Hello there my lovely witches and goblins! It is nothing special, extreme or not even magickal enough for some of you probably, but for a witch (me) suffering (suffering? I hate this word. Let’s say battling or living) with depression these are some practical things that really work (at least for me). I want to disclaim that I am no doctor and I am not encouraging any of you to stop taking your meds or going to your therapies (they are priceless and the meds are sometimes the best way to stay alive and give yourself a fighting chance). I just wanted to share some things that help ME in moments of down. Let’s start!
Take deep breaths
Yes I know, this has all been heard before. And well you gotta breathe anyway to stay alive don’t you? But wow, how deep conscious breaths have worked for me when the anxiety attacked. Specially in weird moments when you are in a crowd or at work. It’s nothing fancy, nothing new, but it is a practical reminder. You can make this into breathing exercises or you don’t. It doesn’t really matter, as long as you really do take a minute to just consciously and deeply breathe. Ahhhh….relaxing.
I got this rule of five for when I get REALLY anxious. It might sound stupid to some of you, but it works wonders for me. And again it is something you can do anywhere, anytime. All you do is focus on different things. I first focus on 5 things I can see moving (people walking past me, a tree branch moving because of the wind, a river rushing by, a car driving by, even a blinking light on your screen or anything that is visual and is moving in any way). Then I focus on 5 different sounds I can hear around me – this one is really fun to do in a crowd because you discover sounds you never heard before! You hear glasses clinging, shoes taping on the floor, someones jacket brushing, coughing, the wind swirling up leaves and so on. The last one I do is 5 smells. Same as before, only with trying to recognize five different things by my sense of smell. Try this exercise sometimes. You can do this randomly, not just when you’re down. It helps focus and grounding yourself.
Oranges and cinnamon
Again something that might sound silly, but worked for me. Everyone is different and will probably have different smells to bring your mood up. For me in times of depression, oranges and cinnamon really do the trick and help me bring my mood up, or at least get out of bed and outside that day. It really helps me to feel more optimistic and let my creativity flow. A lot of people use lavender, but I found that lavender calms me too much to really help me with depression. With depression you really need something to kick you in the ass and lift you up, not really calm you down. This is also why sedatives can make your depression worse. This is something you can easily gear yourself up (the smells you like). You can find a perfume that does that for you, I just took the essential oil of orange and cinnamon and dabbed some on my clothes that day or on my wrists and behind my ears. CAUTION – be careful with essential oils! Some are too aggressive to put directly on your skin, or you might have to mix it with a base oil. You can dig up that info on the beloved internet. Also make sure you are using real, natural essential oils. They are more expensive then the artificial ones, but a little goes a long way. Also make sure you surround yourself with warm, motivating colors and light! It does wonders!
This is also nothing new. But it really helps. It is proven (or so I’ve heard) that 10 minutes of natural sounds really calms people down and brings our brains into a similar state as if in meditation. But don’t really think too much about it, just get yourself outside, somewhere where nature is close, where you can maybe hear a river flow, birds singing, the wind in the trees, or at least a bit of quiet. And if you’re living in a huge city with not even a park, don’t stress about that either. Big part of this is also getting your heart pumping. Movement and physical exercise helps lifting up your levels of the happy juice in your brain (serotonin) better than anything. This was basically my best weapon for depression. There is just one obstacle you have to overcome – get your ass up, go outside and start walking. It might be a real pain in the ass and it might seem impossible to get yourself outside in that moment, but I promise you IT WILL BE WORTH IT! If nothing else, have someone to hold you accountable to it.
Tell somebody, express yourself
It is priceless. And really hard to do. This was the hardest thing to do for me really. It took me a long time, probably too long. I thought I would be judged, pitied, mocked, belittled for it. And I won’t lie – sometimes I was. But it was because people were not informed about depression or anxiety, they didn’t really understand what it is or how it affects a person. And well… the less you talk about it, the less they know. So don’t be afraid, speak up. Tell those closest to you how you feel, tell them what depression really is and that you did not chose depression. You are not weak, lazy or looking for attention if you do this. You are doing the right thing. And if anyone belittles you for your depression, they are not your true friends or companions. If you feel like telling people around you will put you in any sort of danger try journaling about it. Just let things flow, let thoughts, emotions seep into the words you’re writing down. You can paint it out, sing it out, dance it out. Just express it. ❤
There are many other things that helped me, like reading books about depression and anxiety, connecting with different groups on fb which offer support in battling with any mental struggles, I had to keep a strict schedule for getting enough sleep, and watched my food. I used positive music, movies, and most of all I was my own solider and best friend. I had to realize every day that this life was worth fighting for and that I am a god damn queen of my own world. I had to remind myself what kind of part I wish to play in this world and how I want to learn as much as I can from this to be able to help others, to be the best example I can to my future kids and to know that I am a powerful force to be beckoned with. A god damn witch for fucks sake. And you don’t get to put down a witch so easily. Wink!