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  • 10 Ways To Lift Yourself Up When You're Feeling Down

    We must get past the stigma tied to mental health problems and move forward
    by Tess B. Angala .
10 Ways To Lift Yourself Up When You're Feeling Down
PHOTO BY @soup__studio/iStock
  • Mothers like me who migrated to another country with the family may go through a phase of being overwhelmed and anxious at times because it is tough adjusting to a new life and home, while also trying to get the job you want. But, because Filipinos are known to be resilient in times of difficulty, we carry on.

    Depression carries with it a stigma, but we must get past that and find ways to address it properly. Dealing with it may be a lot different if you were staying in your home country, but when you're in a foreign land you just have to make do with what you have. Whenever I am feeling sad or having negative thoughts, these are some of the things that help me overcome.

    What to do when you're feeling down 

    Meditate

    I use an app called HeadSpace every morning. It just takes a few minutes of your time. Just find a spot in your house, and carve some time in your schedule when you won’t be interrupted. You can also try the Calming Mind app. 

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    Attend a yoga class

    Why not invite a friend to do it with you? I found a yoga class that is run by our local council, and it only costs $80 for 8 sessions. And since we're on quarantine these days, online classes work just as well — and they're free!

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    Take a walk 

    The quickest way to bounce back when you are down is to get a breath of fresh air and some sunshine. I was advised to take a 30-minute walk 3 times a week. Walking helps clear your mind and takes you away from the  negativity. If you're stuck at home like me, just open the windows and watch nature from a distance. 

    Do something you are passionate about

    There is something joyful that comes out from creativity. I love baking and making cards. Whenever I create something from scratch and give it to someone, I get a feeling of accomplishment. Seeing the reaction of the recipient makes me feel proud of myself, too.

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    Read a book

    Curl up in the sofa with a book in one hand and a warm cup of tea or chocolate on the other. Sometimes I light up a scented candle to create a calming ambiance. 

    Get a hobby

    Some other interests you can delve on are gardening, dancing, knitting, sewing, painting, or even going to the gym. The best thing about it is that you can do so much from the comforts of your own home.

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    Learn a new skill

    Whatever suits your fancy, really. Maybe learn a new language or play a musical instrument. You’ll never know— this might open new doors for you.

    Volunteering

    It is a good feeling to spend your time on worthwhile projects. I have volunteered to a seniors' social group where I serve them coffee and tea, assist them in their walks and exercises, and help them do their crafts. Thorugh it,  I am able to meet new people and at the same time, give back to the community. I also assist in a class for primary school children and children with special needs. When you do something that is bigger than yourself, it lifts up your spirits.

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    Talk to a friend 

    Sometimes all you need is a friend who will listen to your story. The pleasant conversation will surely help warm you up. These days, a webchat with friends and family who are far away is the way to connect. 

    Consult a professional

    If you've been feeling sad long enough or you seem to have lost interest in doing the things you love, it is time to consult a psychologist or a counsellor. Don't be discouraged by the stigma on mental health. You can always seek help. 

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