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Coping Skills to keep me Afloat

I've been feeling depressed- lack motivation to do anything and a desire for more and more sleep- but I am no longer settling to live in it. The last couple of days I forced myself to set up some form of routine that included a walk in the sun, and I think it temporarily helps my depression. Also, I've created some affirmations on my facebook page that lifts me up a little.

I think much of my depression is the consequence of my many stresses. Now, I am trying to reclaim control of my mood and to maintain some form of motivation- no matter how minor it seems.

Today is a good day for me because I feel like working on my projects. Now I need to maintain a routine that will help me stay motivated to help change my current state of mind- any suggestions?

I will not give up on my mental health... Please share some coping skills I could use to help me get out and stay out of my depression.

To learn more about schizophrenia visit NAMI, Choices in Recovery, Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (Canada)


Chris said…
Hi Ashley,

I started a painting hobby and painted a sunflower in oil paint and had it framed and hung it in my hallway.

Any kind of creative endeavor might lift your mood too.

I find when I want to take control that organizing my closet and armoire drawers does the trick.

One night I spent 15 minutes arranging the clothes neatly. I bought a ton of taupe color huggable hangers to hang all the clothes in order.

I crave neatness and order so when I feel overwhelmed I tend to organize things. And I'm already a neat freak so you can see how far I take this to feel better.

One thing I always recommend if you can afford it: to paint your living room and bedroom walls a color. My living room walls are Tiffany blue and I'm going to paint the bedroom walls sheer pink. I find that color on the walls is a mood-booster and I nix white walls at every opportunity.

Also: you could hang up artwork that cheers you.

I'm reluctant to recommend exercise because when people are depressed they don't have the energy to exercise. You also can't be in the heat when you take SZ meds because you're at increased risk of heat stroke.

I might recommend power walking in the air conditioned mall near your house in lieu of walking outside in this 100 degree weather.

Getting a makeover and splurging on only one product if you don't have a lot of money also might give you a boost.

Chris said…
Hi Ashley,

I recommend getting a makeover and if you can't afford all the cosmetics to buy only one thing.

I'm not keen to recommend exercise as a person who is depressed most likely doesn't have the energy to do a manic fitness routine.

Instead: and in the hot weather:

I might suggest going for a power walk in an air conditioned mall near your house.

I tend to organize things when I'm under stress. I'm a neat freak and I find that organizing clothes in my closet and armoire does the trick. I line up the matching huggable hangers the clothes are in about a 1/2 inch apart from each other. I arrange the clothes by color, type and season.

I hope this comment didn't go through twice.

Dawn said…
Hi Ashley,

I am glad to hear that you are taking steps to overcome depression.

I came up with a six step program to get me going:
1-Take a shower
2-Wear something flattering and cute
3-Get out of the house. I usually go to a coffeehouse.
4-Contact a supportive friend or family. Resist the urge to isolate.
5-Listen to upbeat music, preferably with a positive message. I personally like "Optimistic" by Sounds of Blackness and "Go Get It" by Mary Mary.
6-Read positive, uplifting material

I hope that this helps!
StigmaFighter said…
Write a book! Write about a plan about how you will do it. Outline your research and chapters. Still to the routine!

Ashley Smith said…
Thank you for each of your thoughtful suggestions. I appreciate the feedback and will use some of the coping skills you recommended.

Thank you.
Ashley Smith
Matt said…
Think of happy, lovely and true things. Play with your pet. Call a friend. Exercise. Shower.
Anonymous said…
First off, know that even if you are feeling depressed, I can honestly say that encountering your story by chance on the Internet was totally unexpected and inspirational for me tonight. You are an inspiration to me right at this very moment.
Coping ideas-
It sounds cheesy, but sometimes I take a moment to visualize being in my car, or walking down my street, and hugging everyone, and they hugging me back. Traffic jams would be hug fests! I sometimes feel my mood be uplifted quite a bit when I try to imagine and experience this. Visualizations with light help too, making some object or image symbolize your fears, and then watching a light gently clear it away.
You are fighting the good fight.
David said…
Hi Ashley,
Our 23-year old son has just been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. He is currently in a lock-up treatment center where he is getting medicine and counseling. We have been up there every day to visit and seen him change for the better. He is finally out of his delusional state and the paranoia is slowly fading away. It scared us to death to see him like this. He will come home soon and this is why I am so eager to read through your ENTIRE blog. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing about your journey.
As for is a common trait with families and family members. I like what everyone has written and I'd like to add my ideas. I would pick from this chart:
Invite a friend over to your place to hang out.
Go somewhere you like with a friend (or alone) and hang out. Have a routine where you go to the same place each week.
Take a walk (indoors or out)
Have something weekly to look forward to....a TV show, a movie on Netflix, a support group meeting, a church meeting.
Find a hobby like drawing or painting with the intention of self-expression with no comparisons to other artists. Take classes.
Visit art or science museums in the area and talk to the staff. I'm friends with many staff members and they love it when I visit!
Get a pet dog, cat, fish if you have the time to take care of them.
If you can't volunteer at an animal shelter where you can help with the dogs and cats.
Visit gardens and parks with flowers.
Subscribe to a beautiful monthly magazine that you are interested in.
Join a local cause that's tied into nature.
Research your family tree and talk to family members.
BEST of ALL: Keep writing your BLOG...PLEASE!!! I added a free flag counter to mine and it is fun to see all the worldwide visitors.
Best Wishes,
David & Melanie

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