I am one of those blessed humans who suffers from that little condition called, depression and anxiety. Have you heard of it?
They are moles, big old nasty, all-consuming moles.
I first suffered from depression about eight years ago due to my health. I get chronic headaches and to top it off, after getting glandular fever I got something super fun called chronic fatigue syndrome. Having on-going conditions like that can start to get you down, and in my case, they dragged me into a dark place.
Over the years I have been on and off medications, been to counselling and tried everything and anything to help with my headaches, weary eyes and boggled mind.
Many people suffer from depression and anxiety, and although we speak about it a lot more now, unless you suffer from it, it’s hard to truly understand it. I often look at my partner who seriously seems to be the most stable and level headed human around and wonder how his brain works like that and mine works so differently. I wish I could inhale his ability to stress less and slow down. Two things I am far from fabulous at.
Jo Stanley and I chat about depression and anxiety below:
I’m currently back seeing my counsellor because I’m going through a shitty stage with my chronic fatigue. It frustrates me no end that my body can’t do what my mind wants. My mind wants to do shit and be rad and my body wants to sleep. All the time. I like to see my counsellor when I feel like this because it makes my anxiety flare up and I like to chat that stuff out.
The word ‘mindfulness’ is bandied around so much at the moment, but it makes a world of difference to me. I have learnt some nifty little tricks to help me get out of my thoughts and get into the present, nothing is normally as shit in the ‘now’ as it is in your mind.
People who suffer from depression and anxiety are sometimes told to meditate but I’m not someone who can sit still and mediate for 20 minutes. So there are other smaller things that I do if I am feeling anxious, or even just getting worked up (I can be firey).
These don’t tend to work if you just do them once, you have to train your brain. Like you train your body to get fit, you need to train your brain the same way.
Try them out, these little tricks are slowly becoming second nature to me. Slowly, slowly but getting there.
-Take one long breath in loudly and out loudly. I do this a million times a day cause I feel like it centres me. Makes me slow down a tiny bit and snap back into the present. Hearing the breath come in and out is great to focus on.
-Touch your finger tips. Lot’s of us are tactile and sometimes you need to touch or feel things to get out of your head and into the present. I often touch each finger onto my thumb. I try to focus on the feeling of it, again it just takes your mind out on the constant flow of chatter all our minds naturally do.
-I have this little saying that I have only started to recently say to myself and it helps me be more present with who I’m with, mainly my kids. If my mind starts to race about all the things I need to do, I say to myself “Wherever you are, be all there”. I bloody love that cause I am so often physically somewhere but my mind somewhere else.
I hope those little tips help you. They’re good for everyone, even if you are not chemically imbalanced like myself. Train those brains y’all.
We had a really raw and honest chat with the fabulous Queen that is Constance Hall about anxiety – check it out below: