I am not a trained professional in Psychology or Mental health. My intention to share these tips is to help the victims naturally to prevent a relapse,based on my own personal experience. Also to raise awareness among people and the stigma attached to it. Please consult a professional if you go through severe symptoms of depression, anxiety, or any mental illness.
Its an undeniable fact till date that many mental illnesses are Chronic in nature and can relapse like an uninvited guest anytime in your future, inspite of being completely recovered from any major episode you faced earlier.
This is going to be the last series on Mental illness for now, I intend to discuss on this topic only when I feel it’s very necessary or to raise any kind of awareness in future. As I said earlier writing and researching on these topics trigger a mild sense of depressed feeling in me. Which I feel is really unhealthy for me being vulnerable. Moving to the topic below are my collectively huddled up tips with the intention of a more holistic approach to wards healing ,from my own experience and a bit if research.
1. Get over your Stress first :
Stress is a common trigger for any kind of Mental illness. The minute you identify the symptoms of relapse,firstly reevaluate your past few days,if you have been going through any kind of stress,worry,demotivation,or constant negative thinking patterns etc or any other reasons which could trigger depression episodes without you consciously knowing about it.Find ways to normalize your stress levels first.
2. Work on your Negative thinking patterns:
Most of the times your ongoing stress is accompanied with various negative feelings and thoughts like self – doubt ,fear of finishing tasks on time,will you make it ? What if ? Which makes you unconsciously vulnerable to negative thinking patterns about yourself or any stressful situation in your life. This is where you make a mistake by opening a entry door for depression or acting as source through your Negative feelings and thoughts.Find ways to break these negative patterns as soon as you notice them as the deadly mind sucker is already waiting at your door for you to open .
3. Exercise Regularly:
Our body and mind are interrelated to each other . What you feed your body reflects through your mind and what you feed your mind reflects through your body.In few cases medical condition or unhealthy body is the culprit behind triggering depression. That is why health plays a crucial role in preventing depression. When I was in depression, after fidgeting through various natural remedies for depression in Google, I had started exercising for good . It helped me a great deal to regulate my moods to a level ,I somehow managed to stay interested throughout the day to day routines.Exercise is a powerful way to boast your mood levels instantly as they release endorphins in your brain which makes you feel good.
4. Enrich your diet :
As a matter of fact research supports the idea that low level of ‘ serotonin ‘ transmission in your brains are one of the reason linked with various mood disorders like depression. ‘ Serotonin ‘ are the neurotransmitters which helps regulate sleep ,appetite & mood levels.This clearly in dictates us to have a balanced diet that is rich in improving your serotonin levels. Few of the superfoods to improve your serotonin levels are eggs, cheese ,nuts ,tofu and salmon. Having a balanced diet will not only keep you healthy physically but mentally too.
5. Form a Routine:
Depression is such a sticky and tricky monster that once it starts engulfing you completely, it sucks out all the juices of interest levels left inside your being ,living you without any motive in life ,be it as simple as daily routine. When I shifted to pune I had almost slipped into a relapse again due to variety of fears and stress I was carrying along with me,also change of a place had acted as a trigger for me .Thankfully I identified my symptoms on time and made conscious and sensible efforts to keep myself busy, even if I had nil interest in doing so.I was so scared to go into that dark rabbit hole all over again ,which already had started acting out. I used to leave the house forcefully to keep myself busy by meeting my friends or relatives to keep the devils in my mind shut. With gods grace it finally worked as I was finally able to level up my thought process to that of the normal people somehow. This was my first successful learning experience to curb the relapse. And that’s why I can’t stress this enough to say ,that keep yourself busy with something or create a structure to your routine even of you have 0 percent interest in it . You might feel like giving up ,but trust me it will surely refrain you from going in to that rabbit hole unknowingly.
6. Get enough sleep:
Have you ever felt completely drained out when ,you dint had enough sleep the previous night? How did it make you feel next day, dull, may be frustrated, unfocused, confused right? And people suffering with depression can’t just afford to get deprived of sleep at all ,it massively aggravates your symptoms.When I had my post- partrum depression, the initial 6 months were crazy and acted like a fuel in fire,as my new born was getting accustomed to the day & night cycle of the outer world . My sleepless nights often worsened my symptoms. So make sure you always get enough of sleep before starting your day.
7. Identify your triggers:
After years of surviving depression, steadily you will start identifying your triggers too. Depending on your past history ,your lifestyle, your personality traits or any other genetic factors like OCD. There could be various triggers like , a medical history,a stressful past event ,series of negative news or stories ,a major change in life or place . Few also suffer from seasonal depression. Once you start identifying them it gets easier to manage it well in advance.
8. Indulge in Relaxation techniques:
Indulging in any mind relaxing techniques like meditation,deep breathing, positive affirmations with relaxing music or even be it any of your beloved hobby,just being involved in the process itself may have an instant calming effect on your mind.During my depression, getting into art therapy & absorbing in the beauty of nature itself had a profound effect on my suffering mind.
9. Listen & Read some Motivational stories :
Reading self -help and spiritual books were my only best companions in my worst phase. They kept my paralyzed feelings alive through the energy it created by its motivating words,the truths of universe, answering few of my deep rooted existential questions and giving me a ray of hope, even if I dint feel at that movement,it kept me going.I will keep adoring and reading them forever for the kind of magic they sprinkled upon me those days. Its best when you start and end your day with some inspiring reads or videos. It will keep you sailing smoothly through the pain you might be going through and reduce your Negative feelings throughout the day.
10. Practice gratitude:
It might not help while you are in depression, but will surely help to refrain you from falling in the trap of relapse . Counting your blessings ,helps you to be happy with your own imperfect self ,even if your life is going through turbulence. And your contended mind will never generate a thought of dissatisfaction ,which could chain up with the negative thoughts to trigger depression in future.
Relapses may happen to few sufferers of mental illness or may not happen in future at all if they are lucky, but keep in mind its your sole responsibility to take care of your overall wellbeing, lets just pay attention to what has allowed us in the first place to be existing in this world ,without this temple of body and mind ,your are just a consciousness. So care for them first and then start looking at your worldly goals.