Before getting a bit ranty about the degeneration of my once free nation into a totalitarian hellscape, I noted in passing that one of the keys to fighting your depression is to know your triggers. Understanding, discovering and avoiding your triggers is worthy of more than a passing mention, and I know I’m going to have to go into greater detail on it. But not right now.
Afterward I gave you one of my personal keys to fighting depression: just one thing, with the warning that holding on to your one thing isn’t going to be enough. It will get you through the bad patches, but it’s a like pressure bandage on an open wound. It will staunch the bleeding, but the healing is a different process.
My healing process, this time around, involved yoga and a hard run. Not a great run, not even a particularly good run, but a run. The yoga and run allowed me to:
- Get in a little meditation
- Burn off some cortisol
- Get a little dopamine into my system
- Feel a sense of accomplishment
- Listen to some music
- Get out of the house
- Get some alone time
Every one of these helps me manage my depression, at least to some degree.
But what, you might ask, does that have to do with stress, migraines and living well? Aside from the obvious, “That, along with yoga, exercise and posture correction are what Andrew has been writing about for the last few years.”
First, triggers. Migraines have triggers, depression has triggers. Knowing your triggers gives you avoidance strategies.
Second, cycles. Migraines and depression both have cycles. From onset, to the depths of pain, to pulling through the pit, to climbing back out to normalcy.
Third, they all fall into vicious, and virtuous, cycles. The behaviours that reinforce migraines make them worse, leading to the temptation to more of the behaviour. Same for depression. Same for unhealthy living. On the other hand, the behaviours that pull us out of migraines or depression reinforce pain free (physical and psychological) living. Same for healthy living; healthy habits beget better health, begets stronger healthy habits.
Finally, and most interesting of all, the very things I do to manage one are also effective at managing the others. Look to that list up there of my activities to get my life back on track. It is a how to list for:
- Relieving depression (of course)
- Managing stress
- Building a stronger, healthier body
- Posture correction (that’s the main focus of my daily yoga routine)
- Reduction in the frequency and severity of my migraines.
A How to Guide for Depression?
Am I giving you a how-to guide for your depression?
Not only no, but HELL NO
Your depression is unique.
My depression is unique.
The only things I suggest are common are:
- Know your triggers
- Find your One Thing
- Learn your own mitigation and recovery strategies
The how to portion is as unique to you as your depression is.