Everyone has low days, days when it’s hard just to get out of bed. But when a person who has experienced depression has a low day, they may worry that they’re falling into the black hole of the illness again.

Everyone has low days, days when it’s hard just to get out of bed

I have found that the best thing I can do for myself at such times is to get out of bed, even when it’s the last thing I want to do. Get up, stretch, get washed and dressed. Sometimes that’s enough to improve my mood. A little exercise or housework, a healthy breakfast and a little prayer or meditation, make for a good start to the day.

Dr. Nancy Robertson, my doctor, says anyone can wake up with the “everyday blues” whether they’ve experienced depression or not. “We are all unique and special individuals,” she says, “so knowing oneself, understanding what triggers these blue feelings… can be very important in evaluating what you are experiencing.”

A person living with depression can help protect against relapse by taking time to reevaluate where they are emotionally, and by not overloading themselves with activities or responsibilities. Planning ahead for each stage of recovery, and being flexible enough to reassess the activities you have planned for those stages, can help a person stay on the track to wellness

Dr. Robertson reminds me that, “In the grip of depression, or even ‘just a bad day’, it is easy to feel alone and this is just the time we most need to reach out to others even when we don’t feel like it.”

She recalls the words of poet John Donne who wrote, while recovering from a serious illness: “No man is an island entire of itself.”

And depression, or even the everyday blues, is not a sea we need to cross by ourselves.

“Remember to call for help,” says Dr. Robertson.

About Anna Quon

Anna is an accomplished freelance/creative writer and writing workshop facilitator. She lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.  She is passionate about many things, especially writing. It is through her writing, and her volunteer work with community organizations, that Anna honours the lives of people who, like her, are living with mental illness.

In 2008, Anna received the Inspiring Lives Award from the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia. In 2009, Anna published her first novel titled Migration Songs which was shortlisted for the Dartmouth Book Award.

Visit Anna's website.