Since I was an early teen, I have always struggled with depression. In the last few years, anxiety was added to the mix. These aren’t uncommon struggles, especially amongst African-Americans. However, we are less likely to do anything about it and choose to silence ourselves and our emotions. According to an article from the Huffington Post, data from the CDC showed that African-Americans are more likely to report major depression, but less likely to seek treatment.
In our community, we look at therapy and counseling as bad words. They aren’t. There will always be a time in life where you wish you had someone you can share anything with in confidence, who’s completely unbiased and will share ways to make your situation better. This is what counselors and therapists are for. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every counseling experience I’ve had. I always left with a weight lifted off my shoulders, or at least knowing someone was rooting for me to feel better—be better.
I realize that counseling isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and that’s okay too, as long as your depression and anxiety aren’t severe. People often don’t like to label what they’re going through or how they’re feeling, but there’s nothing wrong with acknowledging where you are in your mind, body and spirit. Some people struggle with anxiety and depression for years, and some for just a specific point in life. Here are six ways that you can get out of a funk, relax and return to yourself faster.
Write It Out
Writing is literally therapy for me alone. It’s the way I even got into this. Since about 13, I’ve always had a journal. I’d write entries about my day, poems and letters to myself. They were all reflections and frustrations, things I could look back on and learn from. When you feel overwhelmed, writing a list and physically crossing things out can be very comforting.
If you’re feeling down because you aren’t pleased with where you are, do something about it. Sit and make a plan with your goals outlined. You should have ideas of how you can meet these goals as well. Then when you put it all together, you have a goal map. This also helps you when it comes to living with intention.
Have a Social Media Detox
Some people find themselves depressed or anxious because they are overwhelmed by too many triggers of comparison, jealousy and envy of others. Social media is a Petri Dish for this. Sometimes you need a break so you can stop worrying about what someone else is doing and tune into yourself more. Social media detoxing a few times a year in different ways can be healthy.
Make an Effort to Be Happy
You ever get in a funk or are mad and you’re completely okay with being that way? Well when you’re feeling down or depressed, this something you should make a habit of. You have to truly make an effort in your happiness. Do this by understanding what makes you happy? What makes your day and could make your day on a regular basis? Do those things more and find even more things that excite you.
There’s something so relieving about finishing an hour workout, sweat glistening and face flushed. You achieved something for the day and checked something off the list that was for you. Not to mention, that exercise naturally releases happy brain chemicals such as endorphins, that make you feel better.
Get Plenty of Rest
I don’t know about you, but I don’t know if I’ve ever had a sleep schedule. After college and graduate school, followed by becoming an entrepreneur it really seems like I’ve gotten less and less sleep. This can make you less productive, cranky and anxious. The more rest you get, the better it’ll be for you and anyone who has to deal with you.
Talk it Out
There are so many counselors in the world, waiting to hear your problems. Waiting to help you. If you’ve never done it before, give counseling a try. If you don’t feel comfortable with this. You could also find someone who you know and trust, who you can be your listening ear.
Anxiety and depression can be scary and frustrating coming out of. How are some ways that you’ve dealing with this on your own?