A depressive episode can hit you hard. I didn’t even see it coming and when I was enveloped in that fog-like state, everything seemed hopeless, pointless and the reality a little out of reach. It was being behind a thin veil that I could not cast aside.

I am no expert in doling out advice, talking about medication or therapy for I didn’t really embrace any of these. However, when I felt a little better, I understood that I had to take control of a lot of aspects of my life if I wanted to take care of my mental health.

Here’s what I did (again, take this post only as a recounting of my personal experience and to reiterate that it’s possible to get better and take charge of many things)

1. Identifying the triggers – I knew certain things aggravated my mind and disturbed my mental equilibrium. These little things would then blow out of proportion and I would be crippled by a feeling of helplessness and spiralling negative thoughts.

I practiced self awareness to check when and under what circumstances I felt disturbed. That was clue enough to be vigilant.

2. Eating and sleep patterns – My sleep and food patterns would go haywire when I felt unable to cope with many things. Those hidden stresses had an impact on my meal timings and what I ate. I also noticed that I started sleeping more as I felt lethargic.

Keeping an eye on these helped me arrest the downward spiral.

3. Enough sunlight and exercise – Being outdoors works wonders for me. Being out in the natural light had a soothing effect on my dark moods. Even on the days I had no motivation to exercise, I made sure that I went for long walks. I felt calmer after a couple of days of doing this.

4. One positive thought – I would frequently catch myself repeating a thought or a narrative in my head. Telling oneself to not think negative is just not enough. I needed to replace that behaviour of being fearful with being joyful. So I put in one good thought in my head at a time and put that on repeat.

5. Associating places and situations with positive thoughts – Certain situations brought out the worst in me. When my hands were busy but my mind was free, I tended to slip towards negative thought patterns. I identified these places and events and made sure that I replaced those with enough positivity.

I hope these pointers help someone understand that it’s possible to take charge of so many little things that are really the big things in life.

This post is part of Blogchatter’s CauseAChatter and I am talking about mental health in this series.

3 thoughts on “PPD, Mid-life crisis, the works

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