We feel depressed when we consider that it is difficult or even impossible for us to live in the world as it is. We feel like we can't change anything. We experience a sense of loss, so depression is associated with an emotion of grief. It is considered a social emotion and can be extremely powerful and very uncomfortable.
Depression is often associated with changes in appetite, which can result in sudden fluctuation in body weight. We can also experience trouble concentrating and sleeping, even occasional suicidal thoughts.
When we are depressed, we often feel ashamed and guilty. We see ourselves in a negative light, which has a significant effect on reducing our self self-image and self-esteem.
It is important not to suppress our feelings. We need to recognize them and try to be as aware of them as possible. It is also important that we learn how to manage our emotional and physical responses. We can learn calming down techniques , which helps us to express and accept our emotions. This can help us to reduce the strength and intensity of the depressive emotions.
What can you do to help yourself?
Organize daily activities and draw up a daily work plan
We can also feel a lack of motivation when we are depressed. Arranging daily activities can help us with that. But we need to be sure that the plan is realistic, so that we can achieve our goals. That will give us a sense of satisfaction. It is also important to plan activities that make us happy and relaxed.
- Take a sheet of paper and a pencil and create a daily work plan. That is a list of tasks you want or need to accomplish.
- Read it again and think: is it possible to do everything you have written on this day? Can you reschedule something? If you could only pick one task as the most important thing on the list, what would it be? This is the first thing you should do.
- Plan some time for fun and relaxation too. What makes you laugh? Laughter induces the release of endorphins, the so-called happy hormones. Make a list of activities that keep you entertained, joufull and happy. Choose one activity and place it on your daily work plan.
- Physical activity is also very important. What are you going to do to move your body today? If you are not allowed to leave the house, at least do some exercises inside. Morning camp workout in your living room? Why not!
Try to understand that our thoughts affect our feelings
We usually think that the feelings we feel are related to external factors and that we have no influence over them. The truth is that it is our thoughts and beliefs that determine our feelings as well as our perception and attitude to any given situation.
Let's try to separate our thoughts and emotions. For example, when we say, "I think I'm feeling anxious," we really feel anxiety, but our thoughts are not anxiety. We probably think, "Everyone will laugh at me and think I'm stupid." Many thoughts are automatic, they happen to us without knowing that we are thinking. This is just like walking or cycling, when we conquer them, they become automatic movements.
To get a better understanding of what we are talking about, do a simple exercise.
Make yourself comfortable. If it is possible, choose a quiet space. Take a deep breath and slowly exhale. Just observing and listening to your own breath might already help you to calm down. Then gently turn your attention to your thoughts. And breathe. What are you thinking about? Let the thoughts flow on their own, do not try to control them, just let them be. They may be funny or may seem silly, they may entertain you. Imagine each thought is written on a cloud. Observe the thoughts from afar, just as you observe the sky. The clouds are slowly moving along and new ones are coming. Accept your thoughts as they are.
These are your thoughts. Even though you might not realize all of them, these are your perceptions and thoughts. And it is your thoughts that influence how you interpret certain situations. You can decide upon and create an attitude towards your thoughts. When we recognize them from afar, like clouds in the sky, we can evaluate if they are in tune with our feelings and if they are even relevant to us. We can choose only to observe them and not allow them to strongly influence our experiences.
What to do if you did not get suitable help for your current distress on this website?
You can contact your scout leader or anyone you trust to help you find a solution. You can write to us and we will find the best approach for your distress together: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have no one to call and your condition is severe, you can call out Slovenian Scouts and Guides Commissioner on: +386 51 364 251.
You can consult your personal physician as well.
You can find help as well on some of the following numbers: (only for Slovenians)
112 / 911 - Urgent medical help
116 123 - Confidential Line "Samaritan"
116 111 - TOM Line for kids and youngsters
+386 1 520 99 00 - Mental distress line
+386 31 233 211 - Woman advisory and crisis centre (24h/day)
And remember: you're not alone. Talk about your distress, because that's the only way you can get needed support and help!