Fibromyalgia,  Health

How to Fight Depression

You may be expecting to read easy platitudes like: be more thankful, focus on others, and something the equivalent of – you’re not really depressed, you just need more sleep. Although there is some truth to these things, as someone who has struggled with the depression entangled with chronic illness, part of me stops listening when I hear these solutions. I have trudged through depression and want to give you some real tips to work through it that don’t require you to be superhuman, because, I hate to break it to you, you’re not.

 

Treat Yourself

My newly manicured nails writing this blog post

I thought of naming this post “How Getting a Manicure Changed My Life: And Other Seemingly Dramatic Truths” but realized that might make you think this post was about superficial things when it is anything but.

When I’m depressed, I tend to have a low view of myself and my situation. This past week I made an appointment with a friend to get my nails done. By having the accountability of another person, I couldn’t talk myself out of it at the last minute as being something I didn’t deserve and, therefore, plunge into deeper depression and terrible self-doubt.

After treating myself to a marvelous Fruttella Bowl and glittery manicure while enjoying the life-giving companionship of my friend, my heart lifted. Whenever I look down at my manicured nails, I am reminded of my lovely time with my friend and affirmed in my view of myself as someone worthwhile.

 

Write It Down

A local improv company I got to go to with friends. I was able to see two shows in one night!

I tend to forget my good days with fibromyalgia because the volume of my pain screaming at me can be so deafening it drowns out anything previous to it. I have now gotten into the habit of taking pictures of the things I get to do, keeping tickets of events I go to, and writing about my experiences in my diary. I think of them as my little Ebenezers. But how does that help me?

When I think to myself that I NEVER get to go out, that I NEVER do anything fun, and that my fibromyalgia makes it so I NEVER truly experience life, I reread my Instagram, look at my ticket stubs, and I reread my diary. There I find a woman who has great joy in life and gets to live this life with wonderful people doing fun things.

 

Read/Listen To A Fiction Book

Sometimes I just need to get out of my own head. What helps me do this is to read books. I recommend checking out one of my favorite fiction authors. I have found the worlds they create to be so engaging that I can forget that I am upset for a while. Here are the links to their websites.

Rick Riordan, Gregory Maguire, Kevin Kwan, J. K. Rowling, Stephen King, C.S. Lewis, George Macdonald

Currently, I am reading

and listening to

 

My latest book score – After Alice by Gregory Macguire! I love his writing style and subject matter!

 

I hope this helped you! What are some ways you fight depression? What has worked and not worked for you?

 

12 Comments

  • Terri, Reclaiming HOPE

    These are some wonderful suggestions Elizabeth! I especially love the idea of writing down the good things that happen so when you’re having one of ‘those’ days you can see that you do actually have a lot of joy in your life.

    • Elizabeth Auwarter

      Thank you! It is so funny how easy it is to forget the good things that happen when we are in the middle of a bad time.

  • Emma

    Great suggestions! Everybody gets down every once in a while so it’s important to have a plan for what to do if you’re feeling a little depressed. P.S. we love the same authors! Huge Stephen King and Rick Riordan fan over here!

  • ELIZABETH SIRRELL

    It’s difficult sometimes. That pain gets us caught up in its talons, and we forget that we need to allow ourselves to enjoy things and love ourselves. I know it doesn’t make the pain or depression go away completely, but it does help us get through the tough days. Enjoy those nails…keep looking at them, they’ll bring good memories. Liz

    • admin

      I love that you said, “allow ourselves to enjoy things and love ourselves”. You are so right! So much of fight depression is allowing yourself to reach for joy!

  • Blair

    Dealing with the effects of chronic pain that leads to depression can be difficult on your life. Thanks for sharing your techniques for coping with your chronic pain.

  • Holly

    Sooooo…I’m a recovering perfectionist. Oh what a load off it is to ACCEPT that I’m not perfect. Freedom! This weekend I had another birthday and looking back I enjoyed some real good me time. Went to the movies, ate my favorite food….haven’t gotten to the pedi as yet, but hey I’ve got the whole month! We make ourselves A MESS trying to be perfert. That alone is a recepie which spells disaster!

    • Elizabeth Auwarter

      I love that you are embracing being a recovering perfectionist! It is so very difficult trying to be perfect! Your me time sounds great!

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