For the longest time, depression was kicking my butt. To the point where I had lost all hope of ever getting better. Now, I feel I’ve gotten a better grip on it. It still lingers, but not as intensely. I’d like to share some of my findings with you.
Also, check out PhoebeMD’s article about managing depression. There may be some similarities that I discuss here but I’m only going to be talking from personal experience.
First and foremost, seeking help from a psychologist or psychiatrist will greatly improve your mental health. Never be ashamed of seeking the help you need. I won’t harp on this topic too much because I’ve done it alot but I do want to refer you to my past article about where to seek help.
Taking A Stand
It might seem complex but I assure you it’s not. Make a conscious effort to combat the depression. Once you identify what’s making you depressed, neutralize it. You need to want to feel better. Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Pick yourself up. Tell the demon to get lost. I know it’s hard, but it’s doable. I’m only now realizing that. Let me explain how.
You need to learn to be mindful. Be mindful of your triggers, be mindful of what aspects of your life encourage depression. What I mean by this is that you need to do things that promote a positive mental health. Even though it’s insanely hard at times, you gotta do it.
Example: laying in bed all day, this only feeds the demon. By choosing to lay in bed all day, you’ve chosen to let the demon win. Instead of laying in bed, maybe try laying on the couch. Small steps make a big difference. Small steps become bigger and bigger the more you attempt them. Pretty soon, you’ll be making the effort to stop laying down and take a stand.
I went from laying in bed all day on my days off to taking Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and kickboxing classes. It’s doable, but you have to make the choice to get better. Do things that promote a positive mental health.
Finding A New Hobby/Exercising
Think about what interests you, even if only slightly. Then, try to find ways to incorporate that into your daily routine if possible. Trying new things gives you excitement or something to look forward to.
As for exercising, this is by far the hardest thing to do when depressed. You don’t want to get out of bed let alone go and work out. The key here, is to find a new hobby that keeps you fit. There should be 3 hobbies minimum in your life:
- One that makes you money
- One that keeps you fit
- One that keeps you creative
Money isn’t everything, but turning an interest into a passion which brings you money is very rewarding. It no longer feels like work. This overall will promote a better mental health for you as you’re doing something you’re passionate about rather than working a meaningless job.
Finding a hobby to keep you fit is tricky. If you’re like me, going to a regular gym and lifting weights maybe isn’t for you. Instead, explore different activities that will keep you fit. For me, it’s become martial arts. There’s so many possibilities if you just look for them. Hiking, rock climbing, skating, riding a bike, swimming. Exercising doesn’t just have to be about hitting the gym. To me, that becomes repetitive and I don’t enjoy it anymore.
Creativity keeps your mind young. Explore new hobbies that keep your mind engaged and make you feel creative. Learn a new skill, read, write, do arts and crafts, sing, dance. Just do something. The key here is to indulge in your creative side so that part of your brain feeds that positivity into your body and makes you want to fight depression.
Last but not least, set goals for yourself. Start small. Write a short list of things you want to get done tomorrow and when you wake up, focus on doing them before you do anything else. Even smaller goals like deciding to shower or cleaning your room will work. Cross these items off the list and sooner or later you’ll find yourself creating bigger goals for yourself.
I apologize if this seems all over the place, but I feel strongly that combating depression is possible because I’m doing it right now. I’ve made the conscious decision to force the demon out and you can too. You’ve just got to believe you can and work on doing it. You’re worthy of a good life.