It's been almost a month since I started my treatment for depression, and so far, I've been feeling a lot better. To help my treatment, I decided to create a Love Yourself Project, which aims to help the depressed and suicidal (like me; I need to help myself).
To start, I'm listing down 10 ways to love yourself.
Loving yourself is, I believe, the most essential step in getting through depression because depressed people tend to not see their self-worth. I, for one, hated myself for just about everything, and now is the best time to finally get that off my system. It's Christmas; the greatest gift you can give to yourself is love.
1. Hone your talent
Your talent does not have to be at par with Mariah's singing prowess or MJ's dance moves. If you can draw, join an art class or buy more drawing materials. If you can write, create a blog, contribute to newspapers or magazines, write poetry, or even write a book. If you can sing, join a choral group or give voice lessons. If you can dance, join dance workshops or create your own choreography. If you are good at doing something, even as trivial as being able to eat a humongous burger in three minutes, hone it and flaunt it. Be confident! Talents cover a broad spectrum of abilities. If you don't know yours, think: No one is ever born barren with talent.
You have to admit that there is a sort of high when you're out shopping (even for little things such as pens or screwdrivers). If you have the money, go and splurge! Buy that book you've always wanted to read, refresh your wardrobe and get new dresses, buy shoes and bags, or better yet, buy that expensive gadget you've been checking out online in, like, forever. If there's one thing that I realized, it's that the more you think you don't have money, the bigger the chance that you won't have money. You are precious, so don't settle for anything less; go for what you really want!
3. Pamper yourself
Your body is God's temple. This may sound stupid given how obvious it is, but if you don't take care of your body, you're not taking care of yourself. Go ahead and pamper yourself. Get a haircut, go for a full body massage, go to the spa, go to the beach and get a tan, even. This will not only improve your appearance, this will boost your self-esteem as well.
4. Eat healthy
In relation to number 3, get rid of your junk food and sweets, and begin to eat healthier (though a cheat day with loads of chocolate is okay). The more junk you consume, the lesser nutrients you have in your body and the more your body becomes unhealthy. Depression is a play of hormones; hence, it's important to have a healthy body in conjunction to your antidepressants. You'll feel much better about your body too!
5. Be more active
In relation, again to number 3 and number 4, have some exercise. Go out swimming, jogging, cycling, rock climbing, or seeking the Atlantis. This will not only make you healthier, it will also give you an avenue to meet new people. Being active helps you divert your attention from your depressive, negative thoughts. Bask in the sun, because sunlight can actually help in improving your mood. Go and see the world; there's tons you can do out there.
6. See your friends
No man is an island. Your friends are part of your support system, in addition to your family. Surround yourself with people who make you feel better about yourself. Vent out to them if you need to; this will help you figure out and untangle your messed-up thoughts and feelings. Aside from friends, you can also opt to join organizations and meet new people. The more, the "manier"!
7. Unfriend the negative "friends"
In relation to number 6, it's also equally important to abandon the people who only make you feel bad about yourself. Stay away from that "friend" who always seems to compete with you, who gives snide remarks on just about anything, or who is the reincarnation of Hitler the Racist Megalomaniac. These people will do you no good, so why keep them? If it so happens that these negative people are your family, let them know how you feel. Again, vent out. What you will say may not sink in to them now, but sooner, they will realize it. They are your family, and those who genuinely care for you will do anything to make you feel better.
8. Listen to happy music
Music has a big influence to your mood. When I was very depressed, I always listened to sad, dark songs, and it only made things worse. Believe in the power of music therapy. Create a "happy playlist" and put it in your phone or iPod. If you have Spotify, subscribe to happy and mood-boosting playlists. Dance as if no one's watching (or if there is one, then to hell with them; you're happy). Remember, music is food for the soul.
It doesn't matter if your voice can awaken the dead; go ahead and sing! Singing helps your respiration, feeding more oxygen to you body (note: not too much as to cause hyperoxidation). Singing is an extension to music. It will help you clear your mind and relax your body. Try it, and you'll see what I mean.
Whether you're Catholic, Jewish, or what-not, it always, always helps to talk to a Supreme Being. I am not a very religious person, but I believe in the existence of a Big Someone out there. If you're not ready to open up to humans, talk to God . . . pray. Prayer is a very powerful thing, and it doesn't hurt to try to talk to God. Worship the Lord, thank Him for His glory, and ask for healing and inner peace. God is with us always; you just need to ask.
Feeling down, hopeless, and depressed? You might like my entries in my Love Yourself Project.