Depression presents a perpetual state of low mood that people cannot get out of. Some described the weight of bearing it, some sees the fog in front of them or a black hole that can never be filled. How can then someone walk out of it? Here are some ideas to help you and your loved ones to start taking the first step.
- Getting out of bed is the first important thing. Having some things to do is the opportunity to get alternative feedback about life, people and yourself. Staying in bed will only perpetuates the sluggishness, negative thoughts of oneself. Just starting with at least one activity planned on your schedule is enough. Letting others know about the activity or having their accompaniment might help you to follow through with it. The activity can be something you used to enjoy, something new you wanted to try before or can even be cleaning your house. Moving your body signals a different message about productivity of yourself. Feeling the muscles contraction and relaxation gives feeling of strength and control.
2. Enliven your body-sense that is numbed or dissociated. One of the ways is through taking pulsating showers (Levine, 2010). Focus on one body part at a time, noticing the sensations in that area as it gets into contact with the pulsing water. Even if nothing is detected, say to yourself “this is my (body part), I welcome you back.” When done regularly, it helps to reestablish the awareness of the boundary of your body. Being aware of your body boundary helps to recapture the sense of control over yourself.
3. Creating a safe harbour for yourself. The harbour can be made up of a space, a person, a soft toy, a blank canvas, an image or a memory that you makes you feel okay to be yourself. It is a space that you can help to hold you as you start to explore the more vulnerable feelings.
4. Shower the parts of you that feel the vulnerability with tender loving care. Putting your palm on the body part that contain the vulnerable feelings saying to it whatever you feel it needs to hear. For e.g. “I see you. I hear you and I will be here to hold you.” “I wish you well.” “I love you.” Feel free to use the other hand to help support the body part from behind if the posture is possible and comfortable.
Levine, P. A. (2010). In an unspoken voice: How the body releases trauma and restores goodness. North Atlantic Books.