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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Practical Ways of Managing Depression: Positivity Journals

Okay, so a long time ago I promised that I would share some of the things I have been doing to help me manage my struggle with depression and anxiety. It has taken me a while to get around to it, so I hope you'll forgive me.

The honest truth, or so I have come to find out, is really that there is no one (let alone easy) answer to dealing with something like this.

Despite the many medications or supplements out there (and yes, I've tried and continue to try many), there is no magic pill, no simple way to solve this.

At least not in my experience.

Rather, I am finding that there are many different things that can be done and are usually better done simultaneously, in an effort to combat the spells of anxiety and depression.

In essence, the greatest tool in fighting depression, for me anyways, has been the willingness to embrace a change in lifestyle. To do whatever I needed to do to help my body and mind become whole, healthy, and happy.

For me, this has meant changing my diet,  adding supplements, reworking the way I spend and organize my time, fixing my sleeping habits, and adding more movement into my life.

It has meant creating better coping mechanisms, changing my inner voice, forcing myself to be more social, being willing to add my opinion in the public square, and putting a concentrated effort into verbal or written acknowledgement of that which is positive and good.

Which brings me to my first practical suggestion for managing depression: creating for yourself a Positivity Journal.

Ugh. I know. This sounds vaguely reminiscent of all the less than helpful comments you've received through out your journey in depression:

 "Well, you just gotta try being positive! You really have no reason to be sad! Have you ever thought about just being happy?"

Gasp. Why didn't any of us realize it was that easy? We're all cured!!!

Okay, so all sarcasm aside, as much as I hate it when depression and anxiety are trivialized in this manner, looking on the "bright side" of life should not be a suggestion we just throw out.

 So, as long as it is coupled with many other mood modifying strategies, not to mention an honest understanding of what depression is and how it works, taking the time to list out (physically, mentally, or verbally) all the positive aspects of your life can be a very therapeutic and beneficial practice.

Like I said before, no easy answer, no magic pill, but rather the sum total of many changes in habit and lifestyle.

And so I made myself a positivity journal. And I'd like to share it with any of you who may be interested in using it.

Simply enough, it is a place to write down all the positive aspects of your life. The things you are grateful for, and most importantly, the things you admire and love about yourself.

Perhaps that seems a bit narcissistic, but seriously, for me, who is about as far from a narcissist as you can get, it has been extremely beneficial to take the time to list out the many reasons why I am a good and admirable person with something to offer the world.

If even for a few minutes, it drowns out the voices of  inadequacy, anxiety, and self loathing.

And if I don't particularly feel like writing at any given moment, my journal can be a resource I can turn to to help ground me in reality.

I can look at the list I have compiled and see all the things I have done well, the reasons why I am proud of myself, and the talents I am grateful I've been blessed with.

And in seeing these things, I can be reminded that life really is good and I really am a good too, despite whatever chemical imbalance in my body is trying to convince me otherwise.

So there you have it. Practical advice numero uno, plus a few different free printables to boot. 

(Feel free to download for personal use only. Please see the full disclaimer on my freebies page before using. These printables were made using graphics by ValerianeDigital.)

So what do you truly love and admire most about yourself? Have you done a positivity journal before? Definitely not a new concept, or even something only for those who struggle with depression or anxiety. I remember my husband and I used to keep a gratitude journal where we'd write something the other person did that we appreciated. It was a good way to hang on to the more precious moments and memories in our lives!


  1. I love that picture of you - you really are so cute Megan. And HOLY COW you are amazing. I am impressed over and over at your efforts to work through something so hard and to share your success and suggestions with others.

    1. Thank you, Tannie! Thanks for being an instant friend! My family and I are so grateful for how welcoming you all have been to us =]. You guys are amazing!


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