Depression Recovery: How To Keep Feeling Good

Red Tea Pot (cropped) by Risa Salsberg of  ediblepoetry  on etsy.

Red Tea Pot (cropped) by Risa Salsberg of ediblepoetry on etsy.

In the summer of 2012, I started writing about depression. Ultimately, I wrote thirteen articles that were published monthly at the online magazine Scoutie Girl.
A part of it includes my experience with a long, dark episode of depression. But mostly, my goal has been to remind myself of good things to do and help others to help us when we’re unwell: something I couldn’t do when I was down.
The first full week of October 2015 encompasses Mental Illness Awareness Week in Canada, so I thought, why not republish these? So, here they are. Where possible, the articles exist as they did in 2012-2013, with links to originals.

Depression Recovery: How To Keep Feeling Good

You’ve been down that long road. You have survived feeling slow all the time, mental confusion, low mood, sleep problems, and inability to make your body move. You found your way out of the rabbit hole. Your body and mind are working well again, and for the most part, you’ve been feeling pretty good.
So. . . what now?

Now, you stay the course.

It’s glib of me to have written that, and I know that it takes focus to follow. Keep the following points in mind, even though you’re feeling good now, and it will be easier to stay the healthy course.

Structure. Find a way to keep the good habits in your life and routine.

Meds or alternative therapies. Are you feeling good? Then stick with your professionals and their recommendations. It sounds counter-intuitive, but maintaining professional care when you’re feeling good can be preventative.

Good food. Sure, it has been a while since caffeine has brought you flying up and right back down again. But do you really want to start a cycle like that? It’s probably a good idea to still avoid it for the most part. And it seems easier to eat packaged foods sometimes, but whole foods are going to feel so much better.

Exercise. It is good for all of us. And it feels good.

Faith. It feels better to make a connection.

Friendships + social groups. These are the people who can help you to feel better, through anything that’s going on.

Talking about it. It’s the twenty-first century: people are not sent away due to mental illness anymore. Even though it’s not commonplace conversation (yet), when you’re feeling good is the time to let others in on what it has been like for you. And maybe you can make it just a little bit easier for someone who is currently going through something, just by opening the lines of communication.

Ultimately, good self care is important to every one of us (try googling “self care ideas.” I did, and came up with 181 million hits). I believe that attentive self care is critical when you have already dealt with compromised health. Pay attention to your early warning signs. Know exactly what they are, and cut them off at the pass. Treat what needs treating. Set yourself up for success in good health, and celebrate in feeling good!

I am writing this because I had an experience. I am in no way a medical professional. I had an experience, and I have learned a lot from it, and that’s the foundation of all of this.