Don’t Allow Yourself To Be Limited By Your Depression
Yes, you are depressed. I know that place way too well, and I work my butt off to stay out of the D-zone. Here are 10 little things that will give you a lift. You may not think you have the energy to do them, but, trust me, you can. Its as easy as reading this post.
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Something changed when Sasha W. noticed the hot pink running shoes sitting in the corner of her bedroom. She was 27 at the time and struggling with the worst depressive valley of her life.
As she lay listless in bed one afternoon, the sight of those shoes reminded her of how much she used to enjoy running. She dragged herself up, tied on her shoes, and headed outside for a walk. The next day, she put on her shoes again. And then the next day, and the next.
I kept feeling motivated to go a little further each day and run a little faster, recalls Sasha.
That one initial effortfinding the oomph to simply put on her shoeseventually turned into 10 half-marathons, three marathons, and a half Ironman. And it grew into Still I Run, a Facebook support group Sasha founded to motivate people with depression to exercise regularly.
Although low motivation isnt specified in the criteria used to diagnose depressive episodes, that particular package of lethargy, apathy, and procrastination often comes with the territory.
Depression impacts your thought process, which then impacts you physically and emotionally, notes Lisa Ferentz, a clinical social worker and author of Finding Your Ruby Slippers: Transformative Life Lessons from the Therapists Couch.
This can lead to loss of motivation to do daily living tasks, connect with other people socially, and meet responsibilities at work.
Accepting where I am at really makes those rough days easier and more productive.
What If I’m Depressed
According to the ADAA , depression affects approximately 1.5 percent of the United States population aged 18 and older. That works out to be around 3.3 million American adults. Although this can seem daunting, millions of people have proactively sought out treatment and experienced successful results. An extensive study by the Berkeley Well-Being Institute, for example, found that 70% of BetterHelp clients successfully reduced depressive symptoms. You may read the full study here. If you’re dealing with lacking motivation, it’s important to learn the signs of depression to begin to figure out if you’re experiencing depression or a different issue.
Depression Signs And Symptoms
Depression can lead to a range of cognitive, behavioral, and physical symptoms. It’s important to note that individuals may experience varying depressive symptoms. Depression doesn’t look the same as two people. Also, all of the symptoms may not present to warrant a diagnosis of clinical depression. Here are some common signs & symptoms:
- Low or depressed mood or noticeable mood swings
- Loss of interest to do things that you once loved
- Significant change or fluctuation in weight
- Noticed decreased ability of focus or concentrate, especially for longer periods
- Increased feelings of fatigue, more days than not
- A decreased level of energy
- Slowness in activities
- Recurring thoughts of death or others dying
- Depressive symptoms causing significant stress
- Depressive symptoms have last longer than two weeks
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Read Some Quotes From The Greats
Finally, when Im feeling down I like to read some quotes from some of the most successful people of all time. This is a great reminder that EVERYONE must face setbacks. In fact, it is a pre-requisite for success. There is no record of anybody accomplishing anything without MANY setbacks and failures along the way.
Setbacks let you know that youre making progress.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Success is the ability to move from one failure to the next with enthusiasm. Winston Churchhill
Most people give up just when theyre about to achieve success. They quit on the one yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game, one foot from a winning touchdown. Ross Perot
Feel free to bookmark this post for the next time you feel like crying and giving up. It may come in handy. Life isnt an easy journey, and the measure of a true champion is not how far you go, its how far you bounce back after facing defeat.
I wish you the best.
Food plays an integral role in our lives and rightfully so: the food we eat is intricately intertwined with our culture. You can learn a lot about a particular culture by exploring their food. In fact, it may be difficult to fully define a culture without a nod to their cuisine.
Tell me what you eat, and Ill tell you who you are. Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin .
Dont believe me? Heres why food is the best way to understand a culture:
Alcohol Tobacco And Other Drugs
Misusing alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs can have both immediate and long-term health effects.
The misuse and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and prescription medications affect the health and well-being of millions of Americans. SAMHSAs 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that approximately 19.3 million people aged 18 or older had a substance use disorder in the past year.
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Things To Say To Break The Negative Thought Cycle
Depression is a biological, psychological and social condition which acts as a broken record of negative thoughts, feelings, and patterns. So how can you develop a conscious part that is both well-meaning and provides the right kind of support to yourself when your are feeling in a low dark mood?
Dust off your parts that hold Empathy and Understanding and send Judgement on a vacation.
Here are 6 things to say to yourself when you feel taken over by depressed mood. You can also write them down and post them around your home.
1) Have a Self Compassion mantra to say to yourself.
When it is difficult to speak kindly to yourself in your mind, a mantra is helpful. Repeat this over and over to yourself to feel calm.
- In this moment I am suffering
- Suffering is a part of living
- I will be kind to myself in this moment
- I will befriend myself in this time of need. *
2) Say to yourself Im here for you and then be there.
Remember how good it feels when someone offers to help unexpectantly? You can do this for yourself. Notice you dont feel well. Ask yourself what do you need or want. And give that thing to yourself. You will feel cared for.
If you dont hear what to do, choose something caring for yourself. If you were British you would make yourself a cup of tea for example. It is the act that feels warm and connecting not necessarily what was done.
3) I like______ about me
4) Say Yes, this is really hard right now.
5) Ask yourself who else can help me?
The photo is my own.
Exercise Is Something You Can Do Right Now To Boost Your Mood
Your fatigue will improve if you stick with it. Starting to exercise can be difficult when youre depressed and feeling exhausted. But research shows that your energy levels will improve if you keep with it. Exercise will help you to feel energized and less fatigued, not more.
Find exercises that are continuous and rhythmic. The most benefits for depression come from rhythmic exercisesuch as walking, weight training, swimming, martial arts, or dancingwhere you move both your arms and legs.
Add a mindfulness element, especially if your depression is rooted in unresolved trauma or fed by obsessive, negative thoughts. Focus on how your body feels as you movesuch as the sensation of your feet hitting the ground, or the feeling of the wind on your skin, or the rhythm of your breathing.
Pair up with an exercise partner. Not only does working out with others enable you to spend time socializing, it can also help to keep you motivated. Try joining a running club, taking a water aerobics or dance class, seeking out tennis partners, or enrolling in a soccer or volleyball league.
Take a dog for a walk.If you dont own a dog, you can volunteer to walk homeless dogs for an animal shelter or rescue group. Youll not only be helping yourself but also be helping to socialize and exercise the dogs, making them more adoptable.
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Envision The Way Youll Feel After The Task
Suppose you focus on the effort involved in getting in the shower, going for a stroll, cooking dinner, or hanging out with a buddy. In that case, any task is likely to appear like a very daunting activity when you live with depression.
Depressed people have poor self-efficacy, which implies they have less faith in their capacity to complete things. As a result, individuals become overwhelmed and avoid completing such duties. Reduce your expectations for yourself throughout the task and focus on how you may feel afterward rather than how you might feel during.
Its also a good idea to try and act as if you feel motivated.
Instead of waiting for inspiration to strike, get dressed and get moving. Go to the gym or just go for a walk around your neighborhood. You may discover that taking action boosts your motivation, making it more straightforward to keep going.
Acknowledge Your Courage For Stepping Out Of Your Comfort Zone
As painful as it is, depression can become comfortable in a “devil you know” kind of way. You know what to expect, for the most part. You know the pain, you’re in the pain, you can predict that tomorrow will be more of the same. The idea of stepping out of this comfort zone can be quite anxiety-provoking. Steven Hayes, a psychologist whose work I admire, said, “If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’re going to get what you’ve always gotten.”
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Reasons Why You May Feel No Motivation
You Feel Overwhelmed and Stressed
Stress can be a reason why you lack motivation. You may think it’s a reason why you may keep motivation, but too much stress can hurt you and make it harder to keep going. Feeling overwhelmed can cause physical pain and other issues as well. When you feel overwhelmed, here are some things you can do.
The Alternative Approach: Self
Instead of trying to push through depression, learn from it. Its there for a reason a part of you is trying to tell you something.
Do you know what its trying to tell you?
Many times, just getting clarity on the source of the depression can reduce it if not release it entirely.
This approach is powerful, but there are two good reasons we dont take it:
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Getting Creative And Having Grace
It is human nature to be creative.
Nowadays, everything has become so competitive. It seems that someone cant genuinely enjoy a hobby without needing to capitalize it or show it off on social media. Feeding into this pressure can cause unnecessary turmoil and be detrimental to the psyche.
Having grace is a skill that needs to be built upon, like any other skill. Practicing being lenient with yourself helps you feel more comfortable. Grace is usually missing in people with depression, who tend to be so hard on themselves.
Try creating and doing something you love with zero pressure. Having no expectations is healthy when it comes to doing relaxing hobbies.
Drawing, embroidery, painting, playing a musical instrument, and so much more activities are great for activating the right side of the brain. The left side of the brain is associated with logic and analytics, which is where we spend more of our time.
Creative endeavors help to switch the brain over to the right side. The right side of the brain dims the constant thoughts associated with anxiety and depression.
Write And Keep Writing
Sometimes there are no supportive people immediately to be found. Other times, you may feel sensitive about overdoing the talk thing with someone you fear will start to pull away if all they ever hear is sadness. In such cases, and for its own sake as well, writing down your thoughts and feelings can be very therapeutic.
Keep a journal. Spill your guts onto the page. Get it all out. Let your guilt and sadness, your despair and hurt, your anger and frustration, your loneliness and hatred drain onto the pages.
Write letters to yourself. Or to the child-you. Or to your parents . Start a blog. But write it down, all of it, in all its gory detail. Fill the pages with the depths of your emotion. Over time, you may find the depth of your anguish a little shallower than it was.
Getting the dark knot of emotion that feels stuck in the pit of your gut out into the open even if only on paper can be itself immensely helpful.
For some people, starting the writing process is easier than talking with a therapist, friend or family member. But both are critical.
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What To Do When You Are Depressed
There are millions of people who struggle with depression each year. Imagine how much lives could be saved if depressed individuals knew what to do and how to work through their depression. This type of mental health issue is very serious, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be overcome. One of the best ways to beat depression is to know how to handle it. In order to make that happen, you have to know what to do when you are depressed.
Setting plans may sound basic and redundant, but planning is an excellent way of giving yourself something to look forward to. One of the best ways to set plans is either using a virtual calendar on your phone or a physical calendar. Taking notes of what needs to be done when is always helpful and it can also prevent you from feeling overwhelmed or unsure of what to tackle next. Following through with plans has a way of keeping people focused and busy having something to do can furthermore take your mind off depression or additional triggers.
Interact with Other People
Soak up Some Sunlight and Fresh Air
Take it One Day at a Time
Embrace Positive Thoughts
Seek Professional Help
At the end of the day, the choice is yours. However, if and when you are ready to seek therapy from BetterHelp, we will be here to support and guide you.
When To Get Professional Help For Depression
Doctors can help with depression by prescribing medication to patients. You must take the new medicine as prescribed because it may help you with your depressive episode. Community groups are also a good way for people who are suffering from mental illness to get support or advice on how to cope. You can try going out every day, even if it means taking some time for yourself. You can read books outside, listen to music outside, etc. These are great ways of coping with depression that everyone should practice regardless of their mental state.
Challenging negative thoughts is something that helps our moods improve. Try reminding yourself that there are also good parts of your day! For example, try thinking about one positive thing every time you have a bad thought.
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Common Reasons For Depression And Frustration
Scan this list with an open mind and see which ones resonate with you. Often there are multiple factors that trigger our emotional states.
- Repressed rage: When we are de-pressed, we are pushing down other emotions and feelings. The most common emotion that we push out of our awareness is anger and rage.
- Unacknowledged envy: For many of us, envy silently eats away at our motivation each day. When were not conscious of our envy, it can quickly lead to depression.
- Unmet basic needs: Abraham Maslow found that we all have basic human needs for safety, belonging, and self-esteem. When we dont meet these needs sufficiently, we become neurotic. Depression and anxiety are common forms of neurosis.
- Life circumstances: If youre going through a divorce or the loss of a loved one, depression and sadness is a common experience.
- Something doesnt go your way: You want something to happena promotion, a date, etc.but it doesnt happen. These circumstances often trigger frustration and can lead to depression.
- Repressed desires: When we dont get what we want, we get frustrated. When we dont even acknowledge what we want, we get depressed. Sometimes these desires are reasonable other times, they are tyrannical.
- Living out of alignment: Perhaps youve made choices that defy who you are. Or, youre behaving in ways that go against your personal core values. Making poor decisions and living out of accord with our values, is a sure path to depression and discontent.