For Mental Awareness Month, I wanted to share how thrifting has helped me cope with depression.

Every trip to the thrift store is a mental getaway for me. I wear comfy clothes, sometimes I have my headphones on, and I completely zone out as I embark on what I call a treasure hunt. My family knows that when I say I’m going thrifting, that’s code for me time. I’ll spend the entire day thrifting, and most often, I’ll visit 1 to 3 stores in one day. Finding unique, rare items gives me a dose of dopamine that helps to boost my mood. Along with finding unique treasures, I look for items that spark my creativity. I have a newfound love for repurposing items, if you can’t tell by some of my previous blog posts. Being able to contribute to saving items from landfills while supporting Goodwill’s mission with every purchase I make gives me a sense of purpose. I am able to align with my values of living a more sustainable life which brings me joy.

If you are looking for tools to help you manage your day or need daily positive reminders. I always seem to find planners, journals, and/or wall decor with inspirational quotes that speak to me. I like to wake up to these quotes and use them as daily affirmations to help me stay positive on tough days.

My daily planner keeps me organized, especially when I have upcycling ideas. My mind can be all over the place. I have some many things on my plate, and putting these tools in play keeps me from feeling overwhelmed.

One question people ask is, if you thrift every week, how do I keep yourself from being a hoarder?

I try to donate at least once a month. In the last year and a half, my weight has fluctuated significantly; 2022 was a really hard year. I went from wearing a size 10/12 to wearing a size 18/20. I have donated 50% of the items that no longer fit, I kept a few vintage pieces I hope to fit one day again. In the meantime, I have thrifted some transitional pieces that I can wear until I’m back down to a healthy weight. This is one of the benefits of thrifting; you can rebuild your closet without breaking the bank.

Thrifting doesn’t fix my depression, but it does help me to cope with and manage it.

My therapist encouraged me to take time to do the things I enjoy to have a balanced life. If you suffer from depression or any other mental health issues, I highly recommend talking to a therapist to learn how you can cope. If you are not sure where to start, you can call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-6264 or National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

If you see me at any of the DC Goodwill locations, don’t be afraid to say hello. For more thrifting tips and repurposing ideas, follow me on Instagram @iamksimone.

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