Not enough people understand what it means to deal with social anxiety and depression. First, there’s the overwhelming sense of having to deal with people, and then the overwhelming sense of failure because you didn’t deal with people. I do use the word deal for a reason!
This ugly twisting of the way the mind can work makes it very difficult to go out and about. That’s why there are six strategies to help you slowly overcome social anxiety and interrupt the depression cycle.
Take Baby Steps
This is the biggest strategy that you need to take to heart if you are dealing with social anxiety and depression. Baby steps are extremely important because they allow your body and your mind to slowly adjust to new situations. If you are trying to jump in head first, you are more than likely going to fail.
When you’re dealing with social anxiety, there are many elements that you have to pay attention to: it can become overwhelming. Start with smaller challenges with fewer people around.
Give yourself the opportunity to succeed at going out and being around people. When you have that opportunity, you’re going to also interrupt the depressive cycle that can happen after a failed social outing.
Don’t Force Yourself
If you aren’t feeling it, don’t do it. It’s as easy and simple as that. People may pressure you. Others may criticize the way that you’re living your life, and even more, people are going to be shocked that maybe you’re finally paying attention to yourself of trying to push all the time.
Keep in mind that you are doing this so that you can get better over an extended period of time instead of trying to do things right away. If you force yourself into situations that are going to cause you to have a social anxiety attack combined with a depressive episode, you’re not helping yourself at all. instead, you’re making the situation worse!
Have Someone You Trust Nearby
If you aren’t ready to fly on your own, that’s okay! This is where it’s really important to have some sort of support system with you. If you have a close friend that you trust that understands what you are going through, ask them to be with you.
This gives you a safe haven!
That safe haven can be anyone. Generally speaking, you’re looking for someone who understands the situation and is willing to help you through a potential breakdown or can help you step outside if they see that you’re getting too overwhelmed.
Embrace Your Rx
There’s a phrase that was often tossed about in my family that helped me understand the importance of prescriptions. That phrase was “Embrace your pharmaceuticals”. You can use marijuana as a way to help decrease social anxiety, but you can also use other prescription medications such as anti-anxiety or antidepressant medication as well.
Either way, if you’re utilizing a psychiatrist or a marijuana doctor both are there to help you find ways to get out into society. This is why embracing your pharmaceuticals is a great way to help you take those baby steps.
Take Recovery Time Seriously
Something that people often forget is that after a social outing, there is a recovery time. That recovery time will differ per person.
What this means is that you are going to have to pay attention to your body and see how long it takes you to recover from a social outing as well as what type of social outing is going to exhaust you the most.
This is where it is handy to have a journal that allows you to express what is going through your mind based on whatever situation you just experienced.
Soft Things and Fidget Toys
It may be a little embarrassing at first but trust me on this. Using fidget toys or soft stuffed animals can help your body regulate when you’re stressing out. This is something that, in society, is often looked down upon but it is actually one of the most helpful things for people with social anxiety and depression.
Your body is dealing with a low amount of any type of happy hormone: If having a fidget toy or a soft stuffed animal with you helps, then use what helps!
Overall these six strategies are a great way to start developing your social muscles. As you start to develop your social muscles, you can then start to interrupt the depressive cycle that can happen after a failed social interaction. Keep in mind that this will take time but I know you’ve got this!
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