Depression Recovery Guide
To be honest the last few days have totally sucked. I want to write something inspiring or useful for all of you but what I really feel like doing is crawling back under the covers. However, I decided to show up anyway. It was a tough decision and on depressed days I have to make a lot of really hard choices.
I’m choosing to be proud of myself even though most of my to-do list is still waiting for me
I’m choosing to keep creating content to help other people.
I’m choosing to prioritize taking care of myself and my mental health (thank God for BetterHelp and long journaling sessions on days like today).
I’m choosing to believe that the future is fucking bright and there are better things waiting for me in the future.
These choices aren’t easy to make and on days like today, it’s hard to believe there is happiness waiting for me in the future. It’s hard to forgive myself for not accomplishing the things I wanted to do. A lot of things are really hard. I’m going to continue making the tough choices, doing the best I can and loving myself fiercely.
Loving myself when I’m stuck in bed
Loving myself when I feel like garbage for no reason
Loving myself because I know that I’m dealing with something that is hard and I’m doing the best I can
I hope if you’re dealing with something hard right now this inspires you to love yourself through this process. Being on any kind of mental health journey is hard and it’s tiring. We deserve all the kindness we can shower on ourselves as we navigate it.
I’ve been struggling with depression forever, like literally for as long as I can freaking remember. If you’re feeling crappy or low I wanted to share everything I’ve done to recover from depression to hopefully help you. Everyone’s recovery and mental health journey is different. I hope some of the ideas and tips in this depression recovery guide will help you.
Change Your Self-Talk
When I was depressed I told myself all kinds of messed up stories. I would repeat things like “life is so hard”, “nothing good happens to me” and “I don’t deserve happiness” over and over in my head. These negative thoughts really took a toll on me and made my recovery take longer. I have a whole Podcast episode about how I changed my self-talk that you can check out here. I used to tell myself really disempowering stories like “I mess everything up and can’t do anything right” or “nothing ever works out for me and life is always so hard”. Now I try to be very aware of the stories I tell about my life and ask myself if they are true and if they make me feel good. I try to only tell myself empowering stories about life and now I regularly think things like “everything always works out for me in perfect timing” and “life always works out in my favor”. My self-talk was so negative that telling positive stories about life really helped me recover from depression.
Get a Therapist
I put off going to therapy for years because I wasn’t willing to make a financial investment in my healing. Honestly, I wish I had made a commitment to going to therapy years before I finally did it. Having a professional to help me really helped me recover from my depression and move on with my life. Finding a good therapist has been a real game-changer for me. I had to go through a lot of different therapists but I finally have someone that I have been able to build a great relationship with. I currently use BetterHelp to be able to do my therapy sessions via Skype. This has helped me be able to still get regular therapy even when I am traveling. Online therapy is a good option if talking to someone in person is too intimidating at first. BetterHelp offers sessions via video chat, phone call or email which I think is great. Talking to someone in person is great if you feel like you need face to face interaction. It can give you a reason to get out of the house and build an in-person relationship with someone. I know therapy isn’t affordable for everyone and if that is the case for you I recommend getting really serious about reading self-help books. I find that I have a hard time reading but an easier time listening to audiobooks. My favorites are You Are a Badass and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.
Gratitude has made everything in my life easier. When I was depressed I always focused on everything going wrong in my life. It made me feel disempowered and stuck. I started writing gratitude lists multiple times a day. I wanted to re-train my brain to look for all the good in life and focus on all the blessings in my life. By making myself write out everything I was thankful for multiple times a day I taught my brain to always be looking for the positive things that happened throughout the day. It made me pay more attention to the blessings in my life and took the focus away from the struggle. It took a long time but now my brain is wired to always focus on the positive things and to feel thankful for what I do have. When I was depressed I always focused on what I didn’t have. Instead of focusing on the amazing people that I had in my life I thought about how I didn’t have a boyfriend. Instead of focusing on how many amazing opportunities I had I focused on what people on Instragram had that I didn’t. Changing my focus to what I DO have instead of what I don’t has really helped my depression.
Recovering from depression isn’t all positive self-talk and gratitude lists. Trust me, I know how hard it is. That’s why you need to rally a strong support system. I have a podcast episode about asking for help you can check out here. Let someone know you’re struggling and lean on your support system if you need to. I dealt with my depression by myself for so long and I never let anyone know I was struggling. It took me years to admit to my friends and family how much pain I was really in. I was the master at hiding how much pain I was in and my entire life started to feel like a lie. By admitting that I was struggling it helped me realize I needed to start making serious changes and get serious about recovering from depression. If you don’t have anyone in your life to support you come join my Mental Health Support Group on Facebook. It has over 2,000 amazing women in it that are all on a mental health journey. Come get support and offer encouragement to other women. It’s an amazing community and I would love to have you join.
Celebrate Small Victories
Being on a mental health journey can be long. My recovery from depression took a long time and I still have ups and downs. Celebrating small victories helps you build the momentum you need to keep going. It’s so easy to get discouraged and feel like things won’t ever get better. Try to focus on what you are doing good and cut yourself a break if you aren’t where you want to be. When I was depressed I constantly compared myself to other people and beat myself up for not being as “successful” as I felt like those people are. Getting down on myself only made recovering from depression take longer and made me feel worse than I already did. I shifted my focus from what I wasn’t doing to celebrating what I was doing and how far I had come. This helped give me the energy I needed to keep going and keep fighting my depression. Living with depression is freaking exhausting so celebrate yourself and the small victories you have every day.
Focus on Fitness
I know it’s annoying to hear about how exercising can help depression when you’re depressed. I’ve had weeks where I didn’t get out of bed so I understand how freaking impossible it is to exercise. However, fitness and healthy eating have had such a huge impact on my recovery that I have to mention it. I started out by just going for a walk with my dog while listening to uplifting playlists and worked my way up to going to the gym most days of the week. If you’re looking for a fitness program to help you get started, check out my Transformation Tribe. This is a program for people ready to put in serious work and get big results. Even if you’re not ready to do a full-on fitness program just make small changes to try and eat healthily and get a little bit more exercise than you’re already getting. Small changes make a big impact over time. Start by just choosing healthier snacks and eliminating foods that make you feel bad.
I hope this depression recovery guide helps you on your journey. These are the main things I did that had a big impact on helping me heal from depression. If you’re looking for more resources be sure to check out my other posts on depression and my mental health resource library that has tons of printables and freebies in it. I hope you find some relief soon.
I am not a licensed therapist or mental health professional. If you are suffering from a major disorder and need treatment please seek the help of a professional. If you need help finding a mental health care provider call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit BetterHelp to talk to a certified therapist online at an affordable price. You can download a free printable list of hotlines here and join the free mental health support group on Facebook here. This post contains affiliate links, you can read my full disclosure policy here.
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