How To Keep Going In The Face Of Depression
February 17, 2020
For a long time, I have lived with depression. I have faced it and I've lived through almost all symptoms of it. From fatigue to insomnia, to weight loss and even weight gain— name it all and I've faced it. And if there's one thing I've learnt in that period, it is that it is possible to get through it.
Depression is a difficult illness, and only people who have been through it can possibly understand the stress and pain that comes with it. Many times, getting out of bed will seem like the most difficult task in the world. It can be such a difficult task that many people just prefer to sleep than to do anything. I know because I've experienced it.
Today, I'm not quite as depressed as I used to be. I've gotten some help, and I'm currently working with a professional to get through the last symptoms of my depression. So I'll be sharing some tips on how I've been able to drag myself halfway out of the rabbit hole of depression.
Create A Morning Routine That You Want To Wake Up To
A lot of people just rush through their mornings. They barely have time for breakfast and have just enough time to get ready for work. Routines like that, while efficient, do not make it worth it to get out of bed. In order to want to face the existential dread of a Monday morning, you need a routine that is worth waking up for.
Here are a few tips.
This may sound rather simple, but it can be the most difficult task to accomplish for a person battling with depression.
But it is the first step, and once you make it, the others become easier. So when you wake up on the morning, sit up.
Before rushing down to the bathroom or looking through your phone, think about food. Food can be an amazing motivation, as it gets your mind thinking of something pleasurable.
However, this doesn't always work, especially when you have no appetite (which can be a symptom of depression). But still thinking about food and how to get it in your stomach ought to force you up.
Alarms Are Old But Gold
Alarms are annoying, that's true. But they do their work fairly effectively. An annoying alarm will most likely force you out of bed. You may be tired and cranky, but you'll be out of bed.
Perform A Simple Task Once You Wake Up
A sense of achievement makes waking up easier. Performing a simple task, like writing down things you're grateful for, or making your bed will give you a sense of achievement. That easily translates into a sense of purpose, and before you know it, your morning is set.
Have Small Enjoyable Acts
Associating the process of waking up with small enjoyable acts is certain to condition your mind to want to wake up and get out of bed more. For example, you could make a tasty cup of coffee, or do some yoga, or cycle for a while on a desk bike (this could even double as an exercise routine) or just watch cat videos on YouTube. Whatever it is, just make sure you enjoy it.
Depression is associated with darkness and wanting to stay in dark areas. By staying in well-lighted areas, you could feel the urge to curl up in bed less.
Of course, this therapy doesn't yet have a lot of research backing it. But preliminary evidence suggests that bright lights could be able to help people battling with depression. This could be especially true with people who have sleep disorders.
According to experts, the typical recommended "dose" of Bright Light Therapy for depression is to use a 10,000-lux light box 16 to 24 inches from your face.
Let Others Help You
Depression doesn't like company. In fact, it thrives in the absence of outside help. If your depression is getting chronic, and waking up in the morning is becoming more of a herculean task, don't forget to speak to someone. It doesn't even have to be a professional. Just bare your hearts out to someone.
If you have a partner or a close friend, ask them to come in and wake you up— or even live with you, if that is something you're comfortable with. Make them part of your morning routine. It's easy to wake up when you have someone genuinely interested in seeing you awake.
Seek Treatment— Or Adjust If You Already Have One
Speaking to a mental health professional is one of the best decisions you can make if you're depressed. They can help with treatment and medication. They can also provide a listening ear and therapy.
If you're already undergoing treatment and it's not working, you need to consider changing it. If you know that you're taking drugs that are empowering your "sleepy" side, you need to talk to your doctor about it.
Don't Beat Yourself Up
It is important for you to deal with your depression, but it is also important to understand that you're only human. Some days will always be better than others. Take the goods days, and when the bad days come be gentle with yourself.
You most likely won't wake up feeling like a ray of sunshine every morning, but it's your responsibility to give yourself the chance every single day.