With the issue of suicide being on the back of everyone's minds as of late, I think it's important to remind ourselves and others that suicide is never the answer. As my mother would always tell me, "suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem." Help is out there; (most) problems are temporary. And when a problem does seem never-ending, know that there is light all the way at the end of the tunnel. It'll just take strength and courage to get there.

Now, with all that being said, I know just how hard it can be to hear these things and to have a positive outlook. When depression hits, it hits hard. It's not easy to take a step and think rationally when you're in a "low." I know that; it's a problem I've faced myself.

I've dealt with depression and suicidal ideation for almost half of my life. It's living in my own head and ruminating in my own self-loathing thoughts that takes me down to my lowest of lows. Some lows can last days, others go on for months, with few moments of relief in-between. But it's these moments that I notice myself engaging in constructive thoughts and activities or surrounding myself with people who care about me (sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally). I strive to make these moments more frequent and long-lasting.

Here's a list of things I (and others) have found most helpful in providing some solace in low times:

1. Listen to you favorite musical artist(s).

2. Eat your favorite dish (in moderation; don't think about calories for once in your life).

3. Go on a short run or brisk walk.

4. Or just open a nearby window (sunshine and fresh air does wonders).

5. Choose one, close, reliable friend to confide in.

6. Take an unplanned, spur-of-the-moment venture (by yourself or with a friend(s), whichever is comfortable).

7. Practice self-love. Think of one thing a day you did right for yourself (maybe write in down on a sticky).

8. Put yourself out there more (vulnerability is okay).

9. Go on a hike (we are surrounded by endless mountains and trails).

10. Watch a (new) movie.

11. Watch a feel good movie or show you know and love.

12. Have a drink in a relaxed setting- if you're of age (solo or with a friend).

13. Wear a piece of clothing you haven't touched in a while (or at all).

14. Invest in a small pet (cats, guinea pigs, hamsters -- all make comfy companions).

15. Plan to eat at least one meal a day with someone who makes you happy.

16. Get up and go to the GYM. (Do something physical. No lie, it actually helps.)

17. Write a poem.

18. Make something "artsy" to call your own (paint it, sculpt it, build it, draw it, just do it). Hang said creation.

19. Take the initiative to do something outside of your comfort zone this weekend (be safe, take a friend to enjoy the experience with).

20. Call someone in your family, or someone who's like family (sister, grandpa, aunt... doesn't have to be your mom!).

21. Take a shower or bath (not rushed, just relax).

22. Whatever space you're in that's making you feel "some type of way" about yourself or situation, get out of it.

23. If you're unhappy with the people you surround yourself with, place yourself in novel social situations.

24. Join a new club or organization.

25. Consider starting a journal (write it in as often as you so please).

26. Take on a job. Find purpose with also earning money.

27. Eat a piece of fruit.

28. Do something (like sit, relax, homework, catch up with a friend) by a body of water -- river, lake, whatever.

29. Hug someone or something warm.

30. Take 30 minutes or so out of the day for YOU.

31. Play video games.

32. Text someone you haven't for a while.

And as always, making an appointment at Bailey's or another local counseling center is a must. Damn whatever stigma surrounds it, counselors are trained to help individuals for a reason. You'll feel better afterwards.

Remember:

You're not alone. You matter. You've got your whole life to figure it all out.


always rooting for you,