How I Fought My Years Long Depression

A 5-step routine to follow every day

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Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

1. Rising early

Getting up early means we get a much longer day. And for me, mornings are the best part of the day because it’s so quiet and peaceful. The extra time alone makes me spend some time with myself.

“Wake up early and tackle the day before it tackles you. Be on offense, not defense.”— Evan Carmichael

I didn’t like to face my problems, and thinking about all the shortcomings made me sad. So I had just stopped thinking about them. I didn’t let myself stress over life — which was a good approach — for a time. I watched movies, gossiped with friends, and did everything except think about what was wrong and how to fix it.

Wake up early, not because you have things to do, but because you don’t.

2. Meditation

Researches say that exercise can boost a mind suffering from depression. A regular routine of exercise lets the mind relax along with the strain on the body. But, being as lazy as I am, I never did much in the name of exercise except walk. But during the days of the pandemic, going outside wasn’t something that appealed to me. So I resorted to a bit of yoga — which I can't say I was very committed to. Instead, what helped me is — meditation.

The thing about meditation is you become more and more you.

As the narrator’s voice washed through me, I learned to re-live the hard days, I cried over my failures, laughed over my stupidity, understood the mistakes. I learned my life from a new perspective and let the problems go. If you are like me, with your avoidance technique and skeptical mindset, try and break free from it. Give your mind the time to understand it and let all the anxiety go.

Embrace life so that you can live it.

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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

3. Doing what I love to do

Whenever I fell into any sort of problem, I always tried to mute it. I submerged myself into more interesting things like reading or watching movies. I found that I was happy when I was otherwise occupied. So I read about 150 novels every year for the last three years. If I didn’t have something new to read, I reread old favorites. I’m proud of this number, but it also proved to be a curse for me.

Reading became less like a hobby and more like an addiction.

I wanted to escape my life by diving inside the pages of a book. I didn’t have any solutions to my problems so I went to characters whose problems had pre-made dramatically perfect solutions. I lost myself in my hobby to escape from dwelling about my problems. So, I decided to stop reading.

"Beware the hobby that eats. "— Benjamin Franklin

So, I started to ration my daily dose of reading. One hour every day or maybe five chapters per day is the limit. It also helps me absorb the content more. I realized that being happy is more important than being disciplined. Doing what you love doesn’t necessarily have to prevent you from doing what matters, only, you have yo find the best balance between the two. So do what you love to do, what makes you feel sane. Find a hobby and stick to it in a healthy way. And then, find your way back to all the way you can actually start the journey back from insanity.

4. Talking things over

I’ve always known talking to someone helps us find an answer that we were initially overlooking. But, as I was lying to myself about how happy I was, I didn’t care about that. I am an introvert, but that does not necessarily mean I don’t talk. I am quite talkative with people I feel relaxed around. But I never really talked to them about all the doubts in my head. I always pretended I was okay, and gradually I started to believe it myself. I didn’t feel like I was depressed, so why would I ask for help? But that month — the one I said was the worst of my life, I didn’t have books to escape into. So, one day, I burst out. I poured my heart out to my mother.

She held me tight and listened to what I had to say, and then, she guided me to see things with more clarity.

Social support is one of the most important things in fighting with depression. When we are depressed, it means we cannot find a reason to be happy with ourselves. So we need someone to make us see the good in us. That’s why a good support network is necessary. Someone who’ll always listen and help you come out of the dark. I have a friend who has more faith in me that I do. Every time I feel down, I call her and know that she'll motivate me and make me want to love myself again. Keeping our thoughts inside never helps us. Find someone who helps, who cares.

5. Complimenting at least one person daily

When we feel bad, we are also seeing the world in a different light. Other person’s happiness can make us feel jealous and even worse for ourselves. But what if we are the ones that made the other person happy?

Written by

A lover of books and drunk on dreams. An introvert writing about life, books, movies, and personal development. IG: https://www.instagram.com/thegrimreadr/

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