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Quote of the Day — Survivors Blog Here Mental Health Collaborative

Originally posted on Don’t Lose Hope : “So many people are holding on with the thinnest of threads. Treat people with kindness. You could be that thread.” Never underestimate the value of your words. People wear a mask – so we often we don’t know if someone else is struggling, or at their breaking point.…

Quote of the Day — Survivors Blog Here Mental Health Collaborative
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7 Ways of Dealing with the Winter Blues

Many of us struggle with the winter blues. Here are some suggestions to help life your mood:

1. Stay active – Make sure you build exercise into your life.

2. Stay warm – Wear plenty of clothes, and have hot drinks and meals as feeling cold can make you feel depressed and blue.

3. Go outside – And get all the light you can. The days may be short but you can still grab some fresh air.

4. Eat a healthy diet – As high carbs affect our mood, and a drop in sugar level will cause feelings to slump.

5. Spend time with other people – Don’t isolate yourself. Being with good friends and family can keep your spirits high.

6. Keep busy – Try a new activity or do something you love, as feeling bored and empty will exacerbate the blues.

7. Play your favourite music – The kind that lifts your mood, and blows away the cobwebs, and leaves you feeling good.

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How to help a friend or family member with depression

Sometimes it is hard to know what to say when speaking to a loved one about depression. You might fear that if you bring up your worries he or she will get angry, feel insulted, or ignore your concerns. You may be unsure what questions to ask or how to be supportive.

If you don’t know where to start, the following suggestions may help. But remember that being a compassionate listener is much more important than giving advice. Encourage the depressed person to talk about his or her feelings, and be willing to listen without judgment. And don’t expect a single conversation to be the end of it. Depressed people tend to withdraw from others and isolate themselves. You may need to express your concern and willingness to listen over and over again. Be gentle, yet persistent.

Ways to start the conversation:

1. I have been feeling concerned about you lately.

2. Recently, I have noticed some differences in you and wondered how you are doing.

3. I wanted to check in with you because you have seemed pretty down lately.

Questions you can ask:

• When did you begin feeling like this?

• Did something happen that made you start feeling this way?

• How can I best support you right now?

• Do you ever feel so bad that you don’t want to be anymore?

• Have you thought about getting help?

Remember, being supportive involves offering encouragement and hope. Very often, this is a matter of talking to the person in language that he or she will understand and respond to while in a depressed mind frame.

What you can say that helps:

• You are not alone in this. I’m here for you.

• You may not believe it now, but the way you’re feeling will change.

• I may not be able to understand exactly how you feel, but I care about you and want to help.

• When you want to give up, tell yourself you will hold of for just one more day, hour, minute — whatever you can manage.

• You are important to me. Your life is important to me.

• Tell me what I can do now to help you.

Avoid saying:

• It’s all in your head.

• We all go through times like this.

• Look on the bright side.

• Just snap out of it.

• What’s wrong with you?

• Shouldn’t you be better by now?

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Keep Searching for the Colours

Life can feel so tough and bleak at times.

We keep on going, and going, for so long.

But eventually we run out of energy.

One day we waken up, and it all seems too much.

The spark has died. The motivation’s gone.

When you feel like that – don’t give into how you feel.

It’s not over yet.

You can find the will to fight.

Keep searching for the colours even though the skies are grey.

You are able to go on. You can make it through today.

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Help For When You Feel Broken

1. Share your story with someone. Often it helps to put the sadness into words.

2. Try to detach and unplug for a while.

3. Respect your need for space, and a period of low stress.

4. Allow yourself to feel all the negative feelings.

5. Take care of your body and your physical needs.

6. Treat yourself with kindness.

7. Invest in good self care.

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Building Self-Esteem when you’re Struggling with Depression

close your eyes
Low self-esteem is a symptom of depression. It’s often very hard to feel good about ourselves.

Our self-image is distorted, extreme and negative, and we start to see ourselves through deeply scratched or foggy lenses.

The following suggestions can sometimes help when you’re struggling with this aspect of your mental health:

1. Get into the habit of challenging your thinking – especially when it falls into the same old repeated, negative patterns.

2. Keep a thankfulness journal – and deliberately look for the good things in your life.

3. Spend time with people who can see your strengths, and who make you feel good

about yourself.

4. Keep some photos or mementos that remind you of your passions – so theses can help inspire you to love your life again.

5. Leave positive notes and quotes around your room, or inside your wallet, or on your desk, or phone.

6. See failure as a stepping stone that leads to further growth – and as something that is common, and experienced by us all.

7. Deliberately nurture and care for yourself – and see this as essential, and a top priority.