The Covid-19 (2019 coronavirus disease) has changed our reality and forced us to keep our distance from each other. It is only now being realized by many how badly we humans need personal contact with our fellow man. Being able to look each other in the eye, touch each other, be together.
The forced isolation can lead to feelings of loneliness and even depression. Living with depression can make life feel very unpleasant. You may receive professional help (and if not, feel free to contact me), but extra tools can never hurt.
Below I list four ways you could use to help yourself during depression. Some suggestions may be for you, others may not. However, I hope there is at least one tip that can help you find a little ray of sunshine in your day.
Keeping a diary can be a great help for depression. Your diary is your own private place where you can discharge completely. In addition to writing about the struggles, your journal can also be a safe space to document and celebrate all the little "victories". Over time, as you begin to feel better, you may begin to discover some recurring themes that can help you monitor your mood and implement any coping strategies you may need.
The great thing about a diary is that you don't necessarily have to use a written word. You can also draw, color, paste clippings - whatever you want.
Wees zo expressief en creatief als je maar wilt. Mocht je wat extra hulp nodig hebben om hiermee te beginnen, geef ik je hieronder paar zinnen waarmee je aan de slag kan:
"When I feel better, I will ..."
"My favorite memory is ..."
"Today I listened to ..."
"I'm proud of myself today because ..."
"Today I saw…."
"Today I am grateful for ..."
Work with crystals and gemstones
Crystals and gemstones have a powerful energy and vibrations that can contribute to finding balance in our own energy system.
You can wear them as a piece of jewelry, keep them with you in your wallet, put them under your pillow or on your nightstand.
There are a lot of gemstones and crystals available and each has its own effect and energy. The following crystals appear to be very suitable for depressive complaints:
Smoky quartz - reduces stress and neutralizes negativity
Tiger Eye - Energizes and contributes to a feeling of optimism
Carnelian - Can help restore motivation and increase courage and confidence
Citrine - has a stimulating and uplifting effect
Take it step by step
In depression, the goal is to look at it every day and try to find something for that day that can give you the feeling of pleasure.
Try to start with something small and simple, such as a walk in nature. There have been studies showing that just five minutes in nature is enough to notice improvement in mood and self-esteem.
True, if you suffer from depression you have little energy, you do not want to go outside and physical activity can quickly be too much.
But it has been proven that walking can be very therapeutic and the good thing about it is that you can do it at your own pace. If you want to walk very quietly, do that. Do you want to run? No one to stop you.
Try to relax during your walk. Take a deep breath and look at the environment you are walking in. Pay attention to everything you see, the birds, the trees and flowers. Listen to all the sounds of nature and see the beautiful colors around you. Think about things that make you happy. Start with five minutes and if it feels good, build it up over time.
Make your own "Depression piggy bank"
Collect things that make you really happy: photos, feathers, nice memories, letters, drawings and / or images in a box.
When the gray clouds are over your head again, look at everything you have kept in your "money box" and recharge your positive energy.
Recent findings indicate that we spend an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes on social media every day.
The various platforms are designed to help us keep in touch with others, but many psychologists believe that this actually makes us feel more lonely and depressed. A 2018 study from the University of Pennsylvania in the United States found that when social media use was reduced to just 30 minutes a day, there was a demonstrable decrease in depression symptoms.
Of course everyone is different and it can work differently for you. In any case, it is worthwhile to try and see which balance works for you.
Help is here
If you, or someone you know needs help or just needs a listening ear, feel free to call me to make an appointment.
Sometimes one conversation can be enough to gain deeper insights and take the first step to get out of the depression.
Is the step too big for a personal conversation? Then use one of the many helplines available in our country:
Crisis line in suicide tendencies: 113 suicide prevention (0900-0113)
Available 24 hours a day by phone, email or chat. Completely anonymous and trusted. Website: www.113.nl
ADF Foundation: 0343-753009 (costs at local rate)
The ADF Foundation (Fear, Compulsion and Phobia Foundation) is a national patient association that works for people with anxiety and compulsion complaints. The website contains a lot of information about various anxiety disorders, the symptoms and treatment options. Available from Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 1:30 pm Website: www.adfstichting.nl
Labyrint – in Perspectief: 0900-2546674
National self-help organization of and for family members of psychiatric patients. Website: labyrint-in-perspectief.nl
Mind-Korrelatie: 0900-1450 (30 cent p/m)
Provides help with psychological and social problems both by telephone and via the internet.
Available on working days from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
De luisterlijn: 0900-0767 (5 cent p/m)
De luisterlijn (The listening line) is available day and night and is completely anonymous Website: www.deluisterlijn.nl
While the methods listed above can help many people, they are intended only as an additional resource and are not a substitute for professional treatments. Consult your doctor at all times if you are concerned about depression or any other health problem.
About the author
Limor Smits is an alternative life coach, shadow coach, spiritual mentor, inspirator and motivator.
In her practice she offers private sessions as well as workshops in groups.
She also organizes monthly fire women's circles and gives various inspiring and motivating lectures in which she shares stories from her personal life and experiences.