Depression tips

Process Your Emotions

“So, if you’re mad, get mad!” Isn’t that how the song goes? (I’ll Stand by You by the Pretenders.) Finding healthy outlets for our emotions is a key aspect of processing and being able to truly move on. “Name it to tame it,” is a phrase coined by Dr. Dan Siegel about the power of labeling an emotion to reduce its impact. Examples of this could be journaling or talking things out with someone. Honestly, this step really needs to come first as it is extremely difficult to think clearly when we are feeling very emotional.[6]

Be Aware of Negative and Judgmental Self-Talk

Are you staying late at the office and missing time with friends (or your dog) because your internal critic is telling you that if you don’t get this project done, you are a lazy, underperforming blob of an employee? This type of self-talk is not productive or healthy. You can overcome this by becoming aware of the story you are telling yourself and the judgment that accompanies it. This is the most important step by far. These stories and criticisms we tell ourselves that keep us working crazy hours and provoke toxic anxiety are the same cockamamie stories that prevent us from taking the time we need to take care of ourselves.

Question Your Beliefs

Once you notice the narrative you are telling yourself, take a step back and try to see it for what it is. “Is this really true? Why do I believe that? Is there any evidence to the contrary?”

Make New Beliefs

Rewrite your story with what feels right to you. Luckily, we are our own authors, and we get to choose the things we tell ourselves. It doesn’t sound like much, but the power of perspective and authentic positive thinking can be monumental. It’s healthy to evaluate our internal beliefs and self-talk from time to time.

Be Clear on What You Want

Be clear on what you want and how you’d like things to be different. Do I want to work a zillion hours a week and then be too tired/anxious/grumpy to do anything else in my life? What are my priorities and does my situation now reflect that?

Grow A Garden

Gardening was a staple of the Great Depression Era. If you had space, you were wise to have a garden. Money was tight so fresh produce from the market was out of reach for many. Gardening, on the other hand, was something you could start inexpensively. You could share seeds and plants with neighbors. If you produced too much of one vegetable, you could barter and trade with your neighbors for something else. Today, gardening is still a viable option for saving money. If you like eating organic produce, it is even more prudent to grow your own since the savings are massive. Did you know that one zucchini plant can produce 10 pounds of produce? Organic heirloom tomatoes are $6 a pound. The chart below shows how much it would cost from the grocery store to purchase the same amount of organic produce one plant produces. I often get my organic vegetable plants between $3-$6.50 each. By planting your own vegetable garden, you can save around $185 with these three crops alone! Starting plants from seed is even more economical. Short on space? It’s a myth that you must have a vast patch of land in order to make home gardening worthwhile. A small container garden will still produce savings. I have underground utilities running through my backyard so I use raised bed gardens to work around not being able to dig down.

Plant An Herb Garden

On the same note as above, having an herb garden is another money saver. Fresh herbs taste better but can sometimes be too costly. A few leaves of basil can run $2. Forget about making fresh pesto that requires cups of basil! Luckily, herbs can be grown indoors by a sunny window despite a lack of a green thumb. Indoor growing also has the advantage of producing herbs the winter when nothing is growing outside.

  • Not sure which herbs to grow? These herbs can be grown year-round!
  • Extra herbs can be preserved easily for use later.

Forage For Food

This money-saving tip intrigues me the most. Many of the plants we think of as “weeds” are just as edible and nutritious as the mass cultivated plants in grocery stores. I’m sure you’ve seen dandelion greens in the store. Those are no different than the dandelions deemed “weed” from your yard. It’s important to note that heading outside and tasting plants is a good way to get sick. Take the time to understand what you’re looking for and properly identify the plants.

Cook At Home

Our grandparents only ate out for very special occasions. It was considered a treat. Something out of the norm and not a weekly or everyday occurrence. Cooking at home is one of the most tips. If n, then why aren’t we doing it? Work, stress, and shuttling kids back and forth are all reasons to eat out. With a little planning, eating at home can save a lot of money. By batch cooking and doubling recipes, you can be sure to have enough leftovers for the next night and work lunches. If you really made a lot of food, saving it for a freezer meal will save you money in the future.

Learn To Can

Canning was a large part of home life in the Depression Era. Our grandparents’ canned leftover produce into jams, salsas, sauces, purees, and fermented foods. Perhaps canning appeals to you but you’re frightened of not doing it right? The risk of improper canning is botulism but following reputable guidelines will help keep you safe. Check out this guide to get you started with terminology and supplies. Use the National Center for Home Food Preservation for the latest research-based information regarding food preservation best practices.