Hey beautiful people. I hope you are okay and safe during these stressful and unknown times. My name is Kgomotso and today’s blog post is going to be a mental health update on how I’ve been and why I was away from the blogging sphere for so long. I will also be writing about I managed to get over the obstacles in my seasonal depression.
Before I get into the blog post, I wanted to first start by saying that I am a huge introvert and I get lost in my own world every time.
I’m still learning to be vulnerable with a lot of parts about me and just share my story with the world but it gets so hard at times because I tend to overthink my writing context and that causes me to not write in general. But I created this blog to write and be creative and I never want to lose that element of myself.
How my depression started and what caused it:
So, my mental health was not good towards the end of December last year and the beginning of January this year. I experienced a lot of depression and it caused me to get into a depressive rut and I decided to take a break from everything as a whole and just focus on myself and my depression.
I went through a lot of experiences last year that caused me to become depressed and I began feeling overwhelmed at everything and even blogging became overwhelming for me.
I lost my motivation for blogging because I started to doubt myself and I lost myself in the toxic world of trying to crack SEO and all the recommended tips new bloggers are supposed to know.
I learned that I do not want to pressure myself to create content that is SEO perfect because I am still learning myself as a blogger and making money blogging is not my goal at the moment.
I still am going to incorporate SEO and good blogging strategies, I just won’t pressurize myself to be perfect. My goal is to excel at being a hobby blogger and just enjoy my craft.
Another thing that caused my depression was the events of the world and everything just became too much for me. I just felt like we were living in a constant loop of pain and fear from the happenings of the world.
As an empath, I felt everything heavily.
I remember I was even crying on New Years Day after the countdown because people were celebrating in my street by lighting fireworks in their own yards and playing music but I was just heartbroken about the fact that we are still in lockdown and my country(South Africa) was in so much turmoil and still is in turmoil and it seems like our handling of the pandemic during the festive had really horrible repercussions.
Then when I received my results during December for my second year of university, I found out I had to rewrite an essay for my core module again which is Education because I had incomplete work and that also caused me depression and anxiety because I didn’t even think I had the energy to rewrite again and submit because I was done with school at that point.
I enjoyed my holidays a bit but the lingering feeling of me having to write an essay again made me feel some type of way.
How I got past the obstacles in my depression:
So, when I realized that I was depressed and was in a rut here are the steps I took to work on my mental health and get back to the motivated, energetic me:
1. I gave myself time to feel all my feelings.
When I was depressed, I would always wish to be happy and me again but I learned that I had to allow my depression to stay and sit with me for a while and I had to just allow myself to feel. I was not hard on myself instead I told myself that this too shall pass.
2. I journaled.
I didn’t journal frequently because I didn’t even have the energy and motivation to do so but I tried to write my emotions down and I dumped them on my page because my emotions and feelings were not linear during my depression.
3. I spent time alone and cried.
I know for someone who has depression, spending time alone is not recommended but I spent time alone to cry and feel everything I was going through. I spent time in bed and just napped and rested.
4. I took everything day by day.
With depression, I learned that sometimes it’s okay to not rush your healing journey and just take everything day by day. On most days, I lacked in a lot of areas of self-care and nutrition but I took it day by day. Some days I would not eat well or take care of myself. I would just lie in bed. But on other days I really took care of myself and that helped me fight off my seasonal depression.
5. I started to jog a few times during the week.
I remember the week after I have been in bed for a week, I made a goal to start running 3 times a week because I knew that jogging helps me feel better overall so I started jogging twice a week because 3 times a week was too much for me and that’s how I got rid of the seasonal depression that was tormenting me.
The rest of the tips that helped get me back to where I am right now:
6. I developed a growth mindset.
I had a fixed mindset about my academics, and I was very hard on myself last year. In the past month, I learned to tackle my fears and anxieties related to school heads on and give my second attempt to my essay my best because there was no other way I could do it. I learned to value myself and appreciate my resilience.
7. I drank a lot of tea.
My favourite tea to drink was ginger and lemon tea. I also like green tea with lemon and brown sugar.
8. I watched YouTube videos that inspired me and motivated me.
I love YouTube and how rich with information it is. I watched a lot of videos that inspired me and motivated me to fall in love with my passions and interests again. I don’t know about you, but there is just something about watching other people do things they love and that automatically rubs off on me because it’s good energy. Doing that instantly made me happy and excited.
9. I developed new habits.
I started to clean my room and organize my laundry. I also carried on with cleaning the house weekly. These were small changes, but they played a huge role in my overall well-being.
10. I worked on my mindset.
When I was depressed, I got bombarded with a lot of intense and negative thoughts so working on thinking positively definitely helped me during my depression. I worked hard on rewiring my brain and turning negative thoughts into positive thoughts.
11. I listened to podcasts.
Podcasts are one of my favourite ways to help me cope with my depression because I listened to a range of series that helped me and resonated with my soul. I also listened to a lot of topics ranging from self-love to affirmations and wellness.
12. I practiced a lot of gratitude.
Gratitude is everything. I found that the more I practiced gratitude the more I felt happier about myself and my life. I would write what I’m grateful for in a journal or state it at the end of a long day I’ve had and I would always be in a happier mood.
13. I poured myself with a lot of self-love.
In my experience with seasonal depression, I found that giving myself all the love and comfort I needed truly helped me deal with my depression because I poured love in all the cracks and spaces I needed to fill within myself.
One thing I’ve realized with my seasonal depression experience is that it’s okay to take a break from everything, it’s okay to work on myself and find myself all over again. I learned that if I do not show up for myself, no one will. I also learned to grow through what I went through.
Just a little reminder around these times:
There you go loves, I hope my experience inspired you, and let me know in the comments how you deal with your seasonal depression. Are you depressed right now or going through a seasonal depression episode yourself? Let me know in the comments. I am here for you and I wanted to let you know that you are not alone. Do not suffer in silence.