As the old adage goes, an idle mind is the devil’s playground and I feel this holds no truer than in my experience with depression and anxiety or sometimes, both. 

More often than not, one leads to the other and thus I’m left at a loss, not knowing, no, not feeling the urge to do anything but hide.

Running away, hibernating at home curled up in bed, protecting ourselves from the outside world are actions that further compound the problem. 

While this may be comforting, and though it’s difficult to take the first step, there are more productive ways we can channel our energy.

Depending on the individual and situation, there are a number of possibilities.

Small actions to take for healing:

Take a Walk

Even if it’s for 10 minutes around your local area. Focusing your senses on your surrounding sights and sounds can be a meditative way to take yourself out of your own mind.
It certainly helps me with my depression and reminds me of what it is to be human and appreciate the beauty of all forms that exist. Plus, exercise no matter how high or low in intensity, stimulates the heart and mind, releasing those endorphins.

Create

We are all intrinsically creative beings, whether we believe it or not. Creating simply for the fun of it and without any expectations of the outcome can be cathartic; your only goal is to feel good.
Journaling, dancing, playing music, singing your favourite songs, painting, drawing, writing poems, whatever makes you happy, do it. Don’t let the world’s definition of what’s good stop you; just be

Talk to Someone

Sometimes, we get so wrapped up in our own inner world, we may neglect the thought that we have people we can reach out to.
Calling a friend, family member or community helpline for a quick chat can ease feelings of loneliness. It may feel like a lot of effort to take this action, but once you finish the call it’s highly likely you’ll feel lighter.

When in panic and in peace

Of course, though, when experiencing anxiety, a different approach may be needed. In the event of a panic attack, being at home or in familiar surroundings actually might help someone soothe their nervous system and feel calm. 

Panic attacks are different in that they are a lot more sneaky. They may arise at any time, without warning, which is an extremely unnerving experience. Personally, when this happens to me, I find that sitting in a washroom, thinking calm thoughts and practicing breathing exercises help me to cope.

During intermittent periods of calm and tranquility, I find that channeling my energy into practicing new hobbies such as learning a new language, or an art form, helps build mental resilience.

Understand your own needs

These suggestions may not work for everyone; we have to remember that we are all wonderfully unique. Find an outlet that works for you and nurtures your authentic self.  

Approach your healing from a place of exploring and understanding yourself. These ‘distractions’ aren’t really just distractions, they’re instead a reminder that we’re more than the sum of our mental frustrations; we are fighters.

H.O.P.E Alliance

H.O.P.E Alliance

H.O.P.E. Alliance is a community of people who believe that persons living with emotional and mental distress are the seekers of their own journey of recovery.
We wholeheartedly believe that recovery is for everyone, and that anyone can be a source of support to others walking the journey.

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Last modified: October 6, 2021