either they are sleeping too much or sleeping too little. Get yourself on a sleeping schedule and stick to it. If you are struggling to sleep, try some lavender in the diffuser at night as well as some rain noise and you can be sure to sleep like a baby.
Lastly: Speak- Our words have power and sometimes we have to open our mouth and command things over our life. I began to speak positive affirmations daily and I would command my day by saying “Today will be a great day and I will not be sad today, today I will be productive.” I would write these affirmations on sticky notes and place them where I can see them as soon as I get my day started so in my bathroom and in the kitchen. There are also apps that can help you with affirmations daily by sending you notifications straight to your phone such as selfishbabes.
With Love, Grief Coach, Elise Perry
Are you ready to take your power back from depression?
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