If you live with both anxiety and depression, then you know that you carry twice the burden.
It’s almost as if one feeds into the other.
Despite your best efforts, keeping both anxiety symptoms and depression symptoms at bay is taking up a lot of your energy. At the end of the day, you either feel exhausted or really stressed-out.
Is there anything you can do?
Consider five ways that you can cope with the double onslaught.
1. Create a Positive Environment for Yourself
When you think about what’s in your control, creating a positive environment for yourself has to be near the top. You obviously can’t make everything in your life perfect. Yet, there are many things that you can do to create an environment and lifestyle that is supportive.
• Use soft, warm lighting in your home
• Paint the walls calming colors
• Designate one room for electronic devices (including your computer and TV)
• Use calming fragrances, such as lavender
• Have furniture that is supportive yet comfortable
• Include nature in your living space (i.e. even in urban areas you can still have potted plants in your house or apartment)
• Hang up inspirational quotes, photographs, or artwork that is affirming for you
With some thought, you can intentionally design your home to be an asset in combating the challenges anxiety and depression pose.
2. Seek Out Positive Relationships
Sometimes the company you keep can be a big drain, especially if you’re struggling with both anxiety and depression at the same time. Who wants to hang out with people that actually make you feel worse, not better?
Instead, seek out relationships that are positive and affirming for you. Note, it does help to have someone in your life who can “call it like it is,” but whose advice is coming from a place of love and caring. Not someone whose callous remarks drag you down.
Support groups are a good idea, but so are social groups that can help you focus on something else than your anxiety and depression. After all, some healthy distraction can be just the ticket for coping with symptoms.
3. Know What Triggers Your Anxiety and Depression
Knowing what your triggers are for both anxiety and depression can go a long way towards addressing the symptoms. When you have this knowledge, you can learn to reduce your exposure to these triggers.
Also, when working with a counselor who understands concepts such as exposure therapy, you can begin to face those triggers and even resolve them.
Do some self-reflection on your triggers, but make sure not to dwell on the issue excessively. Consider it a topic you visit once or twice a week, not something to ruminate over for hours or days on end.
4. Spend Time with Animals
Animals are a great way to treat anxiety and depression symptoms. Dogs and cats, for example, are specially bred to be companions for humans. They provide an unlimited amount of unconditional love and can bring so much joy into your life.
However, if the thought of bringing a pet into your home causes you anxiety, there are other options. Spending time with a friend’s pet would be one, for example. Or you may want to visit your local chapter of the Humane Society or an animal shelter. Often, these places need volunteers to help with walking the animals or to just spend quality time with them.
5. Get Professional Help
Coping with both anxiety and depression every day requires professional help. That doesn’t mean you are not a capable person. Far from it! It takes courage to face each day knowing that you may experience either depression or anxiety symptoms.
However, a therapist can be a great asset and help you along the journey. After all, trained mental health professionals have a toolbox full of techniques that can help you with both anxiety and depression challenges. Avail yourself of their expertise.
When it comes to coping with anxiety and depression at the same time, it helps to have an “all hands on deck” approach. Consider how you can apply the above-mentioned tips to make your lifestyle more supportive.
If you would like help additional with your symptoms, please contact me. Or learn more about my approach to depression therapy by clicking HERE.