I told you last week, that I’ve been in a funk. As a mental health counselor, it’s my responsibility to be a good example, to shake off any stigma, and do what needs to be done to get well. That is why I’m sharing this with you, despite being fairly private about my personal life to clients.
These are the things I’m doing, and also the things I suggest to you:
- Change your music. Your brain needs the math in the patterns of music. It doesn’t matter from what to what, just something you like, but change up the patterns. If you’re not listening to any music (I was listening to comedy radio and podcasts instead of music), get listening.
- Monitor your symptoms. What is different? How different is it? Are you working, sleeping, socializing less/more? Make efforts to get back to the routine that is healthiest for you. For me, one of those changes meant no naps on weekdays.
- Consider your diet as a contributing factor.
- Get more exercise and sunshine. Take a walk in the park, get in the pool, anything.
- Shrug it off. Know that this is temporary and laugh with yourself at the “dumb” things that make you cry.
- Forgive yourself for being unable to get everything done. This is hard for me because I’m an entrepreneur and do so much each day. One of my friends said “your depressed amount of work looks my normal amount of work because you’re so high functioning.” Say “I got some stuff done today and I release what needs to get done to tomorrow.”
- Reach out and be honest. Tell the people who care about you that you’re going through something. I don’t mean to be dramatic and blab to Facebook that you’re in the dumps, but say you’re sad lately and you’d appreciate…whatever you need – more phone calls, less phone calls, plans for this weekend, your friend’s special banana bread – whatever it really is that you need, if you can figure it out. If you can’t figure it out, say that. Tell them “just check in on me” without making it an obligation.
- Do something creative at least weekly. It doesn’t matter if you’re any good at it or if you ever show anyone. Model clay or Play Doh, draw, dance, anything.
- Get help. Seek therapy sooner than later. Know that you may need to try a few therapists on for a good fit and that’s fine.
- See your doctor to check that your body is in alignment and your hormone levels are correct.
- Consider antidepressants. There’s no shame in fixing a medical condition with medication.
Break the stigma.
What’s working for you?
Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Sign up for the e-newsletter HERE.