Oh ya’ll. Yesterday, although it started off with me in a – let’s just say – “not so upbeat of a mood, although trying”, I ended up the day knowing that things would be better. I got up this morning and after having a day off and another good night’s sleep, I feel fairly normal this morning. I woke up thinking, planning, wanting to do things, and with a happier disposition (one can hope). When you are a melancholy introvert of a person most of the time anyway and you start to head toward depressive tendencies – it’s just not so good. I have even been able to make a list of coping strategies to either maintain myself during this period or perhaps bring myself out of it. So I thought I’d share that with others. Now I’m not a professional, but I can share what has helped me. And these are not in order of importance but as I thought of them while making a list.
Improving My Mood and Lifting My Depression
- Analyze. For example, I first began trying to figure out what was wrong, and the triggers, so I could figure it out. Please realize this was not a huge drawn out process but just in case there are things that could be changed to make me better, I needed a plan, and fast. In my case, I concluded it was a perfect storm of this continued period of bad weather and rain, coming out of a really stressful time at work, coming out of the holidays, winter doldrums, caring for an aging parent, setting up a new household for Mom, two major moves in the past year, weight gain, trying to figure out a hair style that works with my greying hair, not having enough time to do what I want, not feeling good health wise, questioning a lot of things in my life, disappointment from squashing a lot of dreams that I’ve had that I know won’t come to fruition. And finally, the replacement goal for those dreams not coming together either. Then there was video creation, my hobby that is supposed to make me happy – I couldn’t seem to get around the learning curve to even start the next video because I couldn’t get the clip I had for the intro to convert to the right dimensions for the next video. I think this alone may have sent me over the edge – to not be able to do something you want to do so badly.
- Prayer. I don’t know how people that don’t believe in God can handle anything without Him. If you don’t believe, I ask that you please pick up a Bible and begin reading, because God’s word is active and alive. He will speak to you and guide you through this and will protect you and give you hope. He will hear your cry. He will not make fun of your cry.
- Sleep. Sleep has been very important, although I think too much sleep could be a hamper in this situation. You need to try to get 8 hours if you can at least, even upwards to 10 if you are stressed and exhausted.
- Increase Vitamin D and Take a B Complex. I doubled my D. And I have been careful to take supplements that are a good source with natural casing so it can be digested and released. It’s just needed.
- Eating healthier. I ate healthier choices to get in as many good nutrients, vitamins, minerals that I could.
- Less Alcohol, more water, hot tea, coffee. This is a critical time and while there may be a tendency to drink more to numb the bad feelings you are having – go with less alcohol and more of other drinks you like. Alcohol will deplete any progress you made. Have a bubble water, herbal tea, or just plain water. That said, I must admit, that some days George gave me a small sniffer of heated cognac before bed to rest and lull me into sleep, but it’s not a time to drink more which is a tendency that would be easy to do.
- Focus on happy things. Sometimes it was the simplest of things that could make me smile that I tried to feel blessed in the moment. For example, a bird chirping outside my window, seeing the deer look up at me as I drove by, delighting in dogs and pictures of dogs (I want one so bad), sitting and reading or playing a game, watching a favorite show, going out to eat, changing my computer theme to a beach desktop instead of winter, doing things I like to do.
- Self pamper. This is an extension of number seven, but schedule and plan fun things – like your next nail or pedi appointment. I allowed myself to splurge on cosmetics and while it’s not recommended to blow your budget or anything, if you can do some things for your self improvement like a new shirt, new hair do, or a few beauty supplies – it can help as a temporary boost at least.
- Develop an Improvement plan. This may be hard, especially if you are not in the mood to think or plan, but if you can write down some things that are bothering you that you would like to change, you can try to challenge yourself to do so. I was able to come up with my Nudge Challenge and it gave me some hope because I know I’ll be doing some things differently.
- Periods of letting the mind rest. I noticed that on some days I actually just decided NOT to think on things if I needed to do that. While some days I did push myself, I realized that I needed to just let my mind rest from all that it had been overloaded with, frustrated with, and trying to figure out. Just let your mind do so if you need to. Let thoughts come and release them as fast as they came.
- Don’t make major life decisions during this time. You can really mess a lot up by making rash decisions during this time period. It’s easy to do. I hate to say never because in some cases major life decisions may be the answer to the problem, however, I think you need to run it by a couple of people with sound judgement that you trust, before making a go of any life altering plans. So wait before quitting your job or buying an RV and heading west into the dessert sunset. (Those of you that know me, know that would tempt me easily, but no I wouldn’t do that without George unless he gave me permission – on both of those things mentioned, lol).
- Take an entire day off. If you can’t find the day at least an afternoon, but my best strides toward beating the depression downward spiral was having a day off from all responsibilities and just doing whatever I wanted to do for the moment. No plans.
- Do that ONE thing. And on the flip side – if you are going to do anything – do that one thing that if you get it done or accomplished you will feel so much better. I made myself face my Final Cut Pro woes and figured out what was wrong and can move on with life and that made my week much more rosy! May sound silly to you, but this lifted my world!
- Find the sun! Oh my gosh it helps so much!
- Take a Walk! It releases happy hormones! And for some reason when you walk, you work out things in your head.
Today I am much better having done these things in the past week. And I wanted to share for both you and me. I will come back and read it again when I start having issues. I can catch myself sometimes when I wake up and don’t feel like thinking, planning, and doing. I can usually put nutrition and sleep in and pull out of it quickly but this past week it became concerning. I had to walk lightly and be very kind to myself, not push, let things come and go, and try to fill my mind with as much positiveness as I could. It’s been a tough ass week. Today I feel fairly normal having really focused on the above all week and finally getting that ONE thing done that was plaguing me.
I hope you all have a good week. Here’s what’s on my agenda in the next week or so:
*Sign in to OLD AOL accounts so I don’t lose them. I do this once a quarter to keep old blogs.
*Do the Enneagram test again. I think it will benefit me to go through this.
*My challenge starts tomorrow. Might need to go to the store tonight but I might wait.
*New Bible study comes in this week from Amazon. I’ll share.
*Add Birthdays on my Task Reminders (so I’ll get cards and shopping done in advance)
*Use my Cracker Barrel card and take Mom to dinner
*Order a couple of pics from Shutterfly – this has been on my list forever
*Camera lessons is still on my list – wanna get them done (??)
*Need to iron and vacuum and do some house cleaning
*Clean my office, break down the bed in there and bring up the filing cabinets (this is a March project)
*Work on the flooring video
*Hot Springs trip
*Want to make lasagna
*Get some reading done (??)
*TV bracket for hanging the TV on the wall has to be ordered
*Pictures finish hanging
*Shades for Patio
*Table for Patio (eventually)
*Fancy Trim coming up in a couple of weeks
*Start my puzzle
Bless him. He has been so kind to do our agendas, but we have to remember that he too has one. He has done taxes and has been working on finances and of course cooks a lot, and is wanting to do some recording of music. He enjoys his reading and wants to work on the basement and get it back in order (it’s on my agenda too), and also spring is coming and he will begin clearing the yard for debris for mowing, and his yard sales start up.
Ok off of here because work will be wondering where I am if I don’t get there soon. But bottom line is I think I’m coming through this terrible couple of weeks to the other side. Thanks for your support. It’s always nice to see folks reaching out instead of drawing back when the times are not feeling so good. So again Thank You. It’s all going to be ok.