I have been experiencing a bout of depression these past several months, but have been slowly starting to feel a bit like myself again. I want to bring joy and laughter back into my life like it was before, but have been in such a rut for so long that I don't really know where to begin.
Depression can be paralyzing and overwhelming, and sometimes when you're depressed, it's difficult to muster the strength just to take care of yourself from day to day. If you are ever in that state of mind and unable to care for yourself - eating enough, maintaining hygiene, following doctor's orders, etc - then please talk to your family or call a homecare agency (like ours) so that you can at least get the basic care you need in the meantime. Seeing a counselor or speaking to your doctor about depression can also be a help jumpstart to overcoming it. It sounds like you've already had your jumpstart to overcoming your depression, so here are a few things you can do to get your joy back on track and start feeling like yourself soon:
1. Take care of yourself - This is mentioned above as basic self-care, but try to get into a routine of caring for yourself well. Get your hair cut, buy/wear clothes that fit well and reflect your personality, meditate or pray, treat yourself to a massage.
2. Engage with friends/loved ones - Open up to someone, an old friend or a new one, and see where the conversation goes. You may have more in common with others than you realize, and having a regular connection with them is helpful for maintaining emotional wellbeing.
3. DO something- Not everyone loves going out these days - there's too much traffic, it's dark at night, it will be awkward/uncomfortable, etc. Get past the excuses and do something! Join a class, attend lectures, find a club or group, attend social functions. Get used to saying YES, even when you don't feel like it.
4. Invest in your personal growth - Nothing is more inspring than finally mastering that complicated knitting stitch, or finishing a handcrafted birdhouse, revitalizing an overgrown flowerbed, acing that online course, or finishing a few heartfelt poems. Whether it's learning a hobby, furthering your education, or sharpening your skills, your mind flourishes under this stimulation, which will in turn boost your self-esteem.
If you are struggling with depression, call the Friendship Line any time, day or night, at 800-971-0016. This is a toll-free service specifically for adults over 60, and adults with disabilities. Not only will they provide emotional support, but they exist to stay connected with lonely and depressed seniors - they are there to listen 24/7.