Having a mental health toolkit can help you manage through a depressive episode.
With over 20 years of experience in the mental health field and her own relationship with depression, Debbie shares with me some of the strategies she uses to manage her depression, and she gives actionable tips for how others can Plan, Prepare, and Persist as they manage their mental health.
Planning means deciding before a depressive episode what helps you manage through it. For her, it’s exercise, eating healthy, the weather, and having a tribe around her.
Preparing means physically writing down the plan to help you and others around you know how to help you. I love this idea because it can be easy to offer help, but it can be so difficult for someone to think of how you can help them in the moment.
And finally, persisting is keeping in your mind the idea that you’ve gotten through this before and you can do it again. If you need to see your doctor or adjust your medication to make help you persist, than absolutely you’d want to do that.
While we often think of toolkits like toolboxes found in garages, I really love the imagery created by Debbie’s idea of a mental health toolkit.
Inside Debbie’s mental health toolkit are:
- Essential oils for diffusing, including bergamot and mint
- Stress balls
- Healthy snacks
- Playlists with uplifting music
- Favorite TV shows and comedians
Having these tools at her disposal really help to manage through how she feels. Experiencing depression can be more like a spectrum and less like an on-off switch.
Since depression affects the whole body, using a variety of tools to stimulate the senses really helps to address this.
With depression, like many mental health issues, the more knowledge you have, the more you can self-advocate for your care.
Your network or community of trusted individuals can better help you manage depression if you communicate your needs with them.
I appreciate Debbie’s thoughts today on how to boldly address depression.
- Learn how to build a mental health toolkit for yourself.
- Debbie and I talk about some common misconceptions about depression.
- Plan, Prepare and Persist through depression.
● Debbie Brady’s Website: Ending Stigma Together
● Debbie’s Book: Depression Survival Guide
● Web Resource: National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – US Based
● Web Resource: The Mighty
● Life Stuff 101: lifestuff101.com | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook
● Mio Yokoi: Registered Psychotherapist