Depression is tough…ok, really tough.
Smiling and just thinking happy-happy thoughts just doesn’t cut it. I’m all for positive thinking and reinforcement, but let’s face it… sometimes that stuff doesn’t cut it (see below). Positive thoughts alone won’t lift you up out of the crappy situation you find yourself in every day.
Here are 6 things that can help right now;
1. ACCEPT THE FACT THAT YOU’RE DEPRESSED. AND DON’T TRY TO MINIMIZE IT.
Being able to accept the fact that you’re depressed is a huge step.
It helps to eliminate that feeling of blame for not doing things which you feel like you should or for feeling the way you feel—because it’s not totally in your control.
Once you’re able to accept the fact that you’re feeling depressed (which is to say, after you’ve identified that depression is in fact what you’re experiencing), you’re able to take the necessary actions to remedy it. Whether that’s vitamin D pills, sun lamps, medication, or counseling, it should be prescribed to you by a medical professional.
I know this can be hard one as sometimes all you want to do is get away from your thoughts. I’ve found that sitting for about 15 minutes – 1 hour of intentional meditating has helped immensely. (For those who have a hard time sitting still and meditation, I’ve found Holosync very beneficial. I’m a big fan and personally recommend it to my clients.).
Taking inventory of your life by writing down exactly what you’re thinking and feeling in that moment is one of the best tools I know for uncovering some really interesting things about yourself.
The insights you learn from your own writing can be invaluable in helping you to understand your state of mind and how you may overcome it.
The best part is that you don’t need to have a mission for your writing. No structure. No theme. No intended outcome or length. Just write.
Sometimes all it takes is a couple of words with a pen and paper (or laptop) and the rest of the words write themselves.
Write whatever messed up shit that comes up and filters from your mind to the paper. I’ve written some pretty messed up stuff. But each time I write, I learn a little more about myself.
The action of writing down everything that is trapped inside of you is a freeing event. It’s like taking a bottle of your emotions and unscrewing the top to let them out. Even when what you write is really messed up, somehow it feels better to let it out onto paper.
At times what you see on the page is flat out ugly. Other times, you may find bits of compassion, gratitude, and hope in there.
Here’s a suggestion: make writing down whatever is on your mind the last thing that you do before you go to sleep at night. Do it in a journal or moleskin notebook, so that you have all your writing in the same record book.
You don’t have to examine it. You don’t even have to read it. Just let it out and hit the lights.
4. SPEAK WITH FRIENDS, FAMILY, A COUNSELOR, AND THOSE THAT LOVE YOU ABOUT HOW YOU’RE FEELING
Love is a powerful force. And knowing that those who love you truly care about the direction of your life can reinstate hope and a drive to get better.
Also, I have noticed that those whose calls I didn’t want to return because I felt like I owed them something or because didn’t want to have to explain myself, they cared too.
People genuinely care about your situation and want you to do better.
Remember this when you’re down because it’s so easy for us to think the opposite when things are going wrong.
5. CELEBRATE THE SMALL WINS
This, I think more than anything, will help you to deal with your depression.
There are so many days where you try to lift yourself out of your funk, only to find that 20 minutes later—whether you went to the gym to jump on that treadmill or not—you still feel like shit. It’s okay!! It’s okay to feel this way because it’s not you! But remember to celebrate the fact that you even went to the gym!
Allow yourself to fret over not knocking out the big projects or to-do’s another time! For now, we’re just working on doing something.
6. CULTIVATE POSITIVE SELF-TALK
It’s unrealistic to think we can be completely free of depression, but we can learn to understand it enough to not give it total control over our lives.
Despite the fact that positive self-talk alone won’t get you out of your funk, it does help.
Remembering that your depression is a temporary state of mind and reclaiming hope that it will be alright in the end is a helpful reminder that things will get better.
Also, reminding yourself that you have so many experiences and events to look forward to in your life (traveling around the country, your wedding, etc.) does help to put things into perspective, although it may not totally alter how you currently feel.
Positive self-talk is a very practical method to break patterns of negative thought. Please contact me for more depression assistance. I truly hope this article helped.