It’s no secret that creatives suffer from depression at a rate that is higher than the general population. So, on this World Mental Health Day, I wanted to share 5 Daily Tools that have helped me to conquer the effects of depression in my life.
World Mental Health Day: The Time To Check-In with Yourself
- Be present focused. It took me a while to realize that my depression struck when I was obsessing about what had happened in my past. It probably sounds lame but when I stopped thinking about what went wrong in my life and started focusing on what I could do to make my life right, the dark cloud lifted A LOT. No longer do I spend more than 5 minutes thinking about what went wrong way back when. I simply focus on what I can do now.
- Journal to separate feelings from facts. With so many thoughts going through our heads, we often confuse our emotions and the reality of relationships, situations and outcomes. We need space to see what is real in our lives. For example, in my heart I wanted to believe someone was a good person. But, when I started to examine their actions on paper, I could see their actions weren’t that of a good person. Again, it might sound lame. But, your emotions can confuse you. Journaling on paper allows you to get out of your head. Therefore, it prevents you from being tricked by your emotions to remain in toxic situations.
- Exercise. There’s something about even the shortest walk around the block that can make you feel better. Exercise has a calming relaxing effect on me and has often made me feel better when the clouds have begun to form. Start out with a goal of 15 minutes. See how you feel afterwards. Listening to classical music or a motivational podcast often helps make the walk go by faster.
- Read a book that relates to a struggle you’re facing. There are books on depression, anxiety, letting go, grieving, sexual assault, adoption, divorce, etc. Many of these books provide insight and tools to help us to combat the mental illness that we’re facing. When I found myself having a hard time letting go of a toxic relationship, I began to read the book, The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie. It absolutely gave me the tools I needed to let go. So, get a library card. Reading doesn’t have to be expensive.
- Meditate by imagining yourself in a happy space. A lot of people are intimidated by the idea of meditation, but closing my eyes and seeing myself on a beach relaxes me. It also sends the clouds away. Meditating puts me in a spirit of gratitude which erases feelings of depression. I enjoy using the Breathe App to help center my meditations.
Suffering from mental health issues is not reason to be ashamed. But, do not suffer by yourself and don’t suffer in silence. There are hotlines, therapists, and many more solutions to help us. On this World Mental Health Day, check in with your loved ones, your friends, your co-workers and most importantly, yourself. How are you feeling? Do you need to take steps to feel better? The National Suicide Helpline is 800.273.Talk. Take care of yourself. You are the only you we have.
Yasmin Shiraz is a Screenwriter and TV producer who has worked for Lifetime, A&E, Bravo and PBS. She’s a best selling author of more than 11 titles and the founder of Black TV Film Crew. She is the CEO of Still Eye Rise Media.