May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. Are you aware? As a Central Pennsylvania Senior Photographer, and someone that has suffered with depression, Mental Health Awareness is very important to me!
There is a National Month or day for pretty much everything and anything and most of them we don’t even know about. In fact, I never knew May was National Mental Health Awareness Month until just last month and I was excited to find out.
You see, I’ve suffered from depression for, well, pretty much as long as I can remember. Mad at the world. Angry for no reason. Crying for no reason. When people tell you that you should just be happy or ask how you can be so mad about something, they don’t understand. It isn’t a choice. When you are depressed, you don’t choose to be angry or mad or sad. You just are. And most of us are raised in a society that talking about it or asking for help makes you weak.
The place I grew up, this was the case. I needed to be strong. I needed to be “Ok”. So I was. i put on the brave face. I went through the motions and acted like all was well with the world.
But it wasn’t.
It never was.
I urge you not to wait. I urge you to not live this life alone. Share. Ask. Involve. With that being said, here are some tips on how to cope and find help.
1. Stop Being Negative
When you complain, cry, talk of sad feelings, or discuss problems, your friends and loved ones probably respond with sympathy and tender loving care. Unfortunately, these loving responses reward and help maintain the depressive behaviors. These behaviors, however, are natural to people that are depressed. If someone would’ve told me to “stop being negative” I would’ve laughed in their face and told them “I would if I could”. Instead of whining and complaining to friends and family, ask them for help and not to do it for you.
2. Make Changes
Take a look at your environment and the people around you. Do they fuel your negativity? When you complain, do they encourage the negative or help to change it to positive? Surrounding yourself with positive people can make all of the difference.
3. Become Active
Joining a gym or a recreational sports league to get your blood pumping and maybe even meet some new friends can help change your focus and mentality.
4. Adjust your diet
People who are depressed tend to either over eat or under eat. Over eating is helping to suppress your feelings. Those feelings will eventually come out and will be stronger because they have had time to “fester”.
5. Just try
When you’re low, chances of feeling like doing anything are slim. Forcing yourself to try to do something might help you to take one step more the next day.One day at a time. One step at a time
6.Keep a Journal of the Good
Make yourself find a positive in every day. You didn’t cry today. You got out of bed. You smiled. You brushed your teeth. The little things can be the big things and will eventually add up to such.
7. Find a hobby
Finding something you like to do can make a big difference in your overall attitude. Pottery. Painting. Walking. Photography.
8. Learn How to relax
Deep breathing or even counting to 10 (or 100) can help your mind to refocus on something else and not on what is upsetting you
9. Get enough sleep
Make sure you are going to bed at a decent time. Based on when you need to be awake, your body needs sleep to be able to function properly
10. Don’t go it alone
Talking to a doctor is not a bad thing. Getting a prescription is nothing to be ashamed of. We all need help in life. Don’t be ashamed to ask for it.
I’m a Central Pennsylvania Senior Photographer and I’d love to capture your memories! Contact me HERE for more information!
May is also the month that many Proms happen in. If you’re looking for some wonderful tips on flowers for prom, check out my fellow photographer’s blog post HERE