What is Depression and Its Holistic Approaches
I have battled with depression or some sort of feelings of sadness since high school. The symptoms would persist a few days and then would just go away. Usually the cause was some kind of stressful situation like an ugly fight with a friend, or a bad grade on my report card. I never thought about it because a) twenty years ago there wasn’t much information on depression and b) I was so focused on my goals, that I wouldn’t let anything stop me, even depression, I guess.
Fast forward a couple of decades and fighting depression becames harder. That’s life as grownup. Problems get more complicated, your resilience wavers, and you just have a harder time getting back on your feet. I notice that a lot of psychics and psychic mediums in particular suffer from depression and the reason is pretty obvious. We are highly sensitive people exposed to all sorts of energies and at times it becomes pretty overwhelming to cope with them. Almost every depressed person I met is a highly sensitive or creative person.
Today, I decided to shed a little light on depression in honor of a dear friend. I will tell you how to cope with this illness either with conjunction to medication or without it:
What is depression?
In the simplest words, it means feeling the blues. It ranges from feeling listless or being bored without a mental capacity to think how to get out of it or as far and self-destructive as suicidal thoughts. The best way to describe depression for those visual learners out there is going down a spiral cone where you feel EVERY emotion associated with a stressful situation. It is not fast, or I would describe it as falling into a deep hole, but rather it is a slow and agonizing feeling. Think of it as a psychological Murphy's Law- nothing good happens to you, rather than a lot of bad things happening to you (even though reality would argue otherwise).
Here are some symptoms you could notice with a range of intensity:
- Feeling sad, anxious, or empty
- Feeling hopeless or pessimistic
- Feeling guilty, worthless, or helpless
- Not enjoying things you used to enjoy
- Trouble with concentration, memory, or making decisions
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Appetite changes
- Gaining or losing weight
- Feeling restless or irritable
- Thoughts of suicide or death
The difference between clinical and mild depression is that clinical depression is more persistent, long lasting and usually requires medication or therapy to manage it. For those people who would like to enhance their therapy, medical or otherwise, should take holistic steps. Some things include listening to soft music, meditating, taking a bath, or anything that makes you feel good about yourself. Think safe and natural!
Here are a few things I do if I am feeling low:
1. Mask: After taking a warm shower, I put on this great clay mask that does wonders for my skin texture. With depression, sometimes slow, calculated movements like putting a mask on your face or putting moisturizer on makes you feel you are spoiling yourself and you deserve it. It also diverts your attention from your sad feelings and you can concentrate on simpler things. I notice this action works much better than watching television or reading a book.
2. Scrub: Good, organic, and cruelty free scrubs are soo expensive so I make my own vegan scrubs for baths and showers. My Instagram followers may have seen the recipe of a coffee/sugar scrub I created. I love scrubs not because of the results, but ALSO because it gives you a feeling that me are spoiling yourself. Others may also notice that they need the sensations of the sugar or salt against the skin to make the happy hormones go crazy.
If you are curious how to make your own, here are a couple of recipes for you to try. You can alter them depending on whether you like a coarse texture or slightly oily texture. I prefer coarse.
Sugar Scrub # 1
- 3 parts coarse sugar
- 1.5 part olive oil
- 15-20 drops of your favorite essential oil or oil blend
Sugar Scrub # 2
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Coffee Body Scrub with Coconut Oil
- 0.5 cup ground organic coffee
- 1 cup organic sugar or salt
- 1/2 Cup organic coconut oil
- 1/2 Tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
3. Warm Bath: On alternate days to your shower days, you can also take warm baths. I like to put in a combination of colored bath bombs with salt scrubs (Epsom salt ones are great) in my bath. The herbs are healing, the smells are enticing, and the colors are exciting. All in all a great way to relax. I particularly like floral smells so I go for rose or lavender. Another smell I like is sandalwood, which is very grounding. I personally don’t like citrus smells, but if that floats your boat (pun intended), then go for lemon or orange smells.
4. Soft music: Another step I take to relax is listening to music. Whenever I listen to music, I concentrate on the lyrics or the instruments playing, and it helps so much because my mind gets activated then. It’s like exercise for your mind because it releases endorphins, which makes you happy. I also listen to meditation music and meditate with visualizations. Candles are optional.
Careful steps to make you feel like you are spoiling yourself is a great way to battle mild or clinical depression. I avoid shopping or eating out when I am feeling this way because that usually ends up in regret and then further feeling low. Think positive, systematic approaches than quick fixes. Why? Just because it helps!!