Hello everybody! I'm Chloe and I blog at Chloe Elizabeth , and I love to talk about all things fashion, lifestyle and mental heal...

Guest Post: How I Live with Depression and Anxiety

By July 30, 2018

Hello everybody! I'm Chloe and I blog at Chloe Elizabeth, and I love to talk about all things fashion, lifestyle and mental health. I am currently a psychology graduate from Birmingham (UK), and I am passionate about ensuring people with mental health issues are supported correctly. If you are interested, please do head on over to my blog! I have been suffering with a generalized anxiety disorder since I started University back in 2014. Though, this was something I did not seek help for, until December 2017 when I was in my final year and really struggling – it was at this point that I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, I restarted talking therapy and started taking sertraline. At the moment I probably appear to be quite high functioning, sertraline has really helped me and I’ve discontinued talking therapy (long story!) but here are my three tips for living with it and continuing to grow, and this is advice I’d give to someone even without a mental illness, as we all have mental health remember!

Mindfulness and Meditation

I’d recommend mindfulness to everybody who is anxious, depressed or is getting burnt out. Mindfulness and meditation are somewhat different, but I find both incredible useful. Mindfulness is based around taking more time to be in the present, to what you’re thinking and why you’re thinking. If you’re getting overwhelmed, take the time to sit and think. What am I thinking, and importantly, why am I thinking this? Realising why is the key to being able to look for a resolution to the issue, which can often be very deep rooted. Meditation, on the other hand, involves sitting and paying attention to your body. It does require being mindful but you’ll need to take time (even 5/10 minutes) out of your day to formalize it., so have a play around and see what works best for you. There are many ways to meditate and my favourite is to sit on my floor, legs crossed and eyes closed, and to listen to a meditation YouTube video. I’m aware that many people use the Calm and Mindfulness apps, so try them all out and see what works for you!

Recognise Your Needs: Keep Busy but Don’t Overwhelm Yourself  
It can be difficult to find a balance with this one, but I’ve found from personal experience, if you’re sitting around with depression, it can encourage you to think, think and overthink. Overall, this tends to make things worse and I’ve found it really useful to throw myself into my blog. I do keep busy with it but there are weeks/days where I’ll see myself getting overwhelmed so I’ll sit back and take a break. Mindfulness really comes into play here, as you’ll need to sit back and realise whether you’re doing too much or too little and try and adjust this accordingly. Eventually, you’ll become more acquainted with what you can handle doing and adjust to a schedule that works for you.

Integrate Exercise into Your Daily Routine
I know, many of us find exercise difficult to do, as day-to-day lives are generally busy. But, it’s really important to eat nutritiously and get some exercise into your routine. My routine at the moment is to walk to my bus stop instead of catching a second bus to get me there, but I’ve actually taken my bike out of the shed and once I’ve brought a helmet, I’m going to start cycling through the park to get to work. I’m very excited to start doing it! I’d recommend taking a look through your daily routine and look at how you can start integrating exercise into that. Do you work in an office? Could you walk to a park on your lunch break to eat some food? Some people will do exercises at their desk, but personally I think it’s better to get out and get some fresh air, as this also helps me.

Of course, it is important to look at the severity of how you are feeling. If you are feeling suicidal then I’d recommend seeking help from your GP and if necessary, call a mental health helpline, who are fantastic listeners (I’ve used them before and I couldn’t recommend them more!). I see these tips more as ‘maintenance’ rather than a cure for mental illness, so please don’t take any drastic action such as stopping medication or counseling based on my advice.

What are your best practices for living with mental health issues and improving your general wellbeing? I’d love to hear your thoughts! You can contact me on Twitter or Instagram, or leave a comment in the box below!

Thanks for reading Chloe's guest post and keep checking back for more posts just like these!


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