It can feel impossible to get ahead of what Depression tries to take from your life.
- You find it hard to do the things you once loved.
- You wonder if your energy and drive will ever return.
- Your relationship with food, sleep, sex, and motivation no longer makes any sense.
You want to regain control of the peace you once felt, but the peace seems so far away you aren’t even sure you remember how peace felt.
Depression’s Sneaky Goals
Depression often makes its entrance through a mix of difficult life experiences, misfiring chemicals in the brain, unhelpful interpretations of events or relational interactions, or even all of the above. But Depression flexes its malicious strength by working to convince you that there is nothing you can do to stop it.
- Convincing you to spend more time alone, away from loved ones or fun activities that can help diminish its power
- Persuading you to overeat or undereat, affecting your glucose levels and subsequently keeping you in a foggy mindspace.
- Assuring you that you don’t have the energy to get out of bed, thus keeping you in a lethargic state that encourages more tiredness.
Saying NO to Depression’s Power
Many who suffer from Depression experience either hypersomnolence (too much sleep), or insomnolence (too little sleep). The result of too little or too much rest is a crushing lack of energy. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep, keeping in mind that urges to oversleep or overrelax are Depression’s wants, not yours. Set an alarm and adhere to it with strict determination. You have the strength within you to say NO to Depression’s goals.
If initiating sleep is difficult, cut caffeine earlier in the day, avoid screens for the final hours of the day, and ensure a relaxing bedroom environment as bedtime approaches. If these fixes don’t help, talk to your doctor about your difficulty sleeping.
Equally, remember that relaxing in waking hours is necessary. Allow yourself to lay on the couch and watch some comedies without guilt, but remember that getting off the couch after a reasonable amount of time is equally important.
Have you heard of a runner’s high? Or a weight-lifter’s euphoria? Feel-good chemicals released in your brain during exercise, chemicals like endorphins, endocannabinoids, dopamine, and serotonin can feel like pure magic if exercise is part of your regular health routine.
Regular exercise can also regulate your body’s relationship with food and healthy sleep. Saying NO to Depression’s seduction toward lethargy by moving your body is one of the single greatest practices you can incorporate into your health routine.
Your friends want to spend time together, to participate in activities that used to bring joy, but now you can hardly imagine responding to their texts. Just saying YES to dinner and a movie can feel like the bravest three letters you’ve ever typed. But you ARE brave, so do it! Drag yourself to the car and get that chicken parm you love so much when your best friend wants to see you. Make sure to get a great hug. In bravely seeking out pleasure with others, you’ll release dopamine and oxytocin, more feel-good chemicals, into your body, and watch as Depression’s power begins to shrink.
How do I know when I need therapy?
Perhaps you wonder if you need a little extra help. Are you finding yourself in the same patterns and nothing seems to help? Maybe you’ve reached out to friends, gone to the gym regularly, been strict about your sleep and rest, and you don’t feel better.
Depression can be a complicated adversary, one we sometimes need a little help to tackle. In therapy, we’ll peer behind the unconscious motivators behind your stuck feelings and explore some helpful tools to increase your power against the malady that is Depression.
There’s no harm in asking a therapist for a free consultation to see if you might be a good candidate for a little extra help. All therapists at Here Counseling offer free consultations, and if we’re not the right therapist for you, we can help you find someone who is.
Be empowered to be you.
You long for peace in your days, in your nights. You want to clear the fog in your brain and enjoy the things you used to love. Incorporate healthy levels of REST, EXERCISE, and PLEASURE into your life, and see how empowering it can be to lessen Depression’s power.
Incorporate these 3 Habits when Depressed Worksheet
Want these questions in an easy to use free downloadable worksheet? This worksheet will help you take steps forward in dealing with anxiety. You’ll also get access to all our worksheets in Here Counseling’s Resource Library!