Melody Green

4 years ago · 3 min. reading time · visibility ~10 ·

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6 ways to self care when you're feeling depressed.

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Yes I am one of those.

I am prone to periods of depression.

I can be labelled as 1 of the 5 Australians with mental health issues. 

In the past I wouldn't have said it out aloud. I'm a highly functioning depressive and I knew how to hide it from others. In my teens and twenties I usually brushed it off as being moody due to my career. The entertainment industry is rife with highs and lows and riding that roller coaster puts you on the edge of euphoria and depression as your fate is dealt out by the whim of others. But underlying the up and down swings was a deep malady of post traumatic distress that I did not fully inquire into until my 30's when I was a sleep deprived mother of a child that refused to sleep through the night until he was 5.

Slowly I healed and had a tool box to check my moods. This is self care 101 for someone with hyper-sensitive to mental disorder, stress and anxiety living in this 21st century world.

I've come to understand we are all prone to mental health issues. Our minds, heart and spirit are amazing - fragile and yet resilient, strong and weak all at the same time. For me the journey of understanding myself has been the primary way to self care.

But like all things we can sometimes forget to be vigilant and that's when the black dog slinks in and takes up residence without you noticing it and before you know it you're in the rut.

One of the triggers of depression for me is frustration so I have to be aware of how I handle frustration to keep myself healthy. When I let frustration build up, I'm more susceptible to falling down the emotional slippery slide to depression.

Here are the steps I take to monitor my mental health.

1) Be an explorer of your emotions. Stop long enough to lift the lid on what is happening underneath the lethargy and disinterest. There are deeply layered and often suppressed emotions hiding below the surface.

2) Journal with questions. Here are a few. What am I feeling now? Why am I feeling it? Is what I'm feeling true to me now or is it an old way of feeling? Is the feeling mine or have I borrowed it from someone else? If I could choose to feel something else, what would that be? Is it possible for me to feel that? Could I experiment with feeling that for a few minutes?

3) Keeping a colour mood-o-meter. I suggest you create your own. I took all the shades of blue from the paint shop cards and gave each one a value. e.g. Any forms of turquoise are happy blues and any forms of indigo blues are my danger point. By creating a measure of 10 different shades on my mood-o-meter I can check daily to see if I am at the danger point. When I get to 8 on my mood-o-meter, I know I need to talk to a counsellor or have some help. In other words what I'm feeling and my state of being is more than I can handle. This has been a lifesaver for me on more than one occasion and with the last bout (as recent as September- October) saved me from having to stay longer in the clutches of the black dog then need be.

4) Always looking for the magic in nature. This is so essential to me. I need the flowers, trees and nature... even if it's only 10 minutes watching the ants in my garden or listening to the birds chirping. It takes me out of myself and reminds me I am still here, still okay, no matter what.

5) Keeping clear energy boundaries. The reason this last bout of depression hit was I'd forgotten to self care. I cannot express strongly enough how important this is. As a sensitive (empath) and psychic, I use my sensitivity daily to help others and I love doing so. But my very sensitivity makes me a sponge for emotional energy that is not my own and if I'm not rigorous in maintaining my personal energy clear, my mind and emotions can become clogged.

And finally ...

6) Do what brings you joy and make sure its your #2 priority after self care. I noticed that this year I have focused less on my creativity. The impact of of less creativity meant my inner well of joy was depleted. Creative expression is as necessary to me as breathing. I need to use it daily and I need to do it for no other reason than I need it for me. It can be anything from writing poetry or fiction, sewing, painting, drawing etc. BUT, it's first purpose must be to delight me. Then if I wish I can share it or use it to serve others. When I do it is as important as taking the action to be creative. It must be done before all other tasks which means I'm better getting up early and putting in at least 30 minutes a day. If I don't do this I will feel too tired at the end of the day to be creative.

So having taken these steps I can now report i'm back on an even keel, feeling more engaged, creative and energetic. The dog has been banished from the house again.

Please note none of these steps replace getting help if you need it. You could try your doctor or any of the following:

Mental Health Australia

Lifeline

Beyond Blue

Black Dog Institute



Melody R. Green is an Angel Communicator, Soul Coach, Energy Healer and Award-winning Author of Your Career Your Way. Melody assists others to connect to their Soul Path and bring more joy into their lives.

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1 year ago #5

When I was 15 years old my friend suggested that I try drugs. It was okay at the time, so I couldn't help but say yes. A few years later I realized I was living for drugs. My relatives helped me find a good therapist, and they did it right here https://drmental.org/health-sapiens-review Among the many directions drugs is one of the main ones. My psychologist is now in constant contact with me, so I feel the approach and that my therapist is a true professional.

Melody Green

4 years ago #4

#3
Thank you for sharing your journey. I think it's important to share as many self help tools as possible with and for each other. It can be so isolating having these mental dis-orders and the more we share the more it can become less shameful and stigmatised. Are moods are so changeable it helps to do the mood-o-meter. Those of us who are empaths, have terrible trouble working out what belongs to us and what doesn't. This technique helps. You can find more techniques on my website here: https://www.melodyrgreen.me/spiritual-and-emotional-wellbeing

Proma 🐝 Nautiyal

4 years ago #3

Great buzz, Melody Green. I too, suffer from panic disorder and anxiety to the extent that I have been taken to the ER twice thinking I am having a heart attack. I did go through Post-partum depression, as well and found ways to handle it well so it did not affect my baby, at all. Meditation helped me the most.So did reading books that calmed me down and helped me understand myself better. What you wrote, especially the mood-o-meter, is a great way of analysing emotions on a daily basis. This is great advice and ought to be shared. So, sharing :)

Melody Green

4 years ago #2

#1
You're most welcome Lisa! If you are not using any of these strategies, try them out and see if they're helpful... and if they are please let me know. Thank you! :)

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #1

Great advice Melody Green. I suffer from Anxiety (GAD) with panic disorder which leads to depression too. I understand what you mean about trying to hide it. I think we become the masters of disguise. I love being out in nature, and my photography, that really helps to center myself. There are days that nothing helps- those are the days we hope will pass quickly! Thanks for sharing this.

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