Hi all, I’m a 47 yo female new to forums. I believe I’m suffering from mild anxiety and depression. Everything I’ve read suggests that I talk to my GP however I don’t feel comfortable to speak to anyone about my mental health just yet. I’m wondering if anyone has some coping strategies that they can suggest for managing myself until I feel ready to talk to someone?
Hello AllTooWell & welcome to the forums.
I've been here awhile, & I've read a lot of different things people do to manage their depression & anxiety, Most, if not all, seem to be the sort of things anyone can benefit from.
I'm sure, looking around the forums, you'll discover many things people do, lots of information, too.
For myself, I do my best to practise relaxions techniques. I'm not so good at doing that, but trying helps some anyway.
Sleep habits are also important. Another thing I struggle with. It's really helpful to be getting regular & restful sleep.
As is eating well, caring for your body, being kind & thoughtful towards yourself. Again, regular & nutritious meals. I'm getting to be much better at that than I used to be. I'm feeling better for it, too. While I'm not eating the sorts of food that got me to where I am now, I am also not feeling awful for having eaten the good food I have chosen to eat. No guilt or shame attached to eating well.
I keep hearing regular, (there's that word again), is also good for mental health too. I've begun more regular exercise lately. I needed to for my physical well-being, & it's helping me to not have some of those thoughts about myself when I've been sitting around all day doing nothing that is in my own best interest to do. How can I call myself nasty names when I am getting up & doing exercise, eating well, doing my best with the other things, trying to take part in life outside my flat, (but not my neighbours' lives)? E.g.:feling grotty, get up & take a shower, instead of calling yourself names. That's another strategy.
Some people do volunteer work, which may give them some sense of self-worth & value in the community. & it's often a social activity, where friendships can be found.
Some people enjoy & benefit from getting out into nature, even walking in the local park, simply taking time out from the stresses of daily life.
Hobbies, creative activities, studying something of interest, reading, listening to music, meditating, taking a drive, sport activities, team & group activities, so many things, I can't think of them all.
It's often a combination of a variety of things people are doing to manage their anxiety &/or depression.
Are there things you are doing, which help you manage your thoughts & feelings? I imagine there are.
Oh, & there is 'mindfullness' - being in the moment, staying in the moment, watching those thoughts & feelings go by, without comment, just notice them. It takes a lot of practice. I get distracted so easily, I'm not sure I will ever feel I can do tis well. It's worth trying, anyway. Just the act of focusing on where I am now, what I'm doing now, & now, & now, bringing my attention back time & time again, keeps my thoughts from spiralling out of control.
There's a whole discussion posted by Blondguy (hope this link works) below:
Thank you so much for reaching out to us. MmMekitty has taken most of the words right out of my mouth, but I would also like to add another potential coping strategy that I myself love to use.
Journalling is very therapeutic for me. Whether I'm writing about my day, or a past event that's bothering me, or even my thoughts on something that will/may happen in the future. Journalling doesn't have to be restricted to writing either, if you feel like sketching something, tracing something or colouring in a picture, this can all be considered journalling. It's a good way to be alone with difficult thoughts in a relaxed mindset, allowing you to process them at a comfortable pace and work through things that may be troubling you.
I hope this is helpful advice, please continue to chat with us if you'd like to.
All the best, SB
Wonder why I didn't think of journalling, since I had done so much of it, arguably all that much writing may not have been good for me ... but I thought it was. It acted as a circuit breaker, interrupting those revolving thoughts & the accompanying feelings the way it did & as a way for me to put the feelings into words, & to express them, like old-fashioned catharsis. It also shaped the thoughts & feelings into manageable pieces, detangling some of the mess in my mind.
For me, writing has been the best thing I could do for my mental health.
It can be bunches of disordered phrases, to flowing prose, poems, song lyrics, rap, imagined dialogue, monologue, or a letter you will never send to anyone, or one to yourself. Any sort of writing & yes, pictures, drawings, things cut from magazines, images from online, photos, cartooon, paintings, also anything else you want to include. You could even add fabric, leaves & flowers, string, felt, fuzzy puff balls, glitter - things glued or otherwise attached to your journal. If you do a journal using a computer/laptop, you can insert images, word art, various fonts to that.