I’ve dealt with depression since I was 12 years old. About once or twice a year I get really, really sad. I’ve gotten better at knowing myself and what I need, so sometimes I can effectively ward it off as soon as I feel a dark period coming, but other times I just have to ride it out — sometimes the only way out is through. And because I have adult concerns like paying rent, providing for my cat and going out to brunch, I still need to go to work.
Structure from a job can also be a very good thing when you’re depressed. You’re held accountable to be somewhere on certain days and times, which forces you to get up and keeps you in motion. Here are five things that keep me afloat as I sometimes drift and sometimes power through my darkest of dark days:
1. Uniform Dressing
When you’re depressed, it’s hard enough to get out of bed, let alone put together a fab outfit. Taking inspiration from the lovely Matilda Kahl, I’ve adopted the practice of wearing the exact same outfit every day of the work week. It’s an outfit that I took a lot of time to come up with and I know I look professional and also hella fly in it. It’s incredibly liberating to not have to plan or put together outfits the day of or the night before. It takes me about a minute to get dressed in the morning. If you don’t want to wear the exact same outfit every day, even a capsule wardrobe can do wonders.
2. Coffee Coffee Coffee!
This may not work for everyone, but having a caffeine buzz can make almost anything bearable. You can just sort of float above everything. If your office doesn’t provide free coffee or they do but it’s really bad coffee that’s burnt and smells like a dirty litter box, brew your own at home and bring it into work in one of those tall plaid thermoses for an extra kick.
3. Listen to Music
If you work in an environment that allows for you to listen to your own music, it can seriously help so much. Here are five albums that I’ve found help my productivity, calm me down, or pump me up (and they’re all absolutely free on YouTube!): 2 by Mac DeMarco, Pure Heroine by Lorde, Red by Taylor Swift, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West and Born to Die (The Paradise Edition) by Lana Del Rey.
4. Bathroom Breaks
Remember all that coffee coffee coffee you had? It’ll definitely increase your trips to the bathroom, which is a great time to take a quick breather, regroup, look in the mirror and recite an affirmation, or — let’s be honest — cry. It happens, and that’s okay.
5. Lunch Rituals
Your lunch break should be sacred. Whether you have an hour, 30 minutes or have to eat on the go, make this time about self care. Pack your favorite meal, treat yourself to a latte, read a book, listen to your favorite podcast or just sit in silence and zen yourself out.
But the most important thing of all is making sure you have someone you can talk to and confide in. Whether that be a sibling, parent, significant other, friend, coworker or therapist. Look into what resources your company provides for mental health. Stay strong, beautiful flower!
What are some things that help you get through the work day? Let us know in the comments below!