Just as Yoda said to Luke to clear his mind this is what must happen if you want to live a depression free life. Being realistic though, you cannot have a life without ups and downs, but maintaining a stable base of yourself can keep you anchored and make it easier for you to cope.
Depression is really hard to get out of. I know this for a fact, and I have lived with chronic depression almost my entire life. I have to calm myself down almost every day of my life due to anxiety and depression. There is a key to doing this for me. It is quite simple actually, but I think a lot of people overlook this and relapse back into depression.
The trick is to remind yourself that you got through it. You beat depression already and you can do it again.
To get out of depression the first time is harder then a reoccurring depression I think. All I can do to help in that aspect is to encourage you not to do it alone. Seek out help. I am not expert, but when I got to the point that suicide started looking like an option, which it is never an option, I got help from experts and they helped me so much. I am eternally grateful for the people in my life that have helped me with my mental health issues, but the initial group of people who helped me I give a special thanks to.
Anyway, I got a little side-tracked there. Maintaining yourself after depression is, like I said, really hard, but it is definitely possible. Coping skills are one of my best tools for maintaining. Another thing that I have found that helps me, it may or may not help you, is to write up a contract with yourself and sign it. Physically sign a piece of paper. It feels right for me and it bounds me, in my head, to the contract. You don’t even have to tell anyone about your contract, but it could definitely be an option.
Another thing you could do is be selfish. I know that sounds weird, but hear me out. Be selfish for yourself concerning your mental health. If you cannot be happy those around you will not be happy, so my advice is this: take time for yourself, love yourself, and reaffirm yourself in you mind. Tell yourself good things about yourself. Surround yourself with your accomplishments. An example of this is my Keystone award. I have two copies of it. The one I keep in my wallet and the one I have on the wall at my parents house. It reminds me that I can contribute and that I am worthwhile.
Now, that is a personal example from me, but surrounding yourself with stuff that reaffirms you is a good strategy I think. Regardless of what it is. Keep that video game that you gained immense enjoyment from. Same for the camera you took that award winning photo in. Keep the original artwork! Do stuff that you love and you will continue to love yourself.
I really hope that my mini series has helped at least one person and I hope you can share this with others and spread the words I have typed up today. I really want to help and I think this is the best way I can. Thanks for reading. The next few posts concerning mental health will focus on anxiety and how to combat it. Hope to see you there!