Anxiety/Depression: 8 Do’s & Don’ts To Weather The Storm

Anxiety/Depression

Anxiety/Depression

Sophie Turner suffered from depression while filming Games of Thrones, she’s goes to therapy and has been on medication. Kendall Jenner opened up about her debilitating anxiety and panic attacks. Adele confessed she can slip in and out of depression quite easily, and suffered from postpartum depression. Zayn Malik described his anxiety attacks as, “this thing that swells up and blocks out your rational thought process…It’s a constant battle within yourself.” Prince Harry suffered from complete breakdowns on several occasions due to the fact that he lost his mother at age twelve.

All these famous people enjoy glamorous lives. They don’t have the same problems like us. They shouldn’t experience any anxiety/depression at all, right? Only people with miserable lives experience anxiety/depression, right?

Wrong.

Anxiety/depression is not a weak person’s disease, or something that only affects the poor or unpopular. We’ve all got stress triggers and issues and we all react to them differently. Here are a few examples: A young student stresses out about the SAT’s and fears not getting into an elite college. A middle aged woman files for divorce from her marriage of 20 years. An elderly man got evicted from his home, he’s now living on the street. A young couple are overwhelmed with medical bills due to the fact that their child has cancer. All these different scenarios can cause a tremendous amount of anxiety/depression, even for the strongest among us. That’s why 1 out of 5 adults suffer from mental health issues in the U.S. Some are mild issues and others are extreme.

However, on a positive note, people are becoming more authentic and transparent about this once taboo topic. Shame free sharing of mental health issues are becoming commonplace in our society, and I’m all for that, because it’s not ok to be fake happy.

This is not medical advice.

Seek professional help if you’re in need of serious support:

Suicide Prevention, click here

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, click here

Don’t self-medicate. Self-medicating isn’t the solution. Relying on alcohol, cigarettes, food, illegal drugs, hoarding, sex, pornography, shopping, etc. can lead to dependency and addiction. I’m listing a variety of self-medicating examples because alcohol isn’t the only main form of self-medicating, but it is a very common one. Seeking your own solution without professional help will only complicate issues and cause more pain.

  • I knew a woman, colleague from an old job, she couldn’t stop shopping. We would go out together for lunch dates, but the only thing she really took pleasure in was shopping. She could spend all day in thrift shops, electronic stores, super markets, antiquing. Her house was filled with miscellaneous, useless items she didn’t need. In a rare heart to heart moment, she shared with me that she had a desperately poor childhood. This woman is a successful RN nurse, she has a stable career, she doesn’t drink or overeat or do drugs, but she self-medicates with shopping.
  • Self-medicating individuals: 1) Guy/ Woman addicted to porn 2) Influencer who buys another designer item, but is drowning in credit card debt 3) Stress eating housewife who has gained 80 pounds 4) Middle-aged man ‘living’ in a 2,000 square foot house but can’t fully enjoy it because it’s filled with pets and hundreds of boxes filled with junk/trash 5) Mother who gives birth to eight children, because she felt unloved by her parents as a child 6) Aging beauty queen who injects her face full of botox and fillers to the point she’s unrecognizable 7) Introvert who takes four shots of vodka before a social function.

Seek professional help. Self-medicating is masking the problem, but not fixing it. You need to let your doctor know what you are experiencing. Get a referral to a support group. Communicate, don’t suffer in silence.

  • Seek out healthy coping strategies
  • Don’t get caught on a wheel of self-medication
  • Professional help can direct you towards: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Applied Relaxation Therapy
  • Self-help resources through apps, workbooks, books, online cognitive behavioral therapy, cognitive analytic therapy
  • Don’t let your anxiety keep you from seeking help

Don’t isolate yourself. If you are feeling overwhelmed and you just can’t handle socializing, take a break, but just a break. Don’t drop out of existence for weeks or months at a time, your family and friends will take it personally. Also, symptoms can worsen if you’re left entirely alone with your own negative perceptions and worries. It’s very hard to dismantle negative thoughts if you’re all alone. More than ever this is the time when you need to fight to become an active participant in life.

  • Don’t let anxiety/depression isolate you
  • Seek professional help
  • Isolation can aggravate the disordered experience of anxiety
  • Connect with like minded individuals through online support groups
  • Work towards becoming an active participant in life

Reach out to family and friends. Don’t isolate yourself with your own negative thoughts when you’re experiencing anxiety/depression. This type of behavior can worsen symptoms, intensify loneliness, and even make you more anxious. Surround yourself around positive people in your social circle so that they can help you keep things in perspective. Remember you are not alone. Consider volunteering for issues that you are passionate about. Help an elderly neighbor with chores, like mowing the lawn. Tutor young kids to read. You are a capable and talented individual, share your capability with others in your community.

  • There are many positive advantages of connecting with others
  • Seek compassionate attention from trusted individuals
  • Go to church. Join a book club. Enroll in a class at a community college to learn a new skill. Go to the gym. Participate in clubs and organizations
  • Volunteer for a cause: food bank, animal shelter, homeless shelter, hospitals, etc.,

Don’t Self-harm. There are many forms of self-harming: starving yourself, purging after eating, abusing alcohol, cutting yourself, using drugs, overeating, neglecting your hygiene, ignoring your health, burning your skin, engaging in reckless sexual behavior, succumbing to your suicidal thoughts, etc. These are all unhealthy coping strategies that absolutely must be avoided during this crucial period. Now more than ever is when you should be handling yourself with white-glove service, don’t physically terrorize your body on top of the anxiety/depression your currently experiencing.

  • Handle yourself with white-glove service
  • Don’t terrorize your body with physical pain so you can temporarily distract yourself from emotional/mental turmoil
  • Avoid unhealthy coping strategies
  • Self-harm puts you at risk of infection
  • Can cause long term health damage

Do practice self-love. Self-love takes practice, consistently practicing self-love will eventually turn it into a habit. You want to work towards making it a habit to love yourself, rather than bully yourself. Eventually, you learn to depend on healthy coping mechanisms instead of the unhealthy ones listed above.

  • Learn healthy coping mechanism through a continuous practice of self-love
  • Begin each day with positive affirmations
  • Nurture your body with healthy food (avoid junk/fast food)
  • Exercise
  • Enjoy a relaxing bath
  • Write your thoughts in a journal
  • Read a self-help book
  • Stay on top of your hygiene: Floss & brush your teeth twice a day, shower daily, wash your face
  • Be mindful of what you think
  • Focus on your breathing
  • Work to keep a clean & sanitary home
  • Give yourself a manicure or pedicure

Don’t focus on negativity. When I find myself in the anxiety/depression zone I can’t handle politics. I love politics, I watch the news every day, and I read news articles all the time, just not when I’m in an anxious mood. I can’t tolerate all the news outlets, and personal opinion commentators, it’s like the world is going to end tomorrow. Some of the nastiest things I’ve ever read have been in the comments section of a political news article online. All the rhetoric is divisive, alienating, and negative.

Also, I completely cancelled my personal Facebook account about two years ago – “300 of my closest friends and family sharing their drama on my FB feed daily” thank u, next. I keep in touch with people that matter to me the good old fashion way. I don’t feel the need to connect with anyone on FB at all, and I’ve been so much happier.

  • Don’t dwell on negative politics
  • Stay away from toxic/angry individuals
  • Disconnect from negative forms of social media

Do practice therapeutic humor when experiencing anxiety/depression. How? Simple. I love watching episodes of The Big Bang Theory, Two Broke Girls, Cheers, Frasier and The Golden Girls. Yup, anything that can make me laugh. I watch funny pet videos on Instagram, they make me feel better instantly. Humor is an effective and great coping mechanism it can lessen the effects of tension and stress.

  • Watch funny tv shows and movies
  • Enjoy silly pet videos on IG
  • Read a funny book/ laugh at funny memes
  • Watch funny, light hearted people on Youtube
  • Engage in anything that can make you laugh or smile
  • Humor helps relieve anxiety

Don’t overthink/obsess. Unfortunately many individuals experience overthinking tendencies when going through anxiety/depression. During this fragile period your brain is hyper vigilant and anxious and it’s an exhausting experience. Become aware of this, and try your very best to work through it. I know it’s easier said than done, but once you become aware that your brain is anxious, at least you’ll know that you’re not going crazy and this is a normal reaction to anxiety.

  • Don’t beat yourself up over a simple mistake
  • Try not to stress about tomorrow
  • Escape your head and negative thoughts by exercise, socializing with family and friends, hobbies, reading, charity work, etc.,
  • Don’t rehash the past, just let it go
  • Admit that you’re an overthinker
  • Become aware of the problem
  • Acknowledge that your thoughts aren’t productive

Do challenge your thoughts. Challenge the negative, inner monologue in your head so you can weaken the destructive thought patterns that leave you in a constant state of anguish and shame. Learn from your mistakes, and take time to reflect.

  • Don’t allow overthinking to keep you from productivity
  • Realize that we’re all human – we all live with shortcomings, mistakes, and problems
  • Consistent practice of challenging your thoughts will slowly eliminate negative thinking patterns
  • Don’t replay negative or embarrassing events in your mind over and over
  • Recognize the negativity and replace it with positivity
  • Reflect on your inner strength
  • The here and now is all that matters, don’t obsess about yesterday, and don’t overthink about tomorrow

Don’t live in denial. You can’t keep pushing yourself every day as if nothing is wrong when you’re experiencing anxiety/depression, because something inside of you will malfunction. Some wire in your brain will disconnect, or, you’ll emotionally explode at the most inopportune time. Also, don’t fake a more successful version of yourself in life and on social media to deceive others. Acknowledging and recognizing your current mental health during a stressful period in your life is a responsible and mature act.

  • Acknowledge and recognize your anxiety/depression during a stressful period in your life
  • The anxiety/depression will build up the longer you neglect its presence in your life
  • Your bound to explode during some inopportune time in your life if you don’t focus on treating your current mental health issues
  • Don’t fake a better version of yourself on social media to mask the fact that you’re a genuinely struggling in real life
  • We all have broken pieces rattling around inside of us. We’ve all made terrible choices. We’re all human. None of us is perfect

Do embrace your own reality. Remember, you are entirely capable of succeeding in your own reality. Focus on you. Don’t compare yourself to others, in real life or on social media. Currently you are experiencing anxiety/depression, ok, work on yourself. Don’t dream about the future, or cry about the past. Ten years ago you didn’t really suffer with mental health issues, but you are now, focus on the now. The sooner you embrace your own reality, the quicker you’ll start regaining stronger mental health.

  • Work on yourself
  • Have patience with the effort you’re putting into yourself
  • Focus on the now
  • You are entirely capable of succeeding in your own reality
  • To be at ease in your own reality, work on fixing negative issues that are currently dragging you down: pay your bills, stop excessive shopping, get a better job, socialize with family and friends, be more productive at work, show more compassion and love towards your significant other, etc.,

Don’t become resentful. Resenting the fact that you are living with mental health issues, and many others around you are not, is not going to benefit your situation. Don’t resent the fact that family members and friends may not know how to properly support you during your anxiety/depression. Don’t be bitter because those in your inner social circle don’t know how to talk to you about your struggles, that’s why you should seek professional help or support groups. Don’t resent your husband/wife because they can’t fix you, you have to fix and work on yourself.

It may seem like everyone else’s life is so much better, it’s because you only can see what’s on the surface, you haven’t seen all the crumbs underneath the cushion, so to speak.

  • Don’t carry your resentment around
  • Resentment can weigh you down, it sucks up a lot of your energy
  • Resentment takes on a corrosive effect
  • Accept ‘what is’
  • Don’t resent the people closest to you because they can’t fix you
  • You are entitled to all your emotions, even resentment, but don’t cling on to it forever

Do love. Spend more time with your aging family members or parents, because once they are gone, they’re gone. Adopt a shelter animal, and show them a lot of love. Or, cuddle with your current pet and spend less time on Instagram. Visit the elderly in a retirement home. Become a hospice volunteer. Volunteer to clean up a park or beach. Love your spouse a little extra. Hug your kids longer and harder. You don’t have to take your kids on shopping sprees to show them love, spend quality time with them. Make a photo album for your friend, put your whole heart into it. Lastly, love yourself. LOVE YOURSELF. Be forgiving, patient and loving towards yourself like you would for anyone else you loved.

  • Focus on giving and receiving LOVE
  • Spend more quality time with family members and friends
  • Be extra loving to your pets
  • Love yourself

Don’t ever give up. Seriously, don’t EVER give up! In the middle of an anxiety/depression attack, emotionally you’re a wreck, and emotions are like rollercoasters – you go up and down and up and down. Whatever you’re feeling now it will not last forever. So never make a permanent decision on a temporary feeling. Life knocks you down, get back up. Always get back up. Every day is a new opportunity for you to become a more improved person, if you give up now you’ll never know what you’re fully capable of on this journey we call life.

  • Never make a permanent decision on a temporary feeling
  • Don’t ever give up
  • Don’t succumb to suicidal thoughts
  • Fight for the person you want to be
  • You belong on this earth just as much as anyone else

Do look forward to the future. Try to visualize what you want and who you want to be in this life. Desire change and keep an open mind to all avenues of support and treatment. Believe and have faith that you are a work in progress. Learn and practice healthy coping mechanisms so you can survive adversity in the future. Remember, just because you are struggling now doesn’t mean you are failing.

  • Be proud of how hard you are trying
  • Pace yourself, take tiny little steps of progress every single day
  • Make time for getting well
  • You are capable of a major comeback
  • We’re all a little beautifully broken
  • It’s never too late for you
  • Just because you’re struggling doesn’t mean you’re failing

Have you been living with anxiety/depression? Wanna share your thoughts on this topic? Leave them in the comments section below.

Thanks so much!

Maria in gold letters

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45 Comments

    • June 12, 2019 / 10:13 pm

      Thank you so very much for the positive feedback, lovely 🙂 I’m so glad you can relate to the post and agree with the guidelines. I just want people who struggle with anxiety/depression that they are not alone. Hope you have a beautiful day!

    • June 13, 2019 / 11:57 am

      Thank you so very much. I so greatly appreciate your positive feedback 🙂

  1. June 13, 2019 / 4:32 am

    I’ve known people with varying degrees of depression….from mild depression to taking their own lives. I think we’ve all experienced a few of those symptoms of depression and we can identify it and find our way around it. Some can’t do that but they won’t talk to family or friends about it because mental health is such a touchy subject. If people love you, they’ll help you work through it, though. Your suggestions are great guidelines, not only for those with depression, but also for those going through it with someone. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Ruth
    http://www.VogueFauxReal.com

    • June 13, 2019 / 12:02 pm

      Thanks so much for the positive feedback, lovely. I’ve been living with anxiety/depression for years, and I could never talk to my parents or close family members. My friends and my husband has been there for me the most, and I got professional help as well. I just hope the more we can all discuss this openly this topic will become less taboo. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  2. June 13, 2019 / 4:48 am

    I always thought that self-medicating well help me get through my episodes. Until it got to the point that it got worst and everything is falling apart. Having depression and anxiety is not something I could easily open up to my family. When I got to meet new people who I could really trust and be friends with I started opening up to them. I just feel so blessed that they supported me and help me recover. They even encourage me to seek professional help. I still get anxiety attack but I now know how I can handle it and I know I have my friends by my side.

    This post is very helpful and I really love it.

    By the way, thank you for visiting and leaving a comment on my blog.

    • June 13, 2019 / 12:07 pm

      Van, yes, me too. In the beginning I would self-medicate all the time because I didn’t understand what was happening. I agree, self-medicating only makes things so much worse. Nope, my family wasn’t very understanding or easy to reach out to. My friends and my husband were the people that helped me out the most. I’m so happy to hear that you had friends and a support circle that helped you on your journey. Yes, I also still have anxiety/depression but I have learned better coping mechanisms and I understand my struggle a lot more now.

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this post 🙂

    • June 13, 2019 / 12:09 pm

      Yes, I completely agree that self-love is so important. It’s so important to practice self-love towards ourselves too. Thank you so much for the positive feedback 🙂

  3. June 13, 2019 / 7:51 am

    I love this, babe- so many great do’s and don’ts for all of us to keep in mind, but especially those who struggle with depression and anxiety. It’s much more prevalent these days, and I think we all have times where we’re anxious/depressed and need some extra self and professional care. 🙂

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

    • June 13, 2019 / 12:33 pm

      Thank you so much for the positive feedback 🙂 I do feel we are living through anxious times, and on occasion we all are a little emotionally, mentally, and physically overwhelmed.

  4. June 13, 2019 / 10:13 am

    I think everyone lives with some form of anxiety/depression at times. You wrote a beautiful post with so many valuable tips for chasing away the blues. I think this post is beneficial for everyone.

    • June 13, 2019 / 2:09 pm

      Thank you so much for the lovely feedback. I really did write this post from a deep place of sincerity 🙂

  5. June 13, 2019 / 11:12 am

    Self meditate and seek for professional help without feeling embarrassed of yourself is the best kind of advice!
    xo
    Anastasia
    https://www.natbees.com/

    • June 13, 2019 / 2:10 pm

      I’m so glad you agree, lovely. Hope you have a beautiful day. Thanks so much for the positive feedback 🙂

  6. June 13, 2019 / 1:27 pm

    These are all such helpful points. I find it really difficult not to overthink or obsess but I really agree that actively practising self-love is important!
    Soph – https://sophhearts.com x

    • June 13, 2019 / 2:21 pm

      I’m so glad you can relate and found these points helpful. I’m so guilty of overthinking and obsessing, I replay all my awkward social moments over and over in my head. Yes, self-love is super important. Hope you have a beautiful day 🙂

  7. June 13, 2019 / 1:59 pm

    Amazing tips! I’m fortunate to not have either anxiety or depression but these are great tips to live by in general. It’s so easy to obsess over the small stuff and get caught up in things. I loved your point in the introduction too. Everyone has problems! Just not everyone has problems the majority of people can relate to x

    Sophie
    http://www.glowsteady.co.uk

    • June 13, 2019 / 2:23 pm

      I’m so glad to hear that you’ve never had to suffer from anxiety/depression 🙂 If you ever come across someone in your life that ever needs help you can print out this post and share it with them. So glad you liked the post. Hope you have a great day!

    • June 13, 2019 / 4:28 pm

      Thank you for your honesty and positive feedback. Hope you have a beautiful day 🙂

  8. June 13, 2019 / 4:15 pm

    This is so true. Depression and anxiety does not discriminate by wealth or beauty or luck. However biochemical depression and anxiety is different from throwing yourself a pity party or stressing yourself out, which some people certainly do. These are great tips and this is quite the informative post. And you just may help someone. Good Job!

    Allie of
    http://www.allienyc.com

    • June 13, 2019 / 4:29 pm

      Thank you so much for your feedback. I sincerely appreciate it. Hope you have a beautiful day 🙂

  9. Yiota
    June 13, 2019 / 11:42 pm

    This is such a beautiful and helpful post. Self love is really, really important!!

    Yiota
    PinkDaisyLoves

    • June 14, 2019 / 12:41 am

      Thank you so very much. I sincerely appreciate your kind words, lovely. So glad you liked the post 🙂

  10. June 14, 2019 / 6:09 am

    This is such a great post. Thank you for the tips 🙂

    xx Alyssa | STYLE VANITY

    • June 14, 2019 / 11:23 am

      Thank you for the positive feedback. So glad you appreciated the post 🙂

  11. June 14, 2019 / 7:17 am

    Such a beautiful post with great dos and don’ts for all of us. Even though anxiety and depression are so common now, I think a lot of people are still ashamed or unaware of it

    http://www.sundaydahlias.com

    • June 14, 2019 / 11:26 am

      Yes, I completely agree. It is definitely a topic a lot of people can’t talk about. Hopefully we can all become more authentic and transparent about this topic. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, lovely 🙂

  12. June 15, 2019 / 3:40 pm

    Great top and post. Thanks for sharing this. Depression is serious issues that lead to Mental Health and so many people are suffering in silence/.
    http://www.thestylegalaxy.com

    • June 15, 2019 / 4:17 pm

      Thank you so much for the positive feedback. Yes, there are so many people suffering in silence and putting on a ‘fake happy’ face. Have a beautiful day 🙂

  13. June 17, 2019 / 10:03 pm

    It is always sad to see people experiencing anxiety and depression. Anyone is vulnerable to it no matter how well off they might seem. It is important that we seek help immediately. I find myself with anxiety sometimes and dealing it alone sucks. We need to focus on the good and try to embrace everything we can. Thanks for sharing all of these tips.

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

    • June 17, 2019 / 11:26 pm

      Nancy, thank you so much for the feedback. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been experiencing anxiety. I hope this post was helpful. I’ve lived with anxiety/depression for years, and that’s why it was easy to write this post because these are tips that I’ve used to help myself. Reach out to me anytime you ever need to, keep in touch, you’re not alone. Lately, I’ve been using the PACIFICA app on my phone, it is so helpful, I use it every single day. I sincerely hope you have a beautiful and peaceful day 🙂

  14. June 18, 2019 / 3:20 am

    I have been struggling with anxiety my entire life and I haven’t addressed it until recently. Meditation and regular exercise really helps keep my mind in a healthy state.

    Mai
    ✰ maidoesthings.com

    • June 18, 2019 / 12:06 pm

      Mai, I’m sorry to hear about your anxiety. Unfortunately, when it’s first happening I don’t think we understand what is going on. I think we suffer in silence because we’re not too sure what is happening. That’s why it is so important to communicate and to reach out for help. Meditation and exercise is the best for me. Whenever I feel really horrible I love going for a 3 or 4 mile walk, it is very meditational. You can reach out to me anytime, I can completely relate to your anxiety. Also, the PACIFICA app on my phone has helped me out a lot. Hope you have a beautiful and blessed day 🙂

  15. June 18, 2019 / 8:54 pm

    I loveee this positive blog post you’ve written about depression and anxiety. I definitely had experienced anxiety a few years ago when I was really stressed out with where I was at in life. I think it’s so great that celebrities openly talk about their depression and struggles cause anyone can really experience it. Self-love has definitely been something that I’ve been working on in the past year to be happier and healthier.

    BLOG | YOUTUBE | INSTAGRAM

  16. June 20, 2019 / 1:14 pm

    I am struggling with general anxiety and back then I am not aware nor don’t know what to do. So it is great to spread awareness like this 🙂

    xx Alyssa | STYLE VANITY

    • June 20, 2019 / 11:57 pm

      I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been struggling with anxiety. I’m so happy to hear that this post was helpful for you. You can reach out to me if you ever need to, I completely understand what you are going through.

  17. June 20, 2019 / 5:19 pm

    This was so beautifully written and you shared all really great tips! I’m someone who can get anxious a lot, so this was really helpful. And I love how you broke everything down into do’s and don’ts. Not isolating yourself and having people you can reach out to is really important.

    x Kara | http://karascloset.net

    • June 20, 2019 / 11:59 pm

      Thank you so very much for the lovely feedback. I sincerely appreciate it. I’m so glad you thought these tips were helpful. I’ve had issues with anxiety for a long time, you are not alone. Thank you for your transparency and honesty 🙂

  18. Geniussr
    June 23, 2019 / 9:18 pm

    Wonderful Post… I know it could be helpful for many… Great tips and beautifully written … Thanks for sharing… really appreciated … ❤️

    http://www.geniusenough.com

    • June 24, 2019 / 9:32 pm

      Geniussr, thank you so very much for the lovely feedback. I really did write this piece from a deep place of sincerity. So glad you appreciate it. Have a beautiful day 🙂

  19. July 21, 2019 / 9:20 am

    Hands down, this is one of the best posts I’ve read on anxiety/depression. I love how much thought you’ve put into this.

    Watching comedy helps so much. Two Broke Girls was amazing, the crude humour was a breath of fresh air.

    • July 29, 2019 / 2:39 pm

      Sophia, thank you so very much for your lovely words, I sincerely appreciate it. I loved Two Broke Girls so much too 🙂 Hope you have a beautiful day!

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