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  • Ashley Baleno

SAD making you sad?

Depression is the worst. It can feel so alone and hopeless. You aren’t alone and depression isn’t hopeless, but even if your logic brain can read those words and understand them to be true, your emotions may not be able to believe them right now and that’s okay. You’re here, reading this blog post and that’s huge! Learning is a big step in recovery or management of depression and I’m so happy and proud of you for taking that step.

To cover my bases, I am not a psychologist or psychotherapist. I’m an acupuncturist who cares a lot about mental health and wants to hold space for your experience and help in the ways that I can. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, you can call 988 to speak to a trained professional, or 911 for mental health emergencies. If you would like to find a psychiatrist or psychotherapist, please reach out and I will be happy to help you connect with those professionals!

Now! Back to our regularly scheduled program!

In addition to acupuncture, psychotherapy, and pharmaceutical support, there are some lifestyle modifications that can help you manage your depression. 

  1. Physical Activity- Getting your body out of bed and moving can be such a helpful tool. This can take the form of yoga, walking, jogging, swimming, or anything else that gets your body moving! For those who struggle with mobility or balance, qi gong and some other modalities can be done seated.

  2. Set Realistic Goals- The keyword here is “realistic”.  This may mean your goal for the day is to take a shower. Meet yourself where you are at and set yourself up for success. Achieving a realistic goal is so much better than exhausting yourself trying to achieve things your mind isn’t ready for yet.

  3. Create a Routine- Sometimes having a set routine takes away some of the emotional labor of thinking “what should I do next”.  

  4. Prioritize Joy- Identify and pursue the things that bring you true joy. This can be art, time with friends, reading, walking in nature, petting your dog.  Find something that makes you feel at peace and spend a little time each day doing it.

  5. Express Yourself- Feelings can’t stay trapped inside forever. You can let them out through art, journaling, therapy, or vent sessions with friends. However they come out, make sure you hold gentle space for yourself and treat yourself with the understanding and kindness you would give to a friend

  6. Meditate- Meditation can be so incredible for the mind and body.  It is such a healing practice.  Some great apps for it are Insight Timer and Headspace but there are plenty of options out there! You can also just look for guided meditations on youtube. And if guided meditation isn’t your thing, you may find meditation in music, photography, painting, or something else that brings you to a still, calm place

  7. Get Enough Sleep- Sleep is so incredibly important for our wellbeing.  If you are struggling to sleep, that’s actually pretty normal. Acupuncture can help with most kind of insomnia, but so can practicing good sleep hygiene. This includes going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day when possible, limiting screen time prior to bed, and having a healthy wind down practice. Bedtime is a great time to practice your meditation!

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