5 Tools for Managing Depression and Anxiety

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This is a guest post from Alexandra Hinton of the blog Caretactics. Alex has graciously offered to share her personal story of struggling with depression and anxiety, hitting rock bottom and finally turning her life around and taking charge. It is truly inspirational, and, I believe, can help many people who share experiences in common with Alex.

You can connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Google+
5 Tools for Managing Depression and Anxiety 

Anxiety and Depression: Alexandra’s Story

Years of Struggle

I struggled with severe depression on and off from ages 14 to 21. Anxiety had also been a part of my life for as long as I can remember and sometimes resulted in severe panic attacks where I struggled to breathe.

I can remember the feelings of depression hitting me during my last year of middle school. I would be fine at school, in dance class or with friends, but as soon as I got home I would just sit and cry. The worst part was that at the time I had no idea why I was so sad. Sure, I had a lot of fun and happy memories throughout those years, and I was good at making my friends laugh. Still, once I was by myself, I’d feel empty, alone and unloved.

Hitting rock bottom

Back in those days, I got into a lot of self-destructive habits. I somehow thought having anxiety and depression meant I wasn’t worthy of the same love or respect happy people had, so I got into a pattern of behavior that allowed me to become used and manipulated.

Three years ago, I was finally hit with the root cause of my depression and anxiety for all those years. I realized it stemmed from childhood abuse, which I had repressed for a long, long time. This realization made my world shatter, and I sunk so deep that I thought I’d never be happy again. I was ready to drop out of college and quit my job, because I didn’t want to be around anyone except those back home that I knew and loved. I was in a dark, dark place and had a lot of anxiety and sleepness nights once again. I was filled with anger, hatred and confusion.

How I turned it around…

 In order to turn my depression around, I knew I had to keep working towards my goals and strive to make the following changes.

1. Self love

As soon as I began to respect myself, I realized that all the bad things that happened to me didn’t make me less of a person than anyone else. Respecting myself led to more respectful relationships with others.

2. Letting go

Learning to accept my past and move forward instead of repeating the things I wish I could change over and over in my mind was so difficult, but it was vital for healing. It’s also imperative to let go of small things. One small stumbling block like a disagreement with a loved one or a bad day at work used to slow down my progress. Now, I’ve learned to easily let go of the small stuff and focus instead on what’s going right.

3. Positive energy

When I dwell on one negative thing for too long, it’s easy to pile on more and more negativity and wallow in self-pity. On the other hand, when I start thinking of my blessings it’s easier to smile, feel at peace and have fun. It takes a while to totally transform your thought patterns when you’re so used to focusing on the negative, but it’s so important to do in order to get out of a funk.

4. Exercise

Feeling depressed took a lot of energy out of me, but getting into the habit of going on long walks outside or running really helped me to boost my mood. Being out in nature, especially with friends made everything feel okay.

5. A supportive partner

I’m getting married to a wonderful man this summer. His support and ability to be a good listener helped me so much throughout my healing journey. He stayed by my side through my darkest time, knowing we could be happy again, and I’m so thankful for that.

Healing from severe depression and anxiety is an ongoing journey, and it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s important to remember that it takes time. Thank you for reading my story, and I wish you the best if you’re on your healing journey, too.

About the author:

Alex Hinton, owner of Caretactics, blogs about natural living, real food, mindfulness and wellness. Her goal is to share information that will lead you to improve the world by caring about others, the environment and yourself.

5 Tools for Managing Depression and Anxiety





  1. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR STORY <3 I am currently dealing with this myself and am struggling with nobody understanding. <3 thanks so much, you've inspired me that there is hope to get through it.

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