My anxiety keeps me up at night. I’m constantly overthinking. Can you suggest something that might help?

Sleeping is really about letting go – about surrendering control. That in itself can produce anxiety for many of us. Sleep time is also a time where you are left to your own thoughts and feelings – perhaps all the thoughts and feelings that you don’t have the time to think or feel in your waking state. We guess what we’re saying is the anxiety makes sense. What can you do in those moments?

1. Shut down all outside stimuli (your phone, the television etc.) at least an hour before you get into bed. Create a calming environment around you including light and sound.

2. Move your body. Jump up and down, pound your fists against a pillow, scream. Move all that energy built up in your body.

3. Ground. Lay on the floor for a few minutes. Bring the energy down. Feel the support of the ground beneath you.

4. Take some deep breaths. Lie on your bed with your hand on your belly. Take a deep breath so your belly expands into your hand. Bring the breath all the way up through the nose and then allow yourself a long deep exhale. Focus on the exhale. As you do this, your body (and mind) should start to calm down.

5. See if there is a phrase or statement you can say to yourself when your mind is filled with thoughts. Try out something like: “I am okay.” “It’s okay to let go.” “I am safe.”

6. Let it become a meditation as your body tries to let itself sleep.

Lastly, in your waking state, try to make time for all the thoughts and feelings that keep you up at night. Seek support, write in a journal, breathe more consciously, move your body. See the impact that may have.

My parents don’t believe me when I say I’m depressed. How should I deal with this?

It’s probably scary for them to think their child is struggling with depression and frustrating for you not to feel heard or understood by them. You can certainly give your parents some reading material from a reputable source concerning depression, symptoms, and recommended treatment strategies. If they’re still not open to the idea, you can also seek treatment on your own and invite them into the process when you feel ready so your therapist can help them understand you better and learn what they can do to support you more.