I am one of 6.7% of folks in the US who experience depression each year. As a woman, a single mom, and queer person – I am at an even higher risk for depression.
I’d love to share some tips that help me work with depression in the hopes that they will help you or a loved one too.
2) Take care of my physical health - A consistent system of healthy living does wonders for my mental health. For me this means: eating healthy and regularly (I set alarms on my phone and keep snacks in my desk), drinking plenty of water, joining a gym I can walk to at lunch, not overexerting myself, getting regular adequate sleep, taking naps when needed, and taking vitamins and medications as prescribed.
4) Build a healthy support system – I would be lost without my amazing support system! Like many folks in the LGBTQ community, my support system is comprised of a lot of chosen family. I have invested a lot of time, effort, and energy into growing into the awesome human being that I am now; unfortunately, depression is a liar and frequently tells me that I suck. My #1 rule for people in my life is that they think I’m awesome – that way when depression hits, they can remind me.
6) Have the Conversation – If it is safe to do so (just like coming out about your sexual orientation or gender identity), disclosing your mental health to your employer can actually help create a more supportive environment. Personally, I had this conversation during my interview for the position because my lived experience as a mental health consumer and service provider is of benefit to my employer. That’s not comfortable for everyone though – do what works for you!
Art by Cloudy Thurstag used with permission