Working On Your Thoughts Ideas And Attitudes
Long leaves of absence tend to feed certain fears and uncertainties that you might have about going back. The most common are:
- Fear that you wont be competent or effective at your job.
- The fear of being fired because you arent as productive as everyone else.
- Feeling disconnected from your coworkers and workplace.
- The fear of becoming overwhelmed and burnt out, of being unable to get through the workday.
- Fear of being judged and watched by coworkers.
You can work on these kinds of ideas with your psychologist. Ideally, your return will be gradual, so you can slowly gain confidence. Also, its a good idea to give yourself a transition time to work on fostering positive ideas and attitudes.
When Was The Last Time You Were Happy
I happened to be reading a book by Giovanna Fletcher called Some Kind Of Wonderful and in it, the character gets dumped by her long term boyfriend. She realises that shes spent years being his girlfriend and has lost all sense of who she is.
My circumstances were entirely different but I really resonated with her.
In the book, she writes a list of everything that used to make her happy before she was with him and it inspired me to do the same.
Think of a time when you were truly happy.
For me it was when I was 18, freshly moved out of home and able to be exactly who I wanted to be. For you, it may be when you were younger than that still!
Now take yourself back and write down everything that made you happy at that point in your life.
For me it was:
Listening to Britney Spears and Christina Aquilera on LOUDFashionBeing with my boyfriend Being thin
But it is essential to look at what made us happy in the past so that we can look at where it all went wrong, so to speak.
Now you may look at those and think wow she was very materialistic and youd probably be right. I was, after all, 18 years old with not a worry in the world.
Recognise Depressions Place In Your Life
Firstly, its recognising that there is a place for depression in your life.
Without the valleys of depression, you would never fully know the peaks of joy you can attain.
What if depression was a gift to help you to see the good in your life more clearly?
When I battled depression, there were many days that I wanted to get over it and move on with my life. But it was also during this battle that I began to see the place for rest. To slow down. To see that life didnt have to be an endless chase to move from goal to goal, glory to glory, achievement to achievement.
Depression is telling you something about your life. You may want to anxiously regain your passion when youre depressed.
But pause. Ask yourself a question.
Are you tuning into what depression is saying?
Take this time as a time to understand yourself better. Dont race through depression, and end up missing the lessons it has for you.
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Why Do You Feel Lost
There are several reasons why you can be saying to yourself, I am lost. You might feel like you are drifting along looking at yourself from a helpless lens while your body just does what youve trained it to do. Excitements are few, challenges are sparse, and the routine has taken over.
Falling out of touch with yourself happens when you buy into other ideas of what you are supposed to be or should be doing. This can happen whether those ideas come from friends, family, society, or even yourself. When you follow what you think you are supposed to be doing rather than what you want to be doing, its a path that leads to losing yourself. If you want to do something, but dont because of someone elses expectations, you are not living your own life. You lost yourself, and only your true self can lead you to a path of happiness, passion, validation, and independence.
Picture walking aimlessly into unfamiliar woods. The longer you continue walking in that direction, the more lost you become. That is what the path of not being your truest, happiest, and most authentic self is like. Simply recognizing and admitting to yourself that I am so lost in my life is extremely difficult. You overcame that. You did, not us. How do you move forward from this realization? Were here to help you with the next step: finding yourself so you know how to get out of those woods.
Stay Connected To The Outside World
Socially, you might also be tempted to shut yourself away, saying no when friends or family ask if you want to meet up with them. This is reaction is completely normal, but being present at social events, and spending time with other people, will help to reduce your symptoms of depression and help keep them at bay in the future.
Social media and video calls are a convenient way to do this, but if youre able to then a face-to-face meeting will have the most positive effect. You could try taking small steps with the goal of a meeting in a public location being the end goal. Whatever you try, make sure you only commit to what feels comfortable for you.
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Look After Your Physical Health
Exercise has long been known to be a great way to fight depression. If you feel well enough, head out and get some fresh air outside. Even if its just a brief stroll in the park, being outdoors can benefit your mental health, but again, you should only do what feels right. If you need to build up to this by starting off slowly , then do whats right for your recovery.
What activity is good for depression?
- Walking or running
- Aerobic-heavy sports like tennis or squash
- Mindful activities like yoga or meditation
Another significant factor in managing depression is good quality sleep. Research shows that 80% of people with clinical depression struggle with disturbed sleep. Small things like turning off electronic devices and ditching late-night caffeinated drinks and stodgy foods may well lead to you enjoying a better nights sleep. With better sleep, you might also find your mood improving in the day.
The evidence shows that exercise can be a way to manage symptoms of depression, thanks to the endorphins, dopamine and serotonin that are released during exercise that make us feel better. If you feel well enough to do so, introduce exercise into your daily routine.
Love Yourself Enough To Know That You Deserve The Very Best
Dont settle for anyone mediocre just because you werent patient enough to wait for the very best. Dont worry, that guy who just broke your heart isnt the best, because the right guy wouldnt have the guts to leave you. To anyone whos going through the same hurt Ive been through, know that you deserve even more than the love you know you can give. You deserve stability someone who wont ever walk out on you when things get rough. You deserve honesty at all times. You deserve to be treated right. You deserve faithfulness, respect and compassion otherwise it isnt love at all.
About the author
Currently caught in between slayin and figuring out how to adult.
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Develop A Journaling Habit
If you are facing a depression relapse, one way to help manage your symptoms is to develop a journaling habit or expressive writing habit.
Journaling or expressive writing can be helpful to manage your mental health because it allows for the expression of and exploration of emotions, similar to what you would be doing in a therapy session. The difference is that you will be doing self-exploration rather than exploration with the aid of a therapist.
If you are interested in starting a journaling habit to cope with a depression relapse, the best way to start is with a time block set aside for free-writing in your journal. Choose a time of day when you will be relaxed and not likely to be interrupted.
Use a blank journal, and begin writing about whatever comes to mind, good or bad. Be curious about what you write and try to “get to the bottom” of your feelings. If you are feeling sad or down, ask yourself what’s going on in your life or what might have caused you to feel that way.
Journaling can also be a way to catch negative thought patterns and reframe them in a more realistic tone. For example, if you write in your journal, “everything is terrible and I will always feel awful,” you could examine that thought for negative distortions.
Reconnect With Your Wildness
Your wildness is what is true to you. Its what feels most organic and real to you.
As Mark Nepo writes:
The unwavering truth is that when we agree to any demand, request, or condition that is contrary to our souls nature, the cost is that precious life force is drained off our core. Despite the seeming rewards of compliance, our souls grow weary by engaging in activities that are inherently against their nature.
One of the best ways to reconnect with your wildness is to tune into your energy. What makes you feel drained, depleted, dull, and dry? You can be sure that whatever that thing is, its trying to put a muzzle on your wildness!
On the other hand, pay attention to what fills you with joy, excitement, fizziness, and passion. You can be sure youve found something that enriches your soul: something that is truly you.
Reconnecting with your wildness is very much about learning to connect to your body. Your body is like an antenna of truth, and anything untrue will immediately be registered and expressed by your body.
Mindfulness meditation is a wonderful way of tuning into your body, as well as other practices like somatic experiencing, yoga, and 5 Rhythms dancing. Use these modalities to embody your wildness and find yourself.
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Why Finding Yourself Matters So Much
You hear people talk about finding yourself all the time and yet most of us dont really know what it means or why it matters. In fact, I think the term gets sort of watered down. We think of finding yourself as this cursory thing we do, on the side, if we have time, after we get the more important work of life done.
We forget what an incredible danger it is to live life without knowing who you are.
We forget there is very little progress we will be able to make in this life if we dont have a firm grip on who we are and why we matter.
The language psychologists use for a person who hasnt found themselves is: lacking of a sense of self or a lack of personal identity and psychologists recognize that when a person lacks a sense of personal identity, their problems extend into every aspect of their life: relationships, career, even mental and emotional health.
A person without a strong sense of identity tends to suffer from:
Not to mention, it can be really difficult to make a decisioneven a small one. When we dont know who we are, we end up spending more time wondering about what other people want from us than about what we want and need for ourselves. Which, of course, can be incredibly anxiety-producing.
And at some point, you will let one or more of them down. You cannot possibly meet so many expectations.
Write A Letter Of Self
You may find yourself blaming yourself for depression. Please, forgive yourself.
The antidote to self-flagellation is self-forgiveness. Forgive yourself for having depression.
Be specific about what youre forgiving yourself for.
I forgive you for having depression. I know that this time is frustrating because you feel that youre not moving forward with any of your goals, and that youre being pushed back instead!
But I forgive you.
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Its Okay To Be Angry As Long As It Doesnt Consume You Either
There will come a point when anger and hatred will replace what once was pain and sadness. Its easier to deal with anger than pain, but just as exhausting. Youve seen the monster in him and you probably think nonstop about how selfish and deceitful he is, how much of a coward he is and how vile and inhumane hes become. Youll associate him with villains, monsters or maybe even the devil himself, thinking How could he do this? I dont blame you for being angry you just lost who you believed was the love of your life. But just like sadness, dont let anger get the best of you. Scream, throw a pillow or listen to empowering songs like Katy Perrys Part of Me or Ashley Tisdales Its Alright, Its Ok. A lot of people whove gone through breakups say that one day youll wake up and just not care anymore. Wouldnt it be nice to just feel nothing for the person rather than hate him for a long time? Remember: the opposite of love is not hate, but apathy.
What Does A Life Coach Do
A life coach is one of the best resources for those who feel lost. With vast experience and exceptional track records, our life coaches are able to crystallize what you want in your life, identify what is holding you back, help clarify your vision, and provide useful strategies for self-improvement.
An unbiased, third party viewpoint gives you a new perspective, and the collaboration results in a unique support system that continues during the coaching sessions and long after. By continuously encouraging forward motion, life coaches keep you accountable, ask important questions, and help you find the answers. A particular emphasis is put on the combination of challenges and encouragement, digging deep into what makes you tick, and what will make you tick even better.
Part of the reason you might feel lost in the first place is a lack of support from friends or family when it comes to following your dreams and accessing your true self. A life coach heavily encourages both, giving clients permission to make the decisions that are right for them, not for the sake of other people.By providing the tools you need to reach your goals while identifying ways to stay true to your true self, youll be better equipped to navigate the path to your true self.
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The Straightforward Recovery Myth
There is a myth that recovery is a smooth, straight line. That all we have to do is take medication, go to therapy, use the skills weve been taught, and then well be okay again.
Unfortunately, thats not the case. Recovery is usually a wibbly-wobbly line with the odd loop-the-loop. When piecing life back together, there are times when things improve, and times when things seem to be getting worse again. Over time we can learn to manage our depression and many people will reach a point of recovery, but it isnt usually a straightforward process.
Becoming Who You Want To Be
This may be obvious, but it is certainly worth noting. Throw out the term a new lease on life. Leases expire. You earned a new life, and it is yours for keeps. When you have found yourself, the idea of becoming lost again will seem impossible, and that is because it will be. The idea of finding yourself and unlocking your true potential seems like a challenge, and it is. However, everything is surmountable with the right strategy and focus.
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Get Plenty Of Quality Sleep
A good night of quality sleep can make you feel happy, motivated, and indestructible. Sleep allows your mind to reset and refreshes your body, which helps balance hormones and brain chemicals. Sleep deprivation, on the other hand, can cause your cortisol levels to spike and has been shown to contribute to a wide range of health conditions, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease, as well as depression.
Anxiety and restlessness are common symptoms of depression, which can affect your ability to get a good nights rest, and it can be even more difficult to overcome depression if youre having trouble falling or staying asleep. Common symptoms of depression also include early awakening, insomnia, and restless sleep.
To help yourself fall asleep more quickly, make sure your sleeping environment as comfortable as possible. Lower the thermostat, invest in cozy bed sheets, and be sure to avoid caffeine and late-night snacks too close to bedtime. You can also try practicing mindfulness meditation, aromatherapy, or the 4-7-8 breathing technique.
Strategies For Reviving Your Self
We often talk about triggers and the agony we endure during depressive episodes, but not much is spoken about what happens post-episode. You know, during the recovery phase. That period where youre just expected to pick up the pieces and carry on with life until the next episode hits. I find this time extremely challenging for many reasons but mostly because of how it affects who I am and how I see myself.
One of the biggest issues I face after a depressive episode is dealing with the way it affects my confidence. To say that my self-confidence takes a knock would be more than an understatement. Id be lying to you. It erodes my sense of self at the core, and that leaves me feeling confused and lost with regard to who I am and where I fit in the world. I feel raw due to the constant scraping depression is to my soul. The constant negative talk eats away as the episode runs its course. The longer the episode, the less of me remains.
I decided to create a list of things I can do or tell myself after I come out from the abyss that would help steer me in the right direction during the recovery phase. In this phase, there lies a unique opportunity to find oneself or redefine whats already there.
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