As someone who suffers from depression it’s important that I look after myself. How I do this is through many different aspects of my life. You can read part one here.
This is part two on how I manage depression.
The love of my life, my spoiled and slightly overweight cat. Pets are a proven way to relieve stress and help your mood. A cat’s purr is even said to lower blood pressure and cat owners are 40% less likely to suffer a heart attack. Of course dogs are great too; those daily walks are the perfect excuse to exercise.
I play with Louis (it’s also an attempt at getting him to lose weight) which makes me laugh a lot and he’s always in or on my bed every night. I can’t imagine life without him, just him being around makes me feel happier in an instant. My flatmate even sent me regular Snapchats when I was away on holiday!
Recently I went to the Doctor’s as I was exhausted all the time, despite sleeping normal hours, exercising and eating a relatively balanced diet. She did all the usual blood tests but they came back all fine. She said it’s simply a side effect of depression; you feel tired and have no energy because your brain is trying to look after you. Luckily it passed within a week or so, but I always make sure I get enough sleep as I need a solid 7-9 hours a night otherwise I really struggle. Also one of my anti-depressants makes me extremely sleepy, and I’ve found if I don’t get enough hours asleep then I wake up still groggy.
I have a fantastic collection of friends who know what I have been through and at times still struggle with. They know when to coax me out (even though I seem resistant), and that sometimes I fall off the face of the earth as I need to be alone.
These are my tips for what I do in addition to medication and in the past therapy. However you need to do what is best for you, so listen to how you feel and do what makes you feel good.