Week 1: Implement Change to Beat Depression
Day two of my journey to improve the quality of my life, beat depression and develop a healthy self-esteem. It is so difficult to find the motivation to beat depression. We know what we have to do but it’s easier said then done. I read about all the things we do to change our lives and I noticed a central theme, every article, blog or video doesn’t talk about finding the motivation to change. It seems everyone has the answers as long as you are willing to get out of bed every morning and take on the day with a huge smile on your face. Anyone suffering from the blues knows this is unrealistic.
Another theme I found was everyone has the magic pill or magic recipe to change your life over night in such and such simple steps. Again, unrealistic. Change cannot occur over night in fact it takes a good 21-22 days to implement a change in your daily life and make it a habit. Nothing that is going to stick can be accomplished over night, it takes time and patience.
Many people who suffer from deep clinical depression can barely get up and brush their teeth let alone get up, eat a healthy breakfast, go for a long power walk, have a wonderful cheery productive day at home or at work, get organized, complete their unrealistic to-do list, run errands, cook a hearty home-cooked gourmet meal for the family, check homework, lay out clothes for everyone for the next day, meditate, and go to bed at 9:30 with a good book (because you have to get that 8 hours of sleep squeezed into your day!), it’s just not feasible. So how and where do we begin? Well, if you are like I was, you have to start learning how to live at the most basic level of survival and work your way up adding things as you feel ready. Basic survival is eating, sleeping and breathing and lets face it, we’re barely doing those things or over doing those things right?
So start very simple and slowly add things. I began by getting up at the same time every day and instead of rolling over and grabbing a cigarette I got up and went into the bathroom, washed my face, brushed my teeth and my hair and other grooming habits that I’d been doing half-assed. After I brushed my teeth I don’t want a cup of coffee which helped me to cut down on caffeine and smoking which I did compulsively in the morning for literally two hours before I’d even think about doing anything. I also cut out the morning news. Studies show that the news is depressing in itself and those who watch it in the morning have a high chance of irritability and depressive moods, who wants to start their day like that? I had to ease myself into this habit by turning on the TV in the morning but muting it, eventually I was able to do my morning routine without even thinking about the TV.
Instead of watching TV in the morning, listen to music or I watch youtube videos. I set up my playlists for different activities, mornings I listen to upbeat, happy music. I then do a short meditation, just 10-15 minutes which if you do not know how to meditate then this is the time to learn. Start by sitting comfortably with your eyes closed for a minute or so and build it up each day or every few days, it gets easier. Youtube is full of guided meditations and I have even found them on my music down-loader on my phone. Then I go for a short walk either before I leave or as soon as I get home and I do it rain or shine no matter what. Even if you only go for 5 minutes, around the block or to the store again, you build it up as you feel ready. Walking is free exercise and exercise releases our natural anti-depressants and happy hormones! Every little thing you do different every day will help you to feel more accomplished and better about yourself. Then do the same in the afternoon and evening if you can and when you feel like adding to your routine.
The trick is to start out small and do not overwhelm yourself. Add a few things every few days. Don’t think about doing it, just do it. Don’t let your negative self say later, do it now. That’s the only way otherwise you will go back to bed, you won’t do it later and you won’t start tomorrow. After a few days it will get easier and feel natural. Be proud of yourself, tell people in your support network about the changes you are making, they will help encourage you. You can do this, you are worth it, you have a purpose in this life and you have special, unique gifts to contribute to this World, you deserve to be happy, you deserve fulfillment! Blessed Be!!)0(
- Finding Balance and Creating a Spiritual Life: Week 1 (amylong1933.wordpress.com)
- My first post on habit building – how to get started (themeasuredlife.net)
- 7 Ways to Manage Clinical Depression (psychcentral.com)
- Stress and Depression (uapkenya.wordpress.com)
- Can St. John’s Wort Truly Help Your Anxiety and Depression? (anxietykey.com)