As someone who has struggled with depression and anxiety since my teen years, I have used and developed MANY different approaches to dealing with longer episodes. I keep a list of them in my ‘Self Care Toolbox’ which is a binder that has grown over the years as I have found uplifting words, poems, ideas, tools and pictures. When my children came to me I added things they said, a copy of our one year anniversary of adoption celebration and other little bits.
Some have been successful some of the time, while others were never very successful for me (though they might be perfect for you) while a few stand as useful most of the time for me. Use what works for you and leave the rest.
Simply, here is the list...
Ask a friend for a written love message - this one is very challenging to do, but it is worth it, if you can muster up the courage (I keep my love notes to read over and over again)
Go outside and blow bubbles - and effective way to be conscious of your breathing (and I send little love thoughts out with the bubbles - and sometimes I send the things I need to let go of)
Light a candle or some sage and allow the smoke to carry away any difficult feelings or thoughts, the scent of the sage is very calming and watching the flicker of the candle flame can help to calm someone who is feeling in crisis
Cry - this one can be hard to release into, but again it can have profound effect, let it out, allow the tears to carry away any frustrations, sadness, etc.
Dance to some sad or angry feeling music and allow physical movement to help move the emotions out of the body
Draw or paint the feeling - scribbling counts or mess around with easy to find dollar store paints
Allow the feeling to be and just observe them, in our observation the emotions can move like clouds, out of our systems
Try punching a pillow, or using fidget toys to work out some of the frustration or anger
Change the sheets - the physical act of changing the environment can help and fresh sheets are a lovely way to show self-love
Take an energizing walk- like dancing, the movement of walking briskly can help the emotions to move through and out
Take a calm walk and observe what is around to help distract from the thoughts and feelings
Write down the worries and put them into a releasing jar for the Universe (or God or Goddess) to take care of them for you
Write a letter to the person you feel needs to hear your frustrations - and then burn or compost the letter
Listen to uplifting music - or music that plays into the feelings and THEN some uplifting music
Make a low chant of one letter of the alphabet and allow the soft sound to wash away any fears (I like to use an ah sound)Punch pillows or the sofa - allow the movement to take the feelings out of you
Smell Lavender or peppermint essential oils for anxiety ~ and citrus and rosemary for depression
Go outside and stomp your feet - have a mental temper tantrum and really pound your feet for a few minutes
If you have a gratitude journal, read what you have written on a better day - it helps to look back on the good when we are feeling low
Play some uplifting music to help raise your vibration and release the sadness that come with depression
Read words that you find healing or helpful (it's a good idea to find these when you are in a good place and have them ready for when the suckies hit
Call a support person - I have a tool that I use for this, watch for that to come in another post...
Turn OFF the television - it is so reactionary and can keep things off balance
I have tried all of these (and a few others) with some success. I hope that if you feel brave enough, that you will try some of them when you are struggling.
With all of my Light,