With depression and suicide becoming all too common, I wanted to sit down with the kids I work with to have an open conversation about the topic. I thought it’d be important to not only let them know they’re not alone but I also wanted to inform them of ways to cope with their feelings other than cutting, for when they did feel like they were. So I did my research and figured you guys might benefit from these as well. Here are 10 different ways to cope with anxiety and depression.
1. Talk it out
Sometimes all you need to do is talk out your problems and you’ll feel better. There is absolutely nothing wrong with going to therapy. They know exactly what to do and say that will ultimately contribute to turning your negatives into positives. But if you still don’t feel comfortable talking to a therapist, find a trusted friend, church leader, or a family member. If they love you, they are going to want to help you, no matter what. And of course, you always have God to vent to when there’s nobody else around.
Studies show that coloring in a coloring book provides instant relief to anxiety. It’s so therapeutic and relaxing! And the smell of crayons brings me back to a simpler time in life, my childhood. You can find adult coloring books at Barnes & Noble.
Write it out! This is the method I’ve been using for years and I love to look back and see how my thoughts have changed and progressed over time. You can turn your sorrow into beauty by writing poetry and songs. You can write out an angry letter and then throw it out after to relieve stress. Or you can just simply write about your day.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “pets and therapy animals can help alleviate stress, anxiety, depression, and feelings of loneliness and social isolation. Studies have also shown that pets are facilitators of getting to know people, friendship formation and social support networks.” This is why colleges allow emotional support animals for students. So if you’re struggling with mental health, I would definitely consider getting a pet! My dog has brought so many smiles to my face, even on my worst of days.
5. Healthy Choices
Research shows that “sport and physical activity partially encounters the same neurophysiological changes as antidepressants.” So find a sport you enjoy! Basketball and boxing are good examples of stress relievers. You should also try to eat healthier. I know that when I eat like crap, I feel like crap; so healthier eating puts me in a better mood.
6. Don’t Isolate Yourself
I know from personal experience that when you are depressed, all you want to do is lay in bed alone. But it’s best to surround yourself with people. Even if you are just sitting in a Starbucks; at least you are not drowning in your own thoughts while crying yourself to sleep. I’ve been there, trust me!
Many people practice yoga to help manage stress, depression and anxiety. It’s very soothing and relaxing. A few symptoms of depression are loss of concentration and energy, which yoga helps restore. Now add some soothing music to your yoga session and you’re good to go!
8. Lavender Oil
The yoga instructor at the school I work with also brings lavender oil to her classes because it scientifically reduces anxiety and emotional stress. There are so many amazing essential oils that all have different benefits. You can purchase the oils and oil diffusers right at Walmart or your local drugstore.
Painting definitely relieves my stress and anxiety. You’re focused on your masterpiece, not on the struggles of life. And again, you can take your feelings and turn them into something absolutely beautiful. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to be Picasso! Just enjoy the experience.
10. Get Help
If you absolutely just feel like you don’t want to live anymore call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or click onto their page here, where they offer “24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones.”
I hope this post helped someone today. And of course, my dm’s and email are always open if you would like to talk to me personally! My Instagram is @psbrittanykalya and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I love you all!
xo, Brittany Kayla