How Self-Care Can Help Manage Depression—And Other Tips From Kiana Valenciano
Kiana Valenciano opens up to Tricia Centenera about her struggles with depression and shares some self-care tips that helped her manage it
She has it all. She has the voice, she has the looks, she has the family. But sometimes, there really is no saying who, when, and why depression will hit you.
“Until now, I don’t understand where it stems from. I just know that it’s there,” admits Kiana. It’s a feeling that people who suffer from depression can relate to.
Last year, July 2018, Kiana opened up about her struggles with depression, saying in an in Instagram post, “I was dealing with anxiety and depression and reached the point where I didn't even notice I was hurting myself physically. It wasn't until a friend pointed out that I had scratches and scars across the back of my neck that I realised I was lost and needed help.”
And since then, Kiana has been very vocal about helping herself overcome her problem. She sat down with Tricia Centenera for Talk with Tricia to talk about what her days felt like when depression would hit her hard, and what it took for her to manage it.
The first step, Kiana shares, was really to accept that she needed help. It may be hard, but overcoming this first hurdle opens you up to a lot more healing and love from the people around you.
Not surprisingly, Kiana also shares that self-care and a ton of self-love helped her get through her darker days. Here are some self-care tips from Kiana and other people who go through depression that help them manage their moods and episodes. These self-care tips are not just for people who struggle with mental and emotional imbalances, but also those who feel that they need a little pick-me-up when the going gets too rough.
Self-care is different for everyone, but it’s basically all about taking proper care of yourself and your own unique needs. It’s something that’s provided by yourself that’s for yourself. No cookie-cutter method; everything is customized to what you need.
When you live with depression, it’s normal to feel tired and lifeless that doing the easiest and most basic of things like eating or even getting up from the bed becomes so hard.
Psychologist Deborah Serani Psy.D. writes in Psychology Today that it will be hard to do things that shouldn’t be—get up, eat, take a bath—but if you want to start taking care of yourself, you’ve got to cut yourself some slack and start small. “[When I couldn’t get out of bed], I set a goal of just turning over from one side of the bed to the other, then trying to sit up in bed for a while. Those goals were NOT easy to reach. But they led to bigger ones. And within days, I was out of bed… Adding bigger goals as you reach the smaller ones helps you heal,” shares Deborah.
Practice deep breathing.
One of the tell-tale signs of an anxiety attack are short, rugged breaths. When you feel your breathing become rapid and shallow, that’s when you know you’ve to stop, take a step back, and breathe.
Amy Marlow talks about how deep breathing helped her take that pause on Healthline. It’s something you can do anywhere and anytime—sitting up or standing, or lying down—even when you’re not in that anxious state to keep yourself aligned and relaxed.
Here’s a simple abdominal breathing technique to relax:
1. Inhale from your nose, with your shoulders relaxed. As you inhale, the abdomen should expand.
2. Hold your breath for a second before exhaling slowly with your mouth. Keep your jaw relaxed and expel the air as slow as possible.
3. Repeat for a minute or more.
Talk to yourself better.
There are moments where you catch yourself replaying a “negative tape” over and over again, where you would think and talk about negative thoughts about yourself. When you keep repeating this feelings of guilt, shame, and negativity to yourself, you bury yourself even deeper into that grave.
Amy says the first step is by becoming aware that you have these negative messages that you replay in your head. By acknowledging these moments, that's when you start to catch yourself and then remind yourself to stay away from the negative messages, and talk to yourself better and kinder. Compliment yourself and give yourself a pat in the back for what you’ve accomplished, no matter how little.
Kiana says that there are moments where she would feel these moments, even before she goes on stage for a show. That’s why sometimes, before a performance, she tries to talk to herself to calm herself and say, “You got this. It’s just you. Just have fun.”
Develop a bedtime routine.
Going to sleep can sometimes be tough when you’re on a mood or when your thoughts are racing and out of control. That’s why developing a bedtime routine can help you calm down and prepare yourself for rest before you go to bed.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, it’s better to stop drinking anything caffeinated at least 6 hours before you head to bed. You should also finish all meals 2-3 hours before, and turn off all electronics an hour before going to bed. You can also prepare an herbal cup of tea to calm and soothe yourself, switch on your diffuser for a relaxing atmosphere, and maybe cuddle with a book to help you fall asleep.
Amy recommends that when your thoughts are still racing in bed, it may be helpful to write them down in a notebook to get it all out.
Tell yourself, “It’s okay.”
Finding it hard to stick to a routine or even get out of bed for days? It’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up and tell yourself that it’s okay. Everyone has their own pace and rhythm, and maybe yours is just a bit slower today or tomorrow. Be kind yourself and just try to do it again.
“It’s really a daily battle and struggle to push yourself to get up from the bed,” says Kiana, remembering how getting up was so hard for her. But that’s okay. She can try again later, or she can try again tomorrow. And even if she succeeds today, it might hit again tomorrow. But that’s okay. She will keep trying. The important thing is that you keep trying, and not give up.
Know more about Kiana’s struggles with depression and how she dealt with it on Talk with Tricia with Tricia Centenera, premiering today, Saturday, November 16 at 8 p.m. here on Metro.Style’s website, Facebook, YouTube, IGTV, and iWant.
If you are or if someone you know is thinking about suicide or self-harm, please remember that help is a phone call away.
In the Philippines, please call suicide prevention hotline numbers at the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation: (02) 8044673 (HOPE), or (0917) 5584673 (HOPE).
You may also call the Manila Lifeline Centre at (02) 8969191, or (0917) 8549191. In the US, please call 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). #suicideprevention #suicidepreventionhotline