By Samorn Selim
After I had my baby, I fell into deep depression again.
My depression was so bad that I didn’t want to get out of bed. Small things like brushing my teeth or taking a shower seemed so overwhelming. I feared that if I took my baby outside of the house, something tragic would happen. I had a deep sense of anxiety, fear, and hopelessness that seemed insurmountable to overcome. I felt so hopeless that I started to wonder if it would be better if I died.
When I tried to talk to others about it, the common responses of those well-intentioned people typically included:
- "Do you know how much better you have it than others?"
- "At least you have a baby.”
- "You've been through tougher things."
- "This will help you build character."
- "You'll be fine."
But I knew I was not fine. I woke up every day with dread, anxiety, and panic. And the worst part is there was no rhyme or reason to it . . . at least it felt that way at the time. Luckily, I had danced with depression before and knew in my heart that this too shall pass. The fog will thin again.
Some things that helped me to finally get out of my fog:
- No matter what, get out of bed at least once a day. This helped me to reset my day and see that each day is different. In some strange way, this difference gave me hope that things could get better (even if it was only a little bit).
- Take a shower. Water has healing powers. Water gave me a sense of renewal and helped me to feel refreshed. Even better if you can go to the lake or a beach.
- Take 5 deep breaths. When my monkey mind would ruminate, concentrating on breathing in deeply through the nose and out through the mouth allowed me to stop my thoughts. And be able to come back to the present.
- Sit in the sun. I’m not sure why but sitting in the sun always made me feel a little bit better. I did this even if it’s in my front yard. Maybe this is why people in Alaska buy happy lights?
- Eat meals consistently. Your body needs to be replenished, so you need nutrients. Feed yourself vegetables, fruits, protein, and carbs.
- Drink lots of water. Being hydrated allowed me to think better.
- Sleep. If at all possible, sleep between 7-8 hours. Too little, and my mind got foggier. Too much and I was too lethargic.
If you are suffering from depression, please know that you are not alone. You do not need to suffer in silence.
Asking for help is OK. There are people who genuinely want to support you. Make a clear ask for help. The universe has your back.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical expert. I am merely sharing based on my personal experiences. If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call 911, go to the nearest emergency room, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach a 24-hour crisis center, or text MHA to 741741 at the Crisis Text Line.