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Tip 1: Seek professional help.
This is probably the most embarrassing, uncomfortable difficult step you will have to make, I can assure you. It is just so tough to be able to come to a person you barely know and open up about your feelings. Well, let me tell you something: no matter what everybody says it's ok, not to be ok. Everybody needs help at some stage and the other. Wondering if anyone will judge you? No, not at all. Mental healthcare professionals help people in such life situations on a daily basis. You are not the only one. By making this first step, you are admitting to yourself that there is an issue that needs to be fixed in order to start enjoying life. Remember this is your first step to a better life, the life you can enjoy. The most difficult thing is to get started they say.
Tip 2: Take your time.
As sad as this sounds, you need to understand that battling depression and anxiety can take a lot of time and hard work. Take your time and do not rush. Sometimes our loved once try to speed up the recovery process and begin to tell you things like "that is enough!collect yourself together." The intentions are good however, they are your, little baby steps that you got to make. Please understand that your family and friends often try to encourage you, but due to the lack of professional experience they do the exact opposite and push you right down to where you started and this where you need to stay understanding and focused on your recovery. Rome was not built overnight, remember this.
Tip 3: Stick to your appointments!
When you start your counselling, it may seem like a waste of time due to the amount of paperwork you may have to fill in or perhaps lack of progress rather than you were expecting. People that face such difficult life situations often expect a lot from themselves as well as medical professionals. Because they have suffered so much, it is often very difficult to make that last push. Please, please, please stick to all your appointments and you will be thankful at the end. You do not want to start all over again such a difficult journey. Everything takes time to kick in.
Tip 4: Refrain from excessive alcohol and drug usage.
Alcoholism and drug use is a very easy trap to get into. Sometimes it truly feels like you cannot take it any longer and due to your coping mechanism, it feels like the only way out the misery. It is ok to drink alcohol but make sure you keep it under control to avoid addiction that will deepen your depression.
Tip 5: Hobby
Sounds cheesy but often a hobby can bring such a joy to your life. It feels amazing when you are doing something you love, hustling, keeping yourself busy. Sometimes trying out something new can turn your life upside down. It's amazing! Get a new skill, new friends, new experience!
Tip 6: Exercise and Healthy Eating
We are what we eat they say, as well as a healthy mind is a happy mind. It is time to start loving yours.
Tip 7: Praise yourself!
Yes! Praise yourself! Well done !!! You are doing amazing! You are on your way to recovery, to feeling better! It may feel like it's dragging but you are doing fantastic. The fact that you got as far as attempting to make a single step, is already amazing. Be proud of yourself. Depression does not mean you are weak, it means you have been strong for too long. It is not your fault! It happens. It is going to be a brand new start, a new journey full of happiness and colours.
By all means, I am not a mental health specialist, but these were the steps to my recovery. I hope someone out there finds them useful. Good luck! You can do this!