I’m no MH guru. Those who read my work know I struggle like many others with depression and Borderline Personality Disorder. But, I do know what helps me – so here are some tips that can hopefully also help you survive the dark months ahead.
- Take every single day as it comes. Accept that there will be difficult days, but try not to fixate on these days and ruminate. Know that these feelings will pass with time. If you write a journal, maybe take a picture every day, or notice something different about the landscape/ environment and take note.
- If social media gets too much, step back! It will still be there when you return. It’s that time of year when some individuals/ families get caught up in it all and it can all seem as a huge competition (xmas trees, decoration, parties and social life) Life is never as it seems on Facebook. Don’t measure your own life in comparison to X’s life on Facebook. Facebook isn’t real life, it is of course a constructed identity.
- Routine – it can help in a thousand different situations. It does not have to be a strict and rigid routine; it can be a flexible routine. If it helps, make a short list of activities and tick them off as you complete them. They don’t have to be huge things; the smallest of things can also give you a feeling of accomplishment. Also, make sure all activities are not chores – do include some pleasurable activities. And, if you don’t complete every activity, don’t give yourself a hard time. I’ve been meaning to clean the inside of my car for about 3 weeks! Still haven’t quite got it done!
- Have you got those slippers, comfy socks and hot water bottle ready? Savour the moment. It can be difficult in a depressive episode to change clothing during the day, but if you can, it will cut up the day and hopefully give you a sense of calm in the evening.
- Make some home made soup – full of goodness – to warm you from the inside out! You can use whatever you have in the house. Save any extra for another rainy day!
- How about choosing a new book or indulge in a great book you’ve already started? If you’re struggling to get into a book you’ve already started – calling it a day and starting another can also feel empowering.
- Create a playlist to get through those dark nights. Make it a good one that helps keep you upbeat.
- Siting in a messy space won’t make you feel great, if you’re like me at least. You will probably feel that everything is a bit overwhelming. Try tidying any space that you wish to relax in, you’ll feel much better in a tidy and clean space.
- Long relaxing soaks with your fave bubbly (soap!)
- Indulge in some different tea. There are loads of different types and flavours out there; you might just discover a new favourite!
- Spend some quality time with your dog or cat! They are probably feeling winter as well! Help each other.