No, this is not gonna be a post with cliché tips to be your best and happy self. Because quite frankly, those things don't really work. But lately I've made a few small changes in my life which really made me happier.
I've been fighting depressive feelings for a long time, and along with that came a lot of stress. But since a few months or so I've been feeling much better. I wondered why, so I made a small list of the changes that I made. I found out that they're mainly small things, so I figured it might be worth sharing.
1. Allow yourself to be sad.
I think this has been a very important change for me. I used to fight that depressive feeling, trying to force myself to be happy. Well let me tell you a secret; you can't do that. You can't force yourself to be happy. So instead you should do the opposite: allow yourself to be sad. It's totally okay to feel sad. Just know that eventually it'll pass. When I'm really down I always take a deep breath and say to myself: "You're sad right now, and that's perfectly fine. Just put on some comfy clothes, make yourself a cup of tea and go to bed early tonight. Tomorrow will be better. And if not? Then that's okay too. Because eventually it'll pass."
2. Try not to worry too much.
Now, I know this is easier said than done, but it really does help. I used to worry about everything. I was always worried about what people thought of me and my actions, I was worried about the future, about whether or not I was doing the right thing, and so on. Just stop. Take a deep breath and tell yourself that it'll be fine. Really, comforting yourself, how weird it may sound, often helps. As for worrying about the future: just do what you love. Of course, you need to keep an eye on the future, but don't let that stop you from doing what you love.
3. Look good, feel good.
Okay this subtitle does sound cliché, but it's true. I've noticed that I feel way better when I think I look good. I don't really wear make-up, but dressing nice makes me feel really happy. And if the clothes you want to wear are a little strange, or at least to society, just wear them anyway. Don't worry about what others think. If there's one thing I learned from the days on which I wore some strange clothing combinations, is that if you wear it long enough you'll stop caring.
4. Know when it's okay to force yourself and when not.
Now, while it's not good to force yourself to be happy, it sometimes is good to give yourself a little push. For example, if you've been doing nothing for days because you feel sad, it's time to kick your own butt. Go do something, even if it's going outside for one minute. Doing nothing all day will only make things worse.
But then there are also cases where it's not good to force yourself. For example, if you've been overworking yourself and you have more work to do, it's time to stop. Take a break, take good care of yourself. Make yourself a cup of tea, watch your favourite movie, read a book, listen to some good music, go out with friends, whatever you'd like to do. Allow yourself to take a break.
5. Plan ahead.
This is more like 4b, instead of 5. And I don't mean plan ahead as in "plan the rest of your life". I mean that you should plan things ahead to avoid stress. Going to an unknown place by train? Plan the journey. Look up when the train leaves and arrives, what trains you can take in case of a delay, and look for alternative routes. Also plan the journey back home. I always do this and it saves me a lot of stress. Also if you have a lot of (home)work to do, write everything down. Write down when the deadlines are, what you need to do, and how much time you think you'll need for each task. You don't have to make a day-to-day schedule, just writing things down clears up a lot.
6. Know when it's time to ask for help.
I think this one is very important. I am very well aware that if you're truly suffering from depression it will be very difficult to use these tips. But I do hope that in that case, you will use this one. If you think you're suffering from depression, ask for help. It's absolutely okay to do so. It doesn't mean you're weak, or can't fix things yourself. It means you're brave enough to realise that you need help. I always thought I would be fine going on the way I did, but at one point I realised that maybe I should go talk to a doctor or psychiatrist. I wish I had done it years ago. After a talk with the psychiatrist I was given fluoxetine, a light anti-depressant. I've been using meds for most of my life, so I didn't mind taking one more. But I know that many people are against using meds. Well let me tell you, sometimes meds can really help. And it's totally okay to use them. For me it worked really well and I'm just glad that these meds exist. There's nothing wrong with asking for help and using medication in order to feel better. All that matters is that you'll get better.
That were most of the main things I came across. I hope that this will help some people who are feeling low. Remember that many people have these problems and that they can be helped.
Anyways, I hope you all will have an amazing end of the week <3