Has your life gotten to that place where you’re feeling depressed all the time?
Are you feeling hopeless and full of dread and worried about what the future will hold?
If you are, I am so sorry. Being depressed and hopeless is a horrible place to be!
Fortunately, there are things you can do to keep moving on when you’re feeling depressed and like you always will be.
#1 – Assess the situation.
There are two kinds of depression, situational and chemical. They have similar symptoms but different causes. Knowing what kind of depression you have is the first step to dealing with it.
Situational depression is caused by something that happens in your life. When something big happens that makes you sad, like the death of a parent or a divorce or the loss of a job, you can become situationally depressed. This kind of depression usually has a beginning, caused by a specific event, and an end, and is often treated differently from chemical depression.
Chemical depression is the result of your brain chemistry being off in such a way that leads to depression. You are most often born with chemical depression but it can also be caused by a traumatic life event.
Chemical depression can happen to you even if your life is going great.
So, ask yourself some questions about what your life looks like these days to help you figure out what kind of depression you might have.
If you think you have situational depression, read on.
#2 – Do things that make you feel good.
If you’re feeling depressed all of the time, our inclination is to collapse into our life. We stay in bed, we don’t shower or eat well and cut off contact with those we love.
Let me tell you: if you are feeling depressed, collapsing is absolutely the worst thing that you can do. Instead, it is important to do things that make you feel good.
For me, I keep a list of things to do when I am feeling depressed. First off: take a long, hard walk (the endorphins are great for my depression). Also, do yoga. Watch The Walking Dead. Take a bath. Go to the movies. Have sex. Eat Pad Thai. When I am depressed I do one, or all, of those things and my depression is often lifted.
So, what makes you happy? Write out a list, when you aren’t depressed, of what makes you happy so that when you are depressed you are ready.
#3 – Keep your mind active.
Unfortunately, when you’re feeling depressed, our worst enemy is that brain of ours.
While we are lying on the couch feeling sorry for ourselves, our brain is actively buying into it all.
You are a loser, it says. You have no friends. You aren’t good at anything. You will never find love. You suck at your job. And on and on.
And, chances are, that none of those things are true. That you are not a loser, you have plenty of friends, you are talented, love is out there and your boss thinks you are doing great. But your brain, when you are depressed, just doesn’t go there.
It is really important when you’re feeling depressed, to keep your brain busy. Yoga is a really good way to do this – you are so busy trying to figure out the damn pose that you don’t have a chance to think about anything. It also has the side benefit of toning your body and making you feel strong, which can be helpful.
Other options for keeping your mind quiet are reading, going to a movie, hanging out with friends, working. Meditation is also an option but I just get more depressed when I try and fail, to meditate. If you can do it, go for it!
What do you like to do that will help you quiet that mind of yours, the mind that is feeding into those feelings that are bringing you down? Figure it out and do it!
#4 – Choose your playmates carefully.
One of the most important things to manage when you’re feeling depressed is your environment. Your bed and your pjs might feel like the right thing to do but you know now they are not.