Having had anxiety and depression on and off since I was 7 (no joke I was on beta-blockers) I've sort of come to terms with how to deal with any rare mental blips I may have (even if it does take a while to recognise that I'm not in a great place). I get myself into a bit of a state where I don't like to leave the house or sometimes even my room or bed because it sends my brain into overdrive of all the things that could happen (usually my irrational fear of being judged) and no matter what anyone close to me says when I'm like this, I'm the only person that can/will get myself out of it. 

I'm a very social person and when I'm at uni I'm constantly surrounded by loads of my friends (which I love sooooooo much), so when uni ends for summer and most people go home I tend to feel a bit lost and out of sorts. I've also learned that I need a lot of structure in my day so that I have something to get out of the house for and to distract my mind from its inevitable overthinking. 

Whenever I've relapsed a bit in the past I've always eventually got myself out of it but never really taken myself out of it to re-evaluate and kind of see what I need to do to look after myself in a more long term sense. So a couple of weeks ago when I started to feel a bit out of sorts if you will, I thought it would be best to step back and take a break from my surroundings and situation and go home for a few days. (FYI: this was the best decision I've ever made in my entire life! 10/10 would recommend). I'm really lucky that home is so close to the beach so I spent a lot of time there getting fresh air and clearing my mind. Mum also took me to the spa one afternoon which helped so much as I guess I was kind of forced to relax in that environment, and it was something luxurious and different to appreciate. 

Anywho, less of the depressing stuff more of the positive things that I've found get me out and help me stay out of a depressive funk. I'm no expert but these are just some things that I've learnt that give me a boost in the right (a.k.a happy) direction. 

Taking a step back - this can be the hardest thing to do and for me its taken a hell of a lot of practice. But it definitely helps to remove yourself from the situation and see it from a different perspective. This is always the first step for me otherwise nothing else will work.

Getting out the house and having something to do everyday - the more I am around people and talk to people the less nervous I am in social situations so I try to get out of the house everyday. Whether that be going to a friends house or popping to the shop (not self checkout though, that defeats the object!)

Rules of threes - so I don't get overwhelmed I try to only give myself three things to do in a day, and if I get more done thats a bonus!

Positives journal - this is something that I've tried to do (on and off) for a few years now that helps me when I'm in a bit of a state but also helps me to stay out of one for a while. I also think this is good practice to keep a healthy mindset (thanks Debra from CBT!) as it reminds me of all the positive things that have happened or that I've done in the day. I just write a list at the end of the day of anything good that has happened, even small stuff like getting out of bed (if I'm having a particularly crappy day).

Never beat yourself up for feeling a bit down. With time you'll recognise the things that trigger you and you'll learn ways that help you to cope and feel better :) I hope this helps anyone who might be going through a bad patch!

Much love, Jas xoxo

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