Do you know those days when you’re feeling depressed and lonely?
Those days when you are full of despair and feeling hopeless? Those days where it feels like you just want to crawl into bed and never get out?
Are you having one of those days today?
Let me help you manage depression and loneliness. It IS POSSIBLE. It just takes some awareness and action.
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 and lonely, 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. Manage your thoughts.
Unfortunately, when you’re feeling depressed and lonely, 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!