I’m sorry I’ve been absent from the platform this past couple of days. I’ve been feeling a bit unmotivated and dealing with some negative thoughts and emotions. However, I am back now and was thinking of going over some of the healthy coping methods I use when I have my heavily depressed moments when things just feel too overwhelming. Hopefully, this gives others some ideas or methods for their own self-care, if they would like to start exploring options of course, and I would love to hear some of your own coping methods if you have any 🙂
When it comes to dealing with negative emotions and thoughts, I think, there are generally two ways of going about them. I will briefly explain these methods and then go into some examples and details of some things that help me that may help you, or at least inspire you to customize your own.
One Flat Tire and Two Spares
(The Flat being depressive thoughts and the Spares being my two ways of dealing with it. Let’s get moving!)
Method (Spare) 1: You Deserve Some “Me Time!”
One method would be trying to distract yourself or get out of your head for a bit. So take a much-deserved break! However, the people that I have talked to sometimes find this method insensitive, or offensive. I think it is important to state that we are by no means saying that going for a walk, watching a movie, or meeting up with friends is going to ‘fix’ everything. I understand this is an ongoing process that will not just disappear overnight. The main benefits to this method are allowing yourself to swim back to the surface, from the deep ocean of your tangled thoughts, for some much-needed air time. At least before you dive back in. As someone dealing with depressive thoughts, I am constantly spending too much time inside my head, basking in the never ending negative thoughts and insecurities. So, although it may not seem life changing, it’s important to allow yourself time to do something you enjoy. If you’re like me, it won’t be easy getting out of bed in the morning, especially to do something you think to be meek. So I encourage exploration of different things you enjoy that you would not mind getting back into or starting!
- Often when I am feeling unmotivated and just awful, it really helps to force myself out of bed and get dressed and ready for the day, even if I have nowhere to go. I think spending the time to get dressed and refreshed will aid a bit with the mood of the day! It’s like a small little treat for yourself that can help you look and feel your best.
- Another thing I do is expose myself to lighter topics! Stand-up comedy is my favorite for this! I often explore many comedians and their specials on Netflix and youtube. Perhaps you would much rather enjoy something else like a comedy/romance movie, lovely cat videos, or some funny fail videos that can help illuminate your mood. The important thing is to choose something that doesn’t cause too many negative emotions. This could be painting, gaming, reading, and oh so much more!
- If you are a more physical/ outdoors person, perhaps going for a stroll in the park, a swim, or hike may be something you would be interested in!
- Spend time with others! Having others to engage with, whether a professional or casual manner, can get you back to the things you want to do.
Method (Spare) 2: Let Them Out!
A Second way of going about dealing with negative emotions and thoughts is self-analysis. This would consist of trying to understand and process the thoughts and feelings as they arise. However, this process is tricky because we don’t want you falling into, or settling in these thoughts. Part of the analysis would be to understand what you are feeling (perhaps there is an incident that can help explain the why) but if not that okay! Then understand that it is okay to feel these the way you do! However, you are a lot of great things as well. For every reason to believe you are ‘useless’ there are more so reasons for why you are worthwhile. This method can have its challenges as people often believe they are just lying to themselves. When we get so caught up in this vicious cycle of negative thoughts constantly making themselves known, it is difficult to discard them as ‘untrue’.
- Some examples of the analysis method could be finding a way to express your thoughts onto paper, or in a journal without any judgment. Just write!. As a way to get them all out. Over time it will be nice to see the progress in your thought process that you have made. If you are having trouble figuring out what to say, or write about, perhaps a list of something will help. This could be some things you are grateful for, want to accomplish, or how you see yourself. For every negative, write a positive.
- This can also help you figure out what it is you want to do next in order to achieve your goals. Let’s say you want to be a better person, to speak your mind, and stand up for yourself! This is great! But is very vague, adding some details with help clear things up and establish ways to achieving these qualities of what a better person means to you!
- Perhaps you want to be… Let’s say more honest, a better student, or a better friend! How would you go about this? When you say you want to be more honest, what do you want to be honest about? Perhaps you want to be more honest to yourself and your needs and want to voice when you feel uncomfortable about things, so you don’t have to settle or get stuck in a situation you don’t want to be in. Then it might be helpful to clarify what being honest isn’t. Speaking your mind and being honest does not mean you have to be mean or discouraging in any way!
- Or maybe you are like me and like to listen to some amazing music and pace around your room or house! Whenever I feel anxious or restless, it helps to plug in my headphones and allow music to convey my thoughts. While at the same time, pacing around as a way of releasing that tension.
- Reach out to other peeps! If you feel comfortable talking to others about something you feel stumped on takes a lot of courage! The fact that you took the time to share something so difficult to discuss will be appreciated.
I hope you found this to be useful. I know that not everything will be right for everyone and that is okay, the fact that you are trying and are exploring other options is what matters! What you are going through or feeling is normal and finding a way to deal with or express them when they occur can lessen the blow.
Until Next Time.
Some Journaling and Dealing with Challenging Situations Tips: http://www.yourlifeyourvoice.org/Pages/Tips.aspx
Crisis text line;
Text home to 741741 anywhere in the US, about any type of crisis.
It is anonymous and provides trained counselors to speak to.
For those in the UK This website has a few links to other resources available to ya! https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/suicide-prevention-resources-and-guidance