36 Lessons about Depression & Anxiety

I will be thirty six next month. So in honour of reaching that age I thought I would note down 36 lessons I have learned in my years about mental health, depression and anxiety: 

  1. It will come – and it will go – however much your mind makes you think otherwise
  2. The sun will always help
  3. Certain careers are just not meant for you and you need to let them go. You could have been a great teacher but the stress of presenting yourself every single day and being graded between outstanding and inadequate will never be something your anxiety will overcome.
  4. Talking and writing about it will help you – and could help others.
  5. There is no shame in taking medication
  6. Children, a man, money, a job, a cash prize will not ‘cure’ it
  7. Moving away will not cure it – you can’t move away from your mind.
  8. Some partners will get it – some won’t. Find one who does.
  9. Some Doctors won’t get it – some will – find one who does.
  10. Exercise always helps.
  11. There will be days when you can go out and days you can’t – don’t beat yourself up
  12. There will be days when you can do everything and days you can do nothing – be easy on yourself
  13. Some employers will get it and understand, probably because they’ve been there
  14. Some employers will avoid eye contact
  15. This too shall pass
  16. follow people on social media who make you feel better – following the woman from Made in Chelsea who spends most of her time in The Maldives isn’t the best thing for your brain
  17. Take a break from social media if you feel it getting to you
  18. Say no to some opportunities if you feel panic rising – this includes work and even nights out
  19. Sometimes forcing yourself to do something you’re terrified of will pay off (or getting someone else to force you) for example a mum’s night out, a day trip or a run in the park
  20. Don’t weigh yourself. Don’t assume numbers on the scale will ever make your depression or anxiety magically disappear
  21. They might tell you sensitivity is a bad trait – but there is power hidden in sensitivity you might miss
  22. Accept yourself in every way. Yes – my mind is complicated and sometimes riddled with mental disease – but I wouldn’t be me without it – and I am unique.
  23. Argue with the guilt troll that dwells in your mind. Extinguish guilt for what you eat, what you say no to, what you are unable to do.
  24. Being next to the sea will always help.
  25. You’re a beautifully wonderful Mother – even on the days you can’t see it – THEY can. THEY see you – and you are all there is to them.
  26. Find your outlet and do more of it – write, run, read, swim.
  27. Be kinder to yourself every day
  28. Believe the people who say lovely things about you – they’re not lying. Your mind is one Hell of a liar though.
  29. Take your earphones out and listen to the birds – have a walk somewhere where it’s green and beautiful.
  30. Breathe more.
  31. Cry more.
  32. Sleep more.
  33. Take your meds.
  34. Have a cup of tea
  35. Have a shower
  36. Let go of being perfect. No one is.

Happy Birthday to me – and good mental health for the next 36!

 

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