How I'm Defeating DEPRESSION
Have you ever experienced depression, or suddenly felt super sad? Or do you know anyone that does struggle with it? Perhaps a family member or close friend? Chances are you answered yes.
Today I’m going to share with you how I've struggled with it, and how I’m defeating it by sharing 5 suggestions that have helped me the most. And, at the end, I'll share a poem about it. My hope is that some of what I share resonates with you and that it helps you and your loved ones in some way. Together, depression can be overcome and defeated!
Depression can be a depressing topic. There seems to be a negative stigma attached to it, but there shouldn't be. Having a chemical or hormonal imbalance is nothing to be ashamed of. The problem only compounds itself when it’s kept in the dark, because that’s when people feel they have no choice but to turn to alcohol or drugs to try and numb the pain. To feel anything other than depressed. And that will inevitably lead to addiction, which is a road no one wants to go down. Once we remove that stigma, we can talk about it freely and hopefully set more people free from the disease.
As the seasons change and the winds begin to chill the air, I recall past terrors. Waking up with a dread of getting out of bed. Wishing instead to sleep the day away. To sleep forever. And not that I wanted to end my life…It wasn’t that I was feeling suicidal, although I know for many people that’s an all too real reality. I just didn’t want to DO anything. As long as I could close my eyes, I felt secure...I felt safe.
For me, I just wanted to stay wrapped up in my cocoon of comfort. My face pressed into my pillow. My feet far away from the freezing-cold hardwood floor.
I hated that feeling of fear…that would almost brings me to tears.
Why!? Why do I feel this way?
I can’t tell you how many days I’d wake up feeling sad and depressed, just not wanting to get out of bed. For me, winters were the worst. When the days become shorter and the nights become longer. I’m not quite sure how to describe it. Many people could probably describe it much better than me.
It was a heaviness on my spirit, a weight suffocating my heart. A thick fog in the back of my mind. A veil of darkness that kept me from seeing all that was good. I felt depleted, defeated. I was disconnected from my normal self. Joy disappeared. And In those moments, despair runs deep. You feel as if it's going to be bad forever. That things will never get better.
Thankfully, things do get better, and you won't be stuck that way forever. But the first step is to acknowledge the problem. Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) are real, and we can't ignored them. I have extreme empathy for those still suffering from it like I did or worse.
Over the years I’ve learned to not only cope, but to overcome. And the solution may be different for everyone, but here's what works for me. For me, I know there are certain things I must do in order to avoid falling into that sad state.
5 Tips to Overcome Depression
1. I must get enough sleep.
It has to be a priority. If I don't, the odds of waking up sad go way up!
2. I must start my day with gratitude.
Every morning I journal 3 new things I'm grateful for. It's an intentional shift to look for the good, and find it. If you'd like me to make a separate video on best ideas for a gratitude journal, please comment below.
3. I must move my body as soon as possible.
Snoozing is not an option. I remember learning in my physics class in high school about momentum. Newton's first and second laws of motion: A body at rest will stay at rest, and a body in motion says in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. That's why it's hard to go to bed and difficult to get out of bed. We have to intentionally shift our momentum. One of the first things I do in my morning routine is dance to one song. I actually have a dance playlist on my phone and whether I feel like it or not, I just move my body, because once it's in motion, it's easier to keep it in motion!
4. I must take Vitamin B12 and D3 each morning.
My brother Steve recommended these to me about a year ago and it was a game-changer. It’s important to note that not all supplements are equal, so do some research first. If you'd like to know the specific brand, just comment below.)
5. I must make sure I have things to look forward to each day.
This means planning some fun the day before. Don't wait until the morning of to schedule it, you might decide not to schedule anything in the first place. If you don't have anything to get out of bed for, it's more likely you'll stay there. So pick a time that works consistently for you, and plan at least one thing you have to look forward to the next day. Envision the things you're looking forward to doing! And envision having a smile on your face while doing it. And it can be simple…like going for a walk or a jog, watching a movie, practicing juggling or even baron twirling. Whatever it is that brings you joy!
There are other helpful morning habits I have acquired over the years, such as affirmations, focused breathing, exercise, healthier eating, and prayer, but those are the 5 tips that have personally helped me the most to climb out of despair.
So make getting enough sleep a priority (7-8hours a night), begin a gratitude journal, dance or exercise to get your body moving as soon as you can, be open to taking healthy, proven supplements, and plan something fun to look forward to EVERY DAY!
Whether you use these tips for yourself or not, it's incredibly important to have a support system in place, people you can talk to about this. It's a serious issue that should not be taken lightly. So if you suffer from Depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder, seek professional help immediately, be it a therapist, psychiatrist, or medical or naturopathic doctor. They can help. If a chemical imbalance is severe, medication may be required. Don’t try to do it in your own. We were never meant to live life feeling alone.
Try different things and then decide what works best for you. No shame in whatever you choose and whatever you’re most comfortable with.
Now for that poem I promised, and it's based on that Bible verse "...and the truth shall set you free!"
Have you ever been entirely filled with emptiness?
Has your soul, been a black hole—void of hope and happiness?
Whether it’s a disease or disorder, what can you do?
Besides sin, where can you turn to fill that void within you?
In a state of depression, is a sad, sad place to be
When you don’t feel like living, can the truth still set you free?
Can it sober up the face that sleeps on filthy old rugs?
Can it pull you out from under the influence of drugs?
Can it release you from the grips of your worst addiction?
Is it able to turn disbelief—into conviction?
If you’re in that sad, sad place... and you don’t feel you can cope
It’s time you turn to the only source that can bring you hope
No challenge is ever impossible to rise above
When you fix your eyes upon the Light, and the Truth... God’s love.
Who are some people you can turn to when feeling sad or depressed? Who are those people that truly reveal God's love to you?
The truth is, everyone gets depressed from time to time. In a quiet place with no distractions—for at least one minute a day—close your eyes and meditate on nothing but God and His love for you. Empty your mind of all thoughts and concerns; just be present to God’s presence and remain still.
If you do, I believe you will break through to your next big breakthrough!
If this article added value to your life, please share it with 3 people you think might like it. It helps me out tremendously.
Remember, you're not alone, you are loved, and whatever you do…believe in yourself.