"I feel like my life is falling apart. Everything is spiraling out of control. Nothing is going the way I want. I don't even know what I'm doing anymore.  I wish I didn't have to feel like this right now. My life just sucks."

Depression & anxiety can be crippling. If you are struggling, please know that you are not alone & it's more than okay to ask for help! 

Here are some resources that may help you manage your depression.

I minored in Health Promotion & Disease Prevention; one of my favorite courses was my Stress Management class. It helped me understand the biological responses to stress as well as the effects it can have in the long term & short term. If you're having negative thoughts & stressing out, hopefully, these little tips can quiet some of those thoughts & help you focus on better ones. 

But again, if you need professional help, that's okay!


Shift your focus

You can't focus on the bad, because it will consume you. Life is what you make of it. Life is what you see & what you remember. If all you see is your tornado of sadness, you'll find yourself perpetually unhappy. When I feel my brain focusing on negative things, I try my best to think of something good & positive. I know this sounds dismissive or stupid but it genuinely helps me.

Rather than focus on something I'm really stressed or anxious about, I wrack my brain for a good memory or thought or song or something other than what I'm currently focusing on. Picnicking in Paris. The sound of the waves crashing on the ocean. Playing with a fluffy kitten. Thinking of as many The Office quotes as I can. There is beauty in the every day, you just have to focus on it. Forcing my brain to switch tracks is

Count your blessings

The fact that you woke up this morning is a plus. Were you in a bed? Some people don't have a nice, comfy bed to sleep in. Was there a roof over your head? Did you eat anything today? Did you use your fancy phone, swanky computer,  or rad music player at any point? Many people don't have access to such loot. Did you see or talk to a friend? These little things are often forgotten, but how are they unimportant? When I'm feeling down, I am genuinely thankful for the roof over my head, the shoes on my feet, the food in my belly.

Learn from the bad stuff

So you didn't do very well on that test last week. You got laid off from a second job in under one year. Your mom passed away 6 months ago & it's unbearable every day knowing she's gone. It's all you can talk about for four days straight (maybe four weeks or four months or four years). First of all, I am so sorry you're going through this! Now ask yourself: what is the lesson to be learned from this experience?

You failed the test, but you figured out that you need to dedicate more hours to studying. Maybe next time you'll form a study group or visit the professor's office hours. You got laid off & now you have a little more experience (different office, job, co-workers, there's something there!) You think about your mom nearly every hour; remember how she tucked you into bed; remember what she taught you, how she made you feel, her favorite song. There is always a moral to every story.

Make a happy list

Write down all the good things or simple pleasures that happened today. On most days, the positives can outweigh the negatives. Create a list & see for yourself. It's not lame. Try it out! Here's mine:

Positive things that happened to me today:
  1. I woke up in my nice, warm tangled mess of blankets.
  2. I watched several ultra hilarious episodes of The Office.
  3. The sun is shining & the weather is sweet.
  4. My hair looks really good.
  5. I ate so much delicious food (vegan pizza with red bell pepper, broccoli & mushrooms, ginger snaps, & dark chocolate covered espresso beans).
  6. I had not one, but two, cups of scrumptious tea.
  7. I did all my laundry for free!
  8. I spent the day with various important people in my life.