In my last blog, I discussed how to cope with a loved one being incarcerated. You could be feeling various emotions, including stress, anger or grief. It’s also not uncommon to feel depressed.
Depression is hard to pull out of. Sometimes you feel so defeated that you have no motivation to do anything. It’s like a dark cloud is hanging over you and you can’t escape. As terrible as depression can feel, there are things you can do to help improve your mood.
Come to terms with the fact that you’re depressed
Take notice of how you’ve been feeling lately and where your thoughts have been. If you’ve been feeling down, or negative thoughts have been spiraling in your head, you could be depressed. If you’ve lost interest in things you once enjoyed, this could also be a sign. Check out this article from Healthline to help you identify if you’re struggling with depression.
Don’t ever believe the lies that you have to do this alone. It’s important to get support. Lonely feelings can only make depression worse. I can’t say this enough: find people you can talk with, join a support group (online or in-person) or meet with a counselor. Find positive people that will help uplift and support you during these trying times.
If you are looking for a non-judgmental community to discuss emotional issues involving a loved one’s incarceration, I invite you to join my Facebook group. It’s private and allows for open, free conversation where you can find support.
Seek medical help
There may be times when you need to seek medical help. If you’re considering suicide or you can’t seem to pull out of your depression, contact a medical provider for help.
Schedule time for hobbies
Bring enjoyment back into your life by making time for the activities you once loved. You can also try new hobbies if you just aren’t feeling the old ones anymore. It’s also important not to neglect your physical needs like rest, diet and exercise.
Pick up around the house
A messy house can actually cause a person to feel more down in the dumps. A chaotic environment isn’t good for your mental wellbeing and can lead to stress or depression. A clean environment is refreshing.
Don’t put things off anymore
When you put things off it can cause you to stress (just like a messy house). And we know where stress can lead. Procrastination can also cause feelings of guilt because you avoid doing what you should. In addition, you can feel down because you’re not fulfilling your goals.
Reevaluate your thought patterns
Journaling is a great way to put your thoughts on paper. Meditating allows you to clear your mind of negative thoughts. During your meditating and journaling, you may discover some negative thought patterns. Do your best to reevaluate what you’re thinking and start to focus on positive self-talk. You can put up little inspirational quotes around the house and practice saying nice things to yourself in the mirror – it’s a start in the right direction.
While there may be a good reason that you feel down in the dumps, you can’t live there. Try a few of these tips to help you gain more happiness in your life.
[Monalisa Johnson is a licensed and ordained minister of the gospel and a certified life coach as well as a mother and entrepreneur. In no way is anything that she writes, speaks or shares considered medical advice or clinical therapy. Consider all that you receive to be life coaching and guidance.]