Today. I just wasn't feeling it....
I was in my head, thinking of sad/ challenging things that has happened to me in my life. I felt anxious and just wasn't feeling my normal happy self. At one point in my life, this was a natural state for me. I was severely depressed and lived my life in darkness. Gosh it was tough. I started thinking.... what are some of the ways that helped me get through that time in my life? Although there is probably a much longer list than this... I thought these 16 things that helped me could possibly be beneficial for others. Not saying any of your are depressed.. BUT I am saying sometimes we just have off days and need some loving support as well as knowing that we are not alone. So let me reiterate.....
THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU, THIS IS NORMAL FOR HUMANS TO GO THROUGH A CHALLENGING TIME IN YOUR LIFE.
So what helped me over the years? (not in specific order)
1.Chai & Livie
Oh my goodness. I put my two rescue puppies as # 1 because seriously they are the first thing that popped into my head that give me LOADS of love and happiness. Simply by having these two in my life immediately lifted my spirits. They are always there for cuddles, they add a sense of lightness to my living space, and when I come home they are the happiest little girls in the world. Taking care of my girls gives me a greater sense of purpose. Not to mention I love our morning walks and trips to the dog park!
2. Fresh flowers in the apartment
There is something about having fresh flowers in my apartment that just give me a sense of love and happiness. My favorite flowers are sunflowers- when I look at them I just feel love. It's not really about the flowers, its the way the flowers make me feel. My sweet boyfriend will bring home fresh flowers every once in a while and it fills our apartment with that much more love.
3. Coffee shops
One of my perfect days is walking to my favorite local coffee shop, ordering a latte, and a quiche. The coffee doesn't need to be my favorite nor does the food. To me the vibe is what I crave. The open air, my laptop, the people- it's just so freakin amazing to get into that kind of energy. I feel creative and in the vortex when I spend a few hours in my coffee shop.
4. Reading/ listening to audios
I have read handfuls of great books that seriously have changed my life. Books and audios are so beautiful because it gives you a perspective that you may not know exists. The personal growth that I've been through has been astronomical due to reading books that will grow me mentally, emotionally, & spiritually. Just some of my faves real quick- The Power, The Power of Now, The Untethered Soul, Loving What Is. So many more!
Writing my thoughts down is something I have done since I was in the 4th grade. I never knew how much I loved writing until I started my first journal. It's a place to turn to, a place to let go, a place to dream, a place to love, a place that is yours and only yours. Adding journaling as a morning and nighttime routine was so important in the process of healing. I had so many emotions- processing them was exactly what I needed. Not to mention I love finding a journal that speaks to me- something pretty with good energy. So good! If you want to work on self-love and body love feel free to download my free Body Love Daily Journal- just click on the picture.
I've been to many seminars. I loved taking a weekend to transform thoughts. One of my favorites I've been to was with Abraham Hicks (I highly recommend you to look her up on YouTube! Life changing stuff!) It's a place to transform, grow, heal, and keep moving forward. Another favorite was a weekend in NYC with Gabrielle Bernstein. I needed some serious soul work and I know that that weekend shaped me where I am today. That's why seminars are so powerful. One weekend can be life changing.
7. My Workspace
Creating my own space in my apartment is a NON-NEGOTIABLE! I do a lot of my work from home and having a space that I can create is so important to me. Having sunshine, zen designs, candles, and books are a must. It gets me in the zone where I can sit in one corner of my house all day and feel nothing but passion. My workspace, my lap top, and a cup of coffee is a recipe for magic in my world.
Being able to go to someone weekly is so important to me. My therapist has my back. I can truly tell he cares about me and my well being. It gives me a sense of calm knowing that I have someone who gets me and also has an unbiased opinion. I think that therapy is something every single person in the world should do. I would not be where I am today if it wasn't for all the growth and emotional digging I've done in each session. I care so much about my well being I was a YES to anything that would help me find the light.
9. Great support system
Yes, I have therapy for a type of support system but nothing beats having your best friends and your closest family members there for you during the storm. If you are someone who is a friend/ family member of someone that is depressed just know that it is not your job to fix them. Just be there for them, love them, and never judge them. That is exactly what your someone needs. A space to hold for them when they cannot hold for themselves.
I really don't like this one but it's absolutely true. With time comes healing. The pain could still be intense but each day there is more healing, progress, and breakthroughs... just keep going.
11. Self -love
Ding. Ding. Ding. Learning how to love myself is the number one thing that helped me move through my challenges. The best advice I would give to someone who is struggling to love themselves is to read The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz. Wow. It totally changed my entire universe on what it truly means to love yourself. It was beautiful and will always be something that I look back on (and recommend to others) for when I started my journey to self love.
I never knew what forgiveness actually meant. I always thought it was just forgiving someone for doing something wrong to you. But what I really learned is that forgiveness is more about forgiving yourself. Being able to bring up all the shit that has happened in your life, forgive it, and release it. Forgiveness work is life changing.
I went to yoga every day for at least a year. It was my kingdom. My safe place. Somewhere I could go to exert all my built up emotion. All the sadness. The darkness. It was there to remind me how strong I am. A space to cry. A space to meditate. A space to connect back to who I really am. A space to connect to the Universe. It truly kept my soul above the surface when I felt like I was drowning.
14. Candles, Crystals, and Music
Lighting candles and filling my sacred space with crystals and meditation music was a recipe for peace. Peace in my heart, my soul, my physical body. I had no where to be, nothing to do. I could just be in the moment surrounding my fragile body and soul with love.
15. Babies/ Kids
No one could fill my heart as much as a baby could. When I couldn't handle life I would take the day off and go hang out with my favorite little humans. Little kids seriously are the purest form of love, joy, & happiness. They helped me feel calm in a state of anxiety, they lit a light in my soul when it felt so dark.
16. Being okay with not being okay - Allowing
Lastly, what helped was just allowing myself to feel the feelings that I was experiencing. To not judge myself for having a rough day when I couldn't function with just daily life tasks. When taking out the trash was like running a marathon. When waking up was the hardest thing on my to do's that day. When being around people was the last thing I wanted to do but did it anyways. When someone would tell me that "you can choose to be happy" had no idea the affects it would have on someone experiencing depression. No matter all these little things that felt like serious commitments not judging yourself for the way you are feeling or acting is a step to recovery and healing.
I kept this blog post general because I have come to understand that no matter what the "issue" someone is having- depression is depression. Even though we all deal with it differently there are many similarities to how one can heal. I hope these 16 things have sparked ideas in you that can help you further along your healing. You get to choose what works for you! It may be things that I wrote down or you can create a completely new list of your own- it's all about what works best for you.
You can be in the darkest place of your life or someone who just has a rough day here and there. We all need support and ways to stay in a state of love.
You are not alone,