Recently there was a big change at my work place. It basically turned the whole company upside down, and it took a big tole on everyone emotionally. Unfortunately, it definitely threw me into a depression spiral. It took me a while to realize I was binge eating everything in sight, and neglecting myself, but when I did I needed a good weekend to get myself back on track. And it worked.
My soon-to-be-released ebook, Depressive Moments: a Self Care Guide for Days When Depression Hits Hardest goes into a much greater detail of how to deal with depression days (and a whole lot more!), but I wanted to write a guide to go along with that. A guide you can follow, and that I have followed, to deal with depression days.
So I’m going to give you my ultimate guide to dealing with a depression day (or days) in one weekend!
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Dealing with Depression Days in One Weekend
Depression sucks. Plain and simple.
Having to deal with days where you’re feeling crummy also sucks. It interferes with your life, and can set you off course big time if you’re not familiar with the signs you experience when depression is creeping back up.
In situations of high stress, it can be a lot harder to notice the signs of depression because you’re too focused on getting through whatever it is that’s causing the stress. That’s when the symptoms creep up and bite you in the ass.
Signs and Symptoms
We all have our own signs and symptoms of depression, here is a short list of a few things I experience:
- fatigue more than usual
- lack of a desire to do anything
- lack of care for personal hygiene
- lack of care for how I look
- binge eating everything
- anxiety attacks
In my most recent situation that caused me both severe stress and depression, it took me a whole work week to realize that I was actually dealing with depression symptoms. I just assumed the stress had me, well… stressed out!
What to Do?
Everyone deals with depression differently, but this is exactly what I did when I realized my depression was creeping up on me again:
Take a Shower
This has become a bit of a running trope on my blog at this point, but seriously, taking a shower is like a minor soft reset of yourself. It’s like opening task manager on your computer and ending everything. You come out feeling fresh and clean.
I went to target and even splurged on some “fancy” (i.e. not my usual) shampoo and conditioner. I made sure to use my heavy duty ointment after the shower, and I also made sure I used my night time skin care regime that I had been neglecting.
Taking a shower not only cleans you up, and if you’re like me might neglect that portion of things when you’re depressed, but it also calms you down and can quiet your mind a little.
This can be very hard to do, but give it a try. If you’re doing this for the weekend it’s either Friday night or Saturday morning. Give yourself some time to do what you want to do. I bet you haven’t been able to do that for a while now with all the stress and whatnot floating around.
You can kick back with a movie or TV series, play video games, chat with friends online, whatever it is, do it because you want to do not because you feel you have to.
I spent my night playing Stardew Valley and the Sims 4. It was calming and relaxing. I was able to do what I wanted for once during that hectic week.
Go to Sleep/Take a Nap
I cannot tell you how much better I felt not only the next morning, but after every nap I took that weekend. If depression symptoms are not your normal day to day feelings, once you realize what’s going on, you really start to feel the weight of it all. But taking naps, especially if you are tired, can help you gain that little bit of extra energy to get through the day.
Does this mean you can sleep all day?
I’d rather you not. Simply because that will throw off your sleep schedule and if you wake up after your naps and feel refreshed in the middle of the night, it’s not going to do anyone any good.
So take a nap here or there, but don’t sleep for the whole day.
Take Time to Decompress
Whatever it is that’s going on in your life to cause these depression symptoms is clearly weighing on you. Take some time to just, let it be.
This could be as simple as just fully sitting down and going through what it is that’s going on, or more complex to needing to journal it all out. It’s up to you and whatever it is that’s causing these problems. Find your way to come to terms with what is happening, already happened, or will happen in the future.
Make Sure You Eat Right
This is a big thing when you’re feeling down. Food can really alter your mood, and eating too much, or too little can make you feel sluggish, fatigued, or just overall not well. Eating junk can also make you feel bad but it has a delayed reaction. For me, if I eat a lot of junk food it’s not until a few hours later that I start to feel bad, or crash from the sugar high.
At the very least, try to make sure you’re eating some protein. I keep Carnation Instant Breakfast powder packets on hand for days like this. I can mix it with some almond milk and have a good breakfast ready to go.
This is where the beauty of delivery apps comes in handy. I use Doordash and if you use my referral link both of us can get a discount off our next order!
Do What You Want
This is the most important part of the weekend. Do what you want. This is comparable to relaxing, but not everyone wants to relax all weekend. Maybe you want to be a little more productive and that makes you feel better. Or maybe you want to start something new to get you going again.
Whatever it is you want to do, do it.
Personally, I took the weekend to hole up in my room with video games, YouTube Let’s Plays and string lights. I occasionally checked my Tailwind scheduler and added some posts to that, but I didn’t do anything strenuous. The most I did that weekend was drive to Boston Market and Stop and Shop.
If after your weekend you’re not feeling any better, consider talking to your therapist or general doctor if you haven’t experienced depression symptoms before. They may have a better course of action for you than a blog post.
- Depression sucks. Stress can mask some of the symptoms. Use a weekend to figure yourself out
- First thing you should do is take a shower. It’s Auntie Steph’s favorite thing when you just aren’t feeling right. A shower is a great reset.
- Relax a little bit. Whatever is causing your depression is probably taking up a lot of your time. Give yourself a rest.
- Go to sleep for the night or take a nap during the day. If you’re like me, you’re fatigued and tired out. Take a nap or go to bed early if that’s what you want. Give your body and mind some rest.
- Take the time to decompress and fully understand everything that’s happened/happening/will happen.
- Make sure you’re eating. Food can be a comfort or a pain source. So make sure you’re eating the right amount and maybe try to make it a balanced meal.
- Do what you want for the weekend. Don’t let anyone else dictate what you do.
- Remember, needing medication or extra medical help is NOT a bad thing. Sometimes you need help.
Have you ever had a depression day? What did you do to help yourself feel better?