Getting Back Into Life & One-Year Giveaway!
Hey everyone, happy Friday! Guess what else? Today marks the one-year anniversary of this blog – to celebrate I will be doing a giveaway! The info for that is at the bottom of the post and hopefully you’ll like the prize packs. There’s a feminine and masculine option and you get to choose for which you want to enter! (I’m not sure how to describe them other than that way, so please let me know if there are better terms I should use.) But before we get to that, I want to talk about re-emerging from a down period and getting back into life.
A Depressive Episode
In my last post, I mentioned that I had recently gone through a depressive episode. In regards to that, today I’m going to delve into what it was like getting back into life. I have been cursed with depression since my early teens, but I am learning all the time better ways to cope with it.
First let’s touch lightly on how depression manifests itself. An article posted by The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) discusses a few things about depression that I want to share here.
The type of depression one exhibits can vary from person to person. There are multiple types of depression, various risk factors, and it can manifest differently in everyone. I personally suffer from depression due to my bipolar disorder. There are also different forms of treatment and suggestions on ways for getting back into life. Figuring out what works for you can be done in various ways. My plan for working through my depression involves psychiatry, therapy, and working to develop better coping skills.
The main section I want to highlight from that article are some of the symptoms of depression. The reason I want to list these is because they pertain to what I was going through for a little bit. It’s good to be aware of them because they might help one recognize what’s going on. Some symptoms of depression may include the following (taken from the above NIMH article):
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
- Feelings of hopelessness, or pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
- Decreased energy or fatigue
- Moving or talking more slowly
- Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
- Appetite and/or weight changes
- Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
- Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment
How It Played Out
Now I want to outline how the process played out for me and how I worked on getting back into life. Once I realized what was going on, I set out with a goal to just focus on what I am able to do without putting extra unneeded expectations* on myself and not give myself a hard time – to just be gentle with me – but also focus on doing everything I could to get myself out of the funk. (*While it is good to hold expectations for yourself, at times they may need to be adjusted and there’s nothing wrong with that.)
Some Steps I Took
Some of the steps I took to work through this included:
- Acknowledging that I was in a state where I was not doing well and that I needed to put in some effort to get back on track.
- That being said, I told myself I needed to be mindful and acknowledge what I did accomplish, rather than what I did not.
- Cutting out all the disruptive things I was doing which were negatively affecting my mental health.
- Continuing to see my therapist even if I wasn’t feeling that up to it. We meet online, so I didn’t even need to get up for it, therefore I had no excuse not to. I also contacted my psychiatrist and followed my psychiatric care routine, especially taking my medicines.
- Practicing other ways of self-care, no matter how difficult they seemed at the time, such as:
- Start eating regularly/healthily again. One big struggle for me was just getting myself to eat. One week I didn’t eat anything for three days straight. Just seltzer water and soda – that’s super unhealthy and doesn’t help the situation at all. During this time I either I just didn’t feel up for anything or going to the store to get food felt like I was climbing a mountain. Thank goodness for Uber Eats – I used that for a couple days to readjust myself to eating, then finally got myself to the grocery store. While I live right across the street from the grocery store which makes it pretty easy, another potential option is to use a grocery store delivery service such as Instacart. (I personally have never used Instacart, so I don’t know exactly how their service is.)
- Taking showers regularly. People frequently talk about how depression can make this really hard. I know this can seem like such a task at times, but once I get in, I always feel a lot better. I decided to start dedicating part of my lunch break for taking a shower every day and it really did help to improve how I was feeling.
- Working to get my sleep schedule back on track. Well, as regular as I possibly could. I’m an insomniac who also can sometimes exhibit hypersomnia. They get especially bad when I’m depressed. Getting a good amount of sleep is so vital and important for my overall mental health. I know when it gets messed up I can have a harder time regulating my emotions.
- Cuddling with my kitty. My baby Patches is my emotional support animal. I’m sure if you have pets you can probably relate to how therapeutic their company can be.
- Starting to share about my struggles and just try to socialize in general some, even if it was just to say I wasn’t doing well. I’m so lucky to have my group chat I run full of amazing supportive people. They’re really people I can rely on and having that bridges the gap in-between therapy sessions. (If you are on Facebook and are interested in joining, please let me know.)
- Finding something for which to look forward. Fortunately I had made plans a while back to go to the beach with my best friend for a healing trip; I hadn’t been there since the horrible trip when Sean died. The trip was scheduled for shortly after I hit the eye of the storm and I was initially anxious and hesitant to go, but I’m so glad I did. The trip also gave me more incentive to get myself back on track, despite the little bit of reluctance I had about going. It was a very special trip, cathartic, and exactly what I needed to kind of reset myself. We also had a great time and got matching airbrushed shirts saying “I woke up like this,” haha.
- Ultimately just setting the intention to just ride the wave to the shore, knowing I would get there eventually. The ultimate goal was to just stay afloat until I did, and I did once I started trying to work through everything.
Since Then – Getting Back Into Life
So it did and does gradually get better. It takes some effort but it’s so worth it. I feel like myself again and pretty good. Getting back into life is so invigorating! I feel on top and engaged with my life, work, socialization, and other things again. I have been getting out more. Getting out can be a walk to enjoy nature or just run errands or to hang out with friends.
All this being said, as someone with a chronic mood disorder, it’s not the end. I am well aware that I more than likely will find myself back in a situation like this again. If/when that happens though, I learned a lot from this last episode. I will apply it all and will continue to try to learn more. This is where you guys can come in….
How Do You Work On Getting Back Into Life & The Giveaway!
So now I want to turn to my readers and ask for your input! Providing such will get you an entry into the giveaway.
To enter the giveaway, please either (a) comment directly below on this post, (b) on the Facebook post here, or (c) email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following:
- What do you do in times like these? Do you have any tips you want to share? How does getting back into life play out for you?
- If you are in a place where you cannot think of anything though, that’s all you have to say; you can still enter. I understand the struggle.
- Tell me the prize pack for which you are wishing to enter (masculine or feminine).
- Pick a number between 1 – 111!
I will randomly pick the winners on December 15th (not set in stone), so make sure to let me know before then!
- Erin Condren “Petite Planner Gratitude Journal”
- Set of colored Bic Gel-Ocity pens (my favorites!)
- Special candle made by the lovely Three Shade of Sage
- Some cute stickers/decals, including some made by the talented Bethan Designs – my favorite says “Grow Through What You Go Through”
- A Gratitude Journal for Men
- Set of black Bic Gel-Ocity pens (if you would prefer a colored set like that in the other prize pack, please let me know!)
- Black “Enjoy Your Life” scented candle
- Small Amazon gift card
In times like these, my favorite way to get myself out of a funk is to clean my space – I find having a clean physical space around me gives me more of a “clean” mental space. From there, I find I have more motivation to take care of myself/surroundings! I also like to watch some of my favorite shows/movies that I know always make me laugh and feel better and give me a sense of comfort. I’m interested in the feminine prize pack, and number 7 🙂
First off, congratulations on your year milestone! You are one of the first bloggers I talked to when I first started in January and you were such a sweetheart. 😁 Nice to see you posting again, I haven’t seen you here in a while. Ok so to answer your question, I slip into a “blah” space quite often. I have tried so many things to help me get to a better place, sometimes they work but sometimes it takes time. One thing that does help me is blogging. Just letting out all those feelings helps me feel refreshed. I also love to read other blogs as well as books. My number is 88, feminine prize. But if I win I would like for you to give to someone else that needs some cheering up. Have a lovely weekend. 😁
Cool piece. Im not much of a critque but it seems well thoughtput
Thanks Troy! 💙 Want to enter the giveaway? Pick a number!
Troy chose #77
I head to the forest when I need a reset. Being with the giant redwoods and my favorite lake gives my soul the comfort it needs to go back to real life with a feeling of renewal.
Hi Liz, 79 is the number ,and amazon gift card will be want I want.
Congratulations on a year!
I’ve enjoy your writing here.
You described textbook ways to address depression. The shower/hygiene bit is super relatable for me and #7 from your list is important for me. Usually I need some kind of travel on the calendar.
That said, what I’m still learning and working on is to STOP doing things to make my depression worse in the short or long term. I have some self destructive habits like trying to feel better with drugs/alcohol in the short term and worsening (or lengthening) my depression as a result. I used to tell myself that if I was going to feel shitty, I was going to have a say as to the cause. This was another excuse for self-destructiveness, but sometimes the motivation was to just feel better, even if it’s only for a little while. Despite recognizing the results, a boat load of therapy and a bigger load of meds, I still have to actively work to interrupt these patterns.
So I tell myself, “Self, just don’t make it worse or you’ll be stuck down here longer.”
Thanks for your insight and a dose of hope.
Preferred prize pkg: masculine
Congrats on your yr!
When I am in a depressed state I remember that I must be a powerful warrior for the kingdom of God otherwise the enemy wouldn’t be attacking me so hard. Things I do to get back to myself are writing out my prayers, play Sudoku, and dance like no one is watching.
#23, masculine prize pack. Thanks for the chance
Something that has helped me get out of depressive episodes is the belief that with time, things will pass. I heard during a meditation webinar once to treat thoughts like a flowing river. Your thoughts have the ability to naturally come and go without you trying to control them. For me, I try to realize that my depressive thoughts are natural and normal. I also then realize that just as naturally as they came into my life, they will also flow away.
There are also practical things I like to do such as listen to good music, go for a walk, journal, hydrate with water and tea and keep on hygiene.
This is a really great post. Congratulations on one year and the awesome community building that you do.
Lastly, I would like to enter for either the feminine or masculine pack. I’ll select 39 for both!
Some the tactics I use to get out of my depressive episodes are listening to good music, going for a walk, journaling, drinking lots of tea and water, and keeping up on hygiene.
I also received great advice during a meditation webinar where they talk about how thoughts come and go naturally without someone trying to force them to exist. I try to remember that it is normal and natural for my depressive thoughts to exist in the first place. I also try to remember that with time, these thoughts will pass down the river in my mind as easily as they flowed into my mind.
Congratulations on one year! You do a fantastic job of community building and interacting with folks.
Lastly, I will enter for the masculine pack. I’ll go with number 39! Thanks for the chance to win a prize 😁
Thanks Liz this is awesome.
When I get depressed, I try to get outside and walk, look at all the cool stuff – day or night.
Also it often helps me if I call someone a friend or relative and ask how THEY are. Not talk about myself, but listen and try to relate to them. Because for me, when I’m depressed, I’m usually obsessing about myself and if I can think of something or someone else it sometimes breaks the madness for me and makes me stop obsessing about negatives in my life.
Also counting the goid things helps me too.
I’m glad you’ve found ways to manage your depression. I went through terrible depression years ago, for a long time. I had to go on medication which I didn’t want to initially, but it does help a lot. I don’t want to go into the reasons for it, but I have learned that being alone helps me – lying on my bed reading a book, doing some gardening, walking through the local garden centre, walking my dog. Sending hugs to you.
Hi, congratulations on your 1 year anniversary!
I can relate to this post because I too suffer from depression. I can go from laughing to angry in a split second for no reason at all. Sometimes I just feel the bad mood crawling inside and there’s nothing I can do to control it. (If there’s a way I haven’t discovered it yet). All those symptoms of depression episodes plays happens with me from time to time. My depression, is as a result of torture as a child. I’m not sure if am ever going to get passed it honestly. Every time I think am healed, something happens that triggers the trauma and my moods get affected and then I fall back into my depression. I have thought of sharing, but am too scared to do it. I just hinted about it on a recent post but didn’t go deep. I’m really happy for you for having to find a way to deal with your depression. Also, thank you for sharing. Now I know am not crazy LOL. People who don’t understand what am going through think I’m crazy or something due to my mood changes.
Thank you; I meant to respond here, but believe I might have done so over FB. Would you like to enter the contest? If so, please choose which set you would like and a number between 1 -111. =)
I’m so sorry that you struggle with this. My teen daughter has generalized anxiety and depression and my husband has struggled with depression since his teen years. Everything you wrote about resonated with me in a very real way. It is very difficult to watch them go through depressive episodes and I have to do everything in my power to not lose my positivity.
Thanks for sharing your experience. Peace and good health be with you.
Thank you for sharing this here. I’m sorry you can relate, but you sound like just the supportive person they need, though through my own struggles and being there for friends with depression, I know how hard it can be to stay positive. A thing that helps me is what I call radical gratitude; I actually wrote a piece all about it if you’re interested.
Also, would you like to enter the contest? If so, please choose which set you would like and a number between 1 -111. =)
Feminine, 1. In times like these, I do many of the same things. I try to avoid anything that will make me feel worse in the long-run and take little self-care actions as often as possible. It helps me to get some fresh air and clear my mind. Listening to music, being goofy, and having a creative outlet are part of my routine. Congratulations on one year of blogging! Looking forward to future posts 🙂