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Scott @ Speaking Bipolar

11 Ways to Hold on to Hope When It Feels Like the Storm Will Never End

publishedabout 2 months ago
4 min read

I have been a writing fool lately. Each day, I knock out 1000-2000 words, the most I have ever written consistently in my life. There are so many ideas swimming in my head, it’s hard to get them all down.

I know this sounds like mania, but please understand, it’s not. Well, not full-on mania, anyway.

Instead, for the first time in years, I have truly set my creative mind free. I carve out time every day to write and then let the words seep from my veins. If my 9-5 didn’t steal so much of my time, I could accomplish much more.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot more to maintaining a blog—or even writing on Medium—than just writing. About one-third of my writing time goes to actual writing. Editing, creating graphics, and posting the content on various sites takes up the other two-thirds. It’s a lot, almost a full-time job, but I love it.

Sometimes, in all the excitement of getting the next words down, things get missed. That happened in the Positivity Club this week. Friday’s content never got loaded into the queue and thus never reached your inboxes. Rather than push it out to next week, since I already wrote next week’s content, I made it the featured post below.

Did you know you can get uplifting content like this in your email inbox every weekday morning? Simply sign up for the Speaking Bipolar Positivity Club and you’ll have it.

Here are a few posts Positivity Club members will receive this week:

  • Don’t Let Others Define Your Progress: How to Stay Positive and Track Your Mental Health Journey
  • The Flowers Reminded Me Why the Rain Was Necessary: A Story of Positivity
  • How to Stay Positive When Things Aren’t Going Your Way: A Story About Overlooking the Negative

You’ll want to read each piece. If you’re not already a member, sign up for free now.

A few of you reached out to me lately to check on me. I can’t tell you how much that means to me. Please know, I am well. Most years, by the start of July, I’m slipping into days full of anxiety and depression. While both are present, neither has knocked me out of the ring. I take time for myself every day and shut down when I need to. But please, message me any time. I love hearing from you.

That’s all I have for this week. Thank you again for sticking with the chaos that is sometimes me. You keep me going.

Until next time, keep fighting.

Scott


11 Ways to Hold on to Hope When It Feels Like the Storm Will Never End

Depressive cycles lasting more than a few days are the worst. It feels like the storm will never end. The darkness creeps in from every side. It’s a struggle to hold on to hope, no matter how hard you try.

On these menacing days, it’s vital to remember every trial has an expiration date. Yes, things are tough right now, but they won’t stay that way forever. Keep your head up and hold on to hope; it is the light that will guide you through the darkest of times.

I get it. Holding on to hope is tough when you feel like you’re alone in an ocean of black ink. What do you swim towards when you see nothing on the horizon? You create your own mirage and head for it. Even if you can’t see it, there is an island there. Just keep swimming.

Here are 11 ways to stay positive and hold on to hope, even on your worst depression days:

  1. Look for a role model who has gone through the same thing. If they can make it out of the storm, so can you. Ask them how they kept going and put their suggestions into use in your life.
  2. Talk to a friend or professional who will understand and give useful suggestions. A colleague, family member, psychotherapist, or even a helpline might help. Start talking and see how it helps.
  3. Write your thoughts and feelings in a journal. This can be therapeutic and help you see your progress. My journal spans nearly four decades and is one of the most essential tools for managing my mental health.
  4. Make a list of things you’re grateful for. Don’t focus on the negative. Think about all the good in your life, no matter how small. A clear glass gratitude jar will give you a tangible object to look at that will remind you of your blessings.
  5. Focus on your breathing and do some relaxation exercises. This will help to calm your mind and body. Be mindful of all your senses. Try to be fully present in the moment.
  6. Turn off the news. Sometimes, it’s helpful to take a break from all the negativity in the world. Most days, the news is overwhelming, so turn it off.
  7. Take a break from social media. When everything on Instagram looks like everyone else is living a better life than you, it’s time to step away. Those selfies only show a moment in time, not the whole day. No one’s life is as perfect as it appears in the feeds.
  8. Spend time outside, surrounded by beauty and peace. Look for butterflies, watch ants at work, or just close your eyes and count how many sounds you can identify. Your mind can rest when you immerse yourself in a soothing environment.
  9. Do something nice for someone else. Helping others can make you feel good and remind you that there is still kindness in the world. When you focus on what another person needs, your mind switches from the gloom that’s been keeping it stuck.
  10. Listen to uplifting music or watch a funny movie. Laughter really is the best medicine. I shared 15 music videos of my go-to songs in this post.
  11. Volunteer your time to a cause you care about. Giving back is fulfilling and helps you to see the world in a different light. Your efforts will lift others and help you find joy again.

Remember that this too shall pass. Every storm runs out of rain eventually, and so will this one. You will make it through this depression cycle if you hold on to hope.

No matter what storms you’re facing in your life, remember all storms have an end. Every trial has an expiration date. Holding onto hope will help you see the light at the end of the tunnel. Stay positive and never give up. You can make it through anything life throws your way.

What are some other ways you stay positive and hold on to hope? Share in the comments below!

Journal Prompt: What is one thing that lifts your spirits every time? Maybe it’s a song, a movie, a book, or a friend. Why does it make you feel better?

Creative Writing Prompt: Write a story about a character stuck in a storm. Where are they? What’s their destination? How do they get out of the storm?

Additional Reading: Perspective on Bipolar Depression and How To Survive It


Note: While most posts are shorter, the above story is an example of what you can expect every weekday in the Speaking Bipolar Positivity Club.