Not feeling up to par? Do you feel kind of down? Well, truth is, this happens to all of us. We all have those downer type of days, weeks, and months. Those are the times when you pull the sheet up over your head and try to hide. It happens to the best of us.
Let’s talk about depression.
I know, I know, you have heard all about depression. Just for fun, I went and did a search using Google and typed in ‘depression‘. My search came back with over 240 MILLION results. Needless to say, everyone and their dog has written about depression. This is because it is rampant in our world. It knows no boundaries – none at all! And so I won’t bore you with all of the specifics. I’m going to assume you know the basics. The fact is we have all had to deal with it at some point or another.
Let’s talk about getting through it.
I’m not talking about medications, counseling, treatments, diets, supplements, exercise, nutrition, sleep and all of the stuff you have already heard and know about. I’m talking about a totally different approach to depression.
There are different types of depression.
I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder about 30 years ago. It is something I will have to deal with for the rest of my life. I’m ok with that because I have learned so much throughout those 30 years. Managing my depression has become something I’m fairly efficient at doing at this point in my life. But it hasn’t always been that way. Due to the chemical imbalances in that thick noggin of mine, I have to take medications to keep my depression at bay. This is often referred to as clinical depression.
However, I don’t want to discount from what is most commonly known as situational depression. We have all suffered through these times. Situational depression is explained by its name. These are the times when some sort of event or situation occurs in our life that sends us tumbling to the ground. Sometimes it can be a complete face plant if you know what I mean.
Before I share some ideas with you I want to make a very important statement.
Please seek medical help if you are feeling depressed and having thoughts of self-harm or suicide! If you know of someone who is feeling this way, please assist them in getting help. I can’t emphasize enough how important this is! I’ve been where you may be and there is help available. I promise!
What is shared here is always meant to be used in moderation. Anything you try to help with your depression that is negatively affecting the quality of your life needs to be reconsidered. The signs you need to watch out for in your life or that of someone you love include: eating habits, addiction issues, sleeping patterns, changes in social interactions, absenteism from work/school, general health issues, seclustion/isolation, nightmares/panic attacks, and any type of behavior that is completely out of character.
Let’s talk about my list. Give yourself a break!
⇒ Give yourself permission to have a down day. It is perfectly fine to feel depressed! You’re not going to improve anything if you’re fighting yourself or berating yourself. We all have bad days and sometimes you just have to accept it.
⇒ Be kind to yourself. Don’t play those games in your head where you compare yourself to others and where you tell yourself you are a loser. Treatly yourself gently and nicely. During some points in your life you may be your best cheerleader and comforter.
⇒ Take a break from your cell phone, pager and door bell. If you need to stay in bed or inside for the day, do it! Just send a text or a note to those who may try to get a hold of you and let them know you are fine but unavailable.
⇒ Everything can wait until tomorrow. Leave the mail in the mailbox, check up on your emails later, listen to your voicemails tomorrow. Take a complete break from all of those demands that cause you more stress and contribute to your feelings of depression.
⇒ Stay in your pajamas all day. Have a bad hair day. Don’t brush your teeth. Don’t take a shower. No makeup and no accessories. Don’t worry about how you look and how you smell. If you live by yourself, no problem. If your married and/or have kids at home, I’m sure they have seen you this way before.
⇒ Don’t do the dishes and don’t cook. Give yourself permission to take shortcuts. Heat up leftovers, microwave a frozen meal or stir up a can of soup. Use a paper plate so you don’t even have to worry about the dishes. As long as you eat and hydrate at least once during the day you’ll be fine.
⇒ Moms and dads, get someone to watch your kids. It isn’t good for you or your kids if you can’t muster the energy and motivation to take of yourself and your kids. You will all suffer otherwise. Dig into your couch cushions and into your dresser drawers and collect all the money you can find. There is bound to be someone who will watch your kiddos.
Congratulate yourself! You successfully took a break and you made it!
I want to remind you once again, use all or one of these in moderation. It’s not okay if what you are doing to take a break ends up being harmful to yourself or others.
What have you found that is helpful and successful when you give yourself permission to take a break?
Need help or someone to talk to?
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – call or chat 24/7
International Suicide Hotlines – Call or text 24/7