Even here at Spread Hope Project, not all days are filled with hope. Like anyone else dealing with mental health conditions or chronic illness, we have difficult days, where it seems there is so little. And on those days, even those of us whose mission it is to spread hope may have trouble finding some ourselves. I wish I had some greater words of wisdom here, some sure-fire tricks. But I don’t. Here are two simple pieces of advice I can offer.
- It is OK to not feel OK. You deserve to be able to be yourself. Depression, anxiety, and all. So in these times, give yourself time and space to take off the “mask”. Do whatever you need to do to allow yourself to heal. For me, I’m trying to unplug a bit where I can, and I’m saying no to a lot of gatherings that aren’t mandatory. I know that I’m physically becoming unable to keep up the happy, cheerful face more than absolutely necessary, and that tells me it’s time to take a step back until I’m feeling better.
- You don’t have to believe everything your brain tells you. Depression and anxiety have mastered the skill of making you think that everything they tell you is indisputable fact. It is not. You have every right to question it. I know that people are full of positive cliches and platitudes, and those don’t help either. But focus on those truths that you know deep down, and those thoughts of people you truly trust to be honest with you, when your brain tries to pull you down into the depths of depression. Even planting one seed of doubt in what your brain is telling you can help.