Depression, and compulsive behavior often all feed into each other. A self-perpetuating cycle, they are two sides of the same side, making each other worse. The good thing is that we can interrupt the flow with self-care.
Importance of Self-Care
There was a line in a book where the lead character could “smell depression when they went into the house.” What a profound statement, but quite accurate. Depression takes away our ability to properly care for ourselves, which tends to cause shame and self-medicating with compulsive behavior. Snake eat tail.
Some Things You Can Do
Here’s are some components of self-care. You can explore and concentrate on on these in your fight against the invisible illness you struggle with.
- Rest–Don’t nap shame. Plenty of sleep is important.
- Time–Devote the time to your recovery that you need.
- Choice–Be aware of your choices. What’s in your control and what’s out of it?
- Exploration and Curiosity–Try to be curious about recovery instead of afraid of it. There are many ways to recovery.
- Kindness–Focus on kindness to yourself and others.
- Attention–What is worth focusing on and what is a drain to your attention?
- Patience–Change isn’t always easy and accept that it may take more time than you want.
- Focus on Progress–In addition to patience, don’t neglect the progress you’ve made.
- Mindfulness, presence, and Awareness–Learning to explore your body and your feelings is one of the best ways to recover and prevent relapse.
- Gentleness–Learning to approach life with gentleness doesn’t come naturally to some people, but it helps.
- Community–Finding a community is an important step in recovery.
- Prioritizing–Be aware that some things have to happen before others. Don’t put the cart before the horse.
- Slowing down–You may need to ease your way into some changes. Also, the rushing around that much of our lives encourage can also be triggering to depression and addiction. This brings us to…
- Adjusting environments–You may need to change your environment to change your situation.
- Attend to comfort and pleasure–Don’t take your needs for granted.
- Acceptance–Some things are out of our control. We might need to accept we can’t change them, so how can we manage them?
- Support–In addition to finding peers who can support you, find people you can support. You’ll be surprised how much that helps!
Hopefully this list gives you a lot to think about and makes a difference. For further information, or to access Florida psychiatric services call us at (855) 441-2449.