How to Stay on Top of Life when you Feel Depressed

strength grows in the moments

Sometimes it can feel like too much effort to keep going. If you like that today, perhaps the following will help.

1. Acknowledge how you feel, and accept that this is going to be a more challenging day.

2. Commit to doing the absolute essentials but don’t push yourself to do everything.

3. Prioritize what’s important. For example, if you have a deadline to meet, only work on that. If it is something that can wait, set it aside for now.

4. Work through your to-do list in small chunks of time – making sure you get plenty of breaks.

5. Tell someone who will understand. We need to get support when we’re feeling low but not everyone will be there for you. Figure out who will be there, and who won’t be there, for you.

6. Be wise in your use of social media. It may be good to go offline for a while, to switch off your phone and to protect yourself from stuff that just exacerbates the way you feel.

7. Make sure you leave the house and get a change of scenery.

8. Deliberately invest in some form of self-care … and make sure it’s something that you know will help your mood.

How to Cope with Flashbacks

it takes a great effort.PNG

Flashbacks are memories of past traumas. They can occur in a number of different forms – as sounds, images, smells, body sensations, numbness (or a lack of sensations). Often they’re accompanied by a feeling panic, where the individual feels trapped and completely powerless. Flashbacks can also occur in dreams. Because the sensations are so frightening and intense – and are unrelated to what’s happening in the present – the person often feels as if they’re going crazy. What to do to cope with flashback:

1. Tell yourself that you are having a flashback – that it will pass in time – and soon everything will return to normal.

2. Remind yourself that the worst is over – as these terrifying feelings are re-experienced memories. The event that took place is now lodged in the past, and you managed to survive it, and will survive it now.

3. Allow yourself to express the powerful feelings of terror, panic, hurt and/or rage. It is right that you honour your experience.

4. Ground yourself firmly in the here-and-now. Breathe deeply. Notice the sounds and sensations around you in the room. Allow the feelings of panic and terror to slowly dissipate. Keep breathing deeply, and exhaling deliberately. Allow a sense of calm to gradually replace the faintness, shakiness, dizziness and tightness.

5. Reorient yourself. Keep focusing on what you can see, hear, feel, smell, touch and feel in the present. Feel the chair supporting you. Use your five senses to bring you back to this point in time.

6. Speak to your terrified inner child. Reassure them that they are going to be OK. Tell them they are safe in the present. They are not trapped. They can escape at any time.

7. Seek professional support to deal with your flashbacks. Find an experienced therapist who is trained to guide you to a place of healing. You do not have to do cope with this alone. There is help available for you.