A lot of us have been in the depression pit for a long time. But COVID made it so that everyone can understand the concept, even if not actively experiencing it.
There are many ways to overcome depression, and you’ll definitely eventually figure out a routine that works. But what do you tell yourself when you need to feel better now? What can you do if you’re stuck in a bottomless depression pit?
How can I escape the pit of depression?
For those of us who have been at war with depression, we know all too well that feeling ok is easier said than done.
Escaping the pit of depression definitely takes more than snapping your fingers, waving your magic wand, or riding your unicorn into the sunset (if you know where to get a unicorn, let us know).
Talking about your depression, or just talking in general, is a good first step to cope when you are feeling trapped in the dark. Supportiv is a safe place to share your thoughts with others who are feeling the same while remaining anonymous – find someone else to talk with here.
When that dark depression pit closes in above you, it’s difficult to find a way out or to even find things to say to yourself. Let’s look at some of the things you can tell yourself when you’re in the pit of depression.
Things to tell yourself when you’re in the depression pit
“I’m not alone in this.”
Depression is more common than you think. According to the World Health Organization, there are more than 300 million people of all ages suffering from depression worldwide. Depression may seem like a lonely road, but talking about it shows you how many others actually get it. You don’t have to feel like damaged goods for what you’re going through! And since others might be experiencing the same feelings as you, hiding your feelings actually deprives you of an opportunity to connect.
“I am” statements may not seem helpful at first, but when you use them daily and repetitively, you start to get the message! Here are some examples:
- I am strong enough to keep going.
- I am brave and will get through this.
- I am not afraid of my feelings and with time I will feel better.
- I am beautiful and don’t need changing.
- I am good and deserve to be loved.
- I will find a way to feel better.
- I am capable and will do great things!
“When everything is bad, ______ makes me feel grateful.”
There is always something to be grateful for, even if it’s the size of an ant. Showing gratitude for those small things may increase your feelings of motivation, inspiration and satisfaction.
You are so entitled to feel sad, hopeless, or even angry for what you’re going through. It’s true, nobody deserves to feel stuck in a pit of depression they can’t crawl out of.
But as much as you may feel that you have nothing to be thankful for, find at least one positive thing to focus on and be grateful for. Keeping a list in your Notes app (a “gratitude journal”) will help you to really see your life’s positives when the depression closes in over you.
“I have people to talk to.”
You may not feel like you have a community to support you during this time, but especially in the Internet Age, there’s always someone willing to listen. If you are unable to voice your thoughts and feelings face to face, you can try chatting, anonymously online.
Mantras on getting through the darkness…
Darkness mantras are motivational self-talk that relates to your dark situation. Repeating them to yourself makes it easier to acknowledge that you have to weather the darkness, for it to get lighter eventually.
Try telling yourself: “Today, I may not be the best me, but I will get through today and see tomorrow. It is okay to have a bad day but tomorrow can be better.”
Or, try a more traditional set of mantras to ascend from the depression hole:
“From falsehood lead me to truth; From darkness lead me to the light; From death lead me to immortality.”
People who do not understand depression (here are some myths) will immediately say “Be positive”, “Get out of your slump” etc. And in doing so, they make you feel blamed for how you feel.
But it’s totally okay to feel this way. It’s even OK to be a mess and fall apart sometimes. Remember that it’s okay, and that you deserve support and understanding when you do fall apart.
“It’s okay if you fall apart sometimes. Tacos fall apart all the time, but we still love them.” – Gabriel Iglesias, Fluffy
“I’ve been here before.”
If you’ve experienced depression before, you know what it’s like – the ups and downs and the staggered parts. The feeling of going two steps forward, one step back.
Once you’ve learned what coping tools work for you to get through, remember you know what to do. Tell yourself that you’ve been here before, and you’ve also crawled out of the pit before. You know what to do, and you know that this feeling passes.
There’s often a state of panic that comes with depression – you don’t know why you are feeling this way and you want to feel better immediately! As hard as you try, you keep falling back into depression’s endless darkness, and that’s scary. It feels like something’s wrong with you!
This panic may come from fear of judgement, immense frustration, or even shame for your depressed feelings.
But when you’re in the depression pit, it’s all-important to take the pressure off yourself. You do not have to feel good immediately, and you do not have to do things at anyone’s pace but your own.
Break your day down into smaller segments and get through them part by part. Tell yourself to slow down, calm down and let yourself go through the depression. Telling yourself it’s ok to take things slowly may reduce the pressure that’s keeping you down.
Hype yourself up
Be your own cheerleader! Physically get up, shake your body so all your senses are alert and tell yourself how awesome, brave, strong, amazing or fearless you are! Feel empowered by opening up your arms and dancing for joy.
Give yourself a pep talk, visualize the outcome, play your music loud and get excited! Say to yourself: “I’ve survived 100% of my bad days so far, I can survive this too. Even if it means going to bed.”
When it feels like you are drowning in the depression pit, take some time out to talk to yourself.
Instead of just imagining, actually talk to yourself. Or if you want to connect with others feeling depressed, stressed out, lost, or lonely, you can chat here 24/7.