Depression is having everything you need and still feeling sad.
Depression is having your needs met and still feeling empty.
Depression is being surrounded by people that love you and that you love back and still feeling lonely.
Depression is wanting to escape but feeling trapped.
Depression is doing all the right things to prevent it, but it showing up anyway by surprise.
I’ve had an unwelcome occurrence in the past few days with depression. Call it post-holiday-let-down-endless-sick-days-getting-sick-myself depression. I read an article on NPR about how being sick makes you anti-social. I totally believe the article, because during December and the holidays, I was full-energy and excited to be engaged with family and friends.
Since getting sick on our way home from visiting family, I just want to crawl in a hole and be left alone. It’s definitely the time of year, January. And being sick makes me anti-social. But on top of all that, the depressed feelings crept back in. Negative-self-talk spiraling out of control like crazy. Thankfully, I’ve had it so many times, I know it too will pass.
Like any feeling, good or bad, up or down, depression and anxiety eventually lessen.
For me, sitting with the feelings and acknowledging their source helps. Giving myself time to be alone and heal is what I need now. Setting smaller daily goals to still feel productive, but giving myself time to rest, helps my mental state. I need goals to feel like I’m moving the needle on my business and home life, but achievable goals so I’m not constantly feeling behind or like a failure.
So, all these bad feelings swirling around have me doing my best to stay positive. It definitely takes a huge effort because I am so tired.
My advice is to keep trying until you find a system that works. I say system, because like any good therapy, you need to work the steps daily for the steps to work.
Consistency is what will pull you out of your worst days.
- Get up at the same time every day. Have something for which to get up. Examples can be coffee or loud music. Something simple that makes you feel rewarded for getting out of bed. Take getting out of bed a step further by not hitting snooze. Shocking, I know, but there’s some good science behind just getting out of bed. Now. Click here for the full story.
- Eat the best you can as much as possible. Bad food sneaks in from time to time, but aim for nourishing foods 80 percent of the time. And give yourself grace. Just because you make one bad decision, doesn’t mean everything is lost. It means you made a bad decision this one time. Next time is a new opportunity to try again.
- Feed your brain positivity. Podcasts are my current go-to. Audio books are also at the top of my list. They are easy enough to turn on and listen while I’m engaged in mindless tasks. While my hands are busy, my mind wanders and not always in great directions. So, if I’m engaging my mind in something positive, I circumvent the negative spiral.
- Find a creative outlet. For me it’s painting, for you it’s something you enjoy doing and is not a chore. Creativity feeds the soul. You can’t be sad when you’re enjoying something.
- Exercise. Crazy, right? Eat well and exercise. No news flash here. Why? Because it works. Exercise gets your blood flowing and naturally lifts your mood. Start simple and take it slow. Work your way up gradually doing something you enjoy.
- And be thankful. ~Colossians 3:15b. The thankfulness journal is so trendy right now… Because it works… I was so angry when I started mine, but it literally lifted me out of a terrible mindset into a place where I could hope again. The basics are write down 3 new things every day for which you are thankful.