Using Intentions to Cope with Depression

I find it fascinating how depression and anxiety can impact your life. Three years ago I couldn’t bring myself to go anywhere without crippling anxiety. Too much peopling caused me to hide away for days on end. Back then I didn’t see an end to it.

Over time I’ve found coping mechanisms that allow me to function. I’m not ‘fixed’ but I’m getting better, and that’s a massive achievement. I’ve found an incredible counsellor who listens to my uncoordinated babble and makes sense of it. Those pesky ‘feelings’ that I refused to acknowledge (for over twenty years!) are starting to bubble to the surface and scare me shitless.

Finding any joy in life has been the hardest thing to deal with. I always pride myself in being a smiley happy person but that was stripped away, and the smile became my mask. I still struggle with feeling authentic joy, but there are small moments when it appears and I recognise it. Being by water helps, as does exploring new places – I’m able to tap into my inner childlike wonder when faced with a new adventure.

At the start of this year, I decided that the resolutions and goals I’d always set myself weren’t motivating me the way they should. Having a deadline is incredibly helpful in my writing life as it keeps me productive. However, in my day to day life, it was having a detrimental effect. I decided to try something different and chose to work with intention.

  • ‘I intend to go with the flow.’
  • ‘I intend to be healthy.’
  • ‘I intend to do the best I can.’
  • ‘I intend to be enough.’

An amazing thing happened when I let go of the goals and worked with pure intention. I began to attract incredible opportunities. I started to find myself in the right place at the right time. I recognised more and more joyful moments.

I realised that for far too long I’d been putting pressure on myself and conforming to the ‘should’ mentality. I should be happy; I should smile more, I should have fun, I should be able to cope… the list went on.

The word ‘should’ is slowly disappearing from my vocabulary as I embrace a new way of being. Finding out who I am is a large part of my counselling sessions (and deserves an entire blog post of its own!). Who do I want to be?

I’m astounded at how far I’ve come since I received that severe depression diagnosis. I no longer beat myself up for not being ‘better’ or for having a bad day. I recognise the signs much easier now, and I accommodate to my needs. Saying no to things is a big one for me. There’s nothing to be gained from pushing yourself to join in if it will be detrimental to your wellbeing.

Recognising my achievements helps me to remember how far I’ve come. Using my happiness jar is hugely beneficial to my mental health as I can see it filling with the amazing things that have happened so far this year.

I’ll continue to work on my personal growth this year using intention. My counselling sessions are hard but valuable, my health, mental and physical, is important to nurture, and I choose to do what’s right for me.

Think about who you are and what you want out of life. Are you working towards it? Could setting intentions be useful for you?

Before I go, I would love to share this news with you. My blog has been nominated for Best Personal Development Blog 2019, and I will be travelling to London in June for the awards. I would be eternally grateful if you could spare two minutes to vote for me.

Follow the link HERE and then scroll down to Best Personal Development Blog. Click on Motivate Me Now and then hit the ‘Vote’ button – that’s it, simples! No sign up needed.

Thank you xxx


  1. This is exactly what I needed to read today. Depression is such a difficult thing for me to understand, let alone others around me who have never suffered. I have found that trying to hide it and cover up just makes things worse and sometime the best and only thing to do is to just hold your hands up, admit that you are struggling and take some time out. I too have learned to read the signs, but even now after all these years it can catch me out.
    This year for me is about just that ‘me’. Being kinder to myself, taking time for me and I am also booked in for some long overdue counselling next month and whilst I know it will be very tough, I am focusing on what I will achieve at the end of it.
    I love the thought of ‘intentions’ and I intend to give that some more thought and write some of my own. Thank you for inspiring me to think in this way Shelly! Great blog. x

    1. Admitting you are struggling can be hard, especially as a woman, but it’s so important to seek help. Taking that step back is vital for your physical and mental health. I’m glad you are able to listen to what your body and mind are telling you and act on it. Counselling is a wonderful way to help yourself. Big hugs x

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