Beating Back Depression Part 1

 

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A train traveling from left to right. The little engine that could, one step at a time. 

Sometimes I know what needs to be done, and I can’t bring myself to lift a hand. Sometimes I can’t decide what to do, and I don’t know where to start. Sometimes, I’m so sad, I feel paralyzed. Now, at least, after a few hours of television, I can figure out that this is more than just a little procrastination. There are things I can do.

I can exercise. That brings up my mood a lot, and tones down my anxiety. If I can’t bring myself to do it alone, I can ask my husband if he’ll go with me, and he’ll make sure I get out the door. Or I can ask a friend.

I can spend time with friends. Just going somewhere new and seeing friends, getting out of my own head and hearing about other people’s lives and challenges, even helping them with a little advice if they ask can be a huge help. I find that I always feel at least a little better after some human contact outside the people I see every day.

I can get started just a tiny bit on a project or chore. Feeling overwhelmed can be a brain chemical problem. But it means that once I get started on something that doesn’t require many decisions, it’s actually easier to keep going than to stop. So, if I tell myself that I’ll just fold one shirt, I can get momentum going, enthusiastic or not.

I can make sure I take my medicine and/or supplements correctly. Often, because a lot of my “health regimen” is mood-altering, ensuring I take it correctly means my mood is more stable. Also, taking medication or supplements that support my moods can mean that if I skip one or two doses, suddenly my body has to adjust to producing some or all of what I was taking, which can take a few days. I need to maintain a regular schedule, especially if I’m on my ass after missing a pill.

I can get some sun. Vitamin D is supposed to improve your mood, and 15 minutes of sun can make a big difference.

I can drink some coffee. I may not be able to focus, but with some energy, I may get something done around the house.

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