Awww Monday…..we meet again, but this time I’m prepared for what you bring to me. Trying to have motivation while being depressed is a task, because you’re trying to wait for the energy to return. I’m up and made it into my office, looked around trying to decided what the game plan is for today. With or without meds, depression can be very exhausting and I feel the urge to get back in bed. I think I can feel an episode coming on and I’m trying to keep busy, trying to keep from falling into a slump. Feeling guilty because I’m not at work, but can’t work because my mind isn’t focused on anything but negativity. The concept of “mind over matter” can help with depression and can help create motivation. I’m determined to beat this thing at all cost, but my bed is calling my name. Well I’m going to stay up and try to get some things done. I was reading some things last night that could also help break my cycle of a depression episode. Hope these things can help one of you out there in the blogging world too:
- Opposite Action:In Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (offset of CBT) this is the idea of forcing yourself to do something that you know is good for you, in order to prevent the reinforcement of a bad habit. For example, if you want to stay in bed all day, when realizing this only gives in to depression, opposite action would say to get up and go out, knowing it would be a healthier behavior. In CBT, the principle is that your behaviors can create positive changes in you emotions.
- Set an Alarm:This isn’t only for getting out of bed. The alarm can be for anything that marks a symptom of depression. You might set an alarm to wake yourself up at a certain time to make sure you get out of bed in the morning; or you might set an alarm to signal a meal time if you’re missing meals, or signal time to do laundry, or run a particular set of errands, and so on. The alarm serves as a cue to draw your attention to a target area where you want to become more in change.
- Make Your Bed: Getting out of bed can very tough with depression. The first step to take is to sit up on the bed, put your feet on the floor, and visualize leaving all of your troubles and thoughts behind you in bed. Then, get up and nicely make your bed, leaving the troubles behind for the day. Making the bed is essential in this process, as it signals to your brain that there isn’t an option to get back in the bed for the day. As you make your bed, it can also be helpful to imagine the troubles you’re left behind dissipating as the covers are pulled up.
- Wash Up: The more routine-setting steps you’re able to add-on after you make your bed, the better. Try washing your face and brushing your teeth to help you wake up. With these kind of steps you’re training your brain to understand that you’re getting ready for “something,” rather than simply a day lying around.
- Get Dressed: This is a crucial step in separating from the bed to the day. Sitting around in pajamas on the couch is still possible, even if you escape the bedroom. Getting dressed decreases the urge to lounge, because again you’re reinforcing in your brain that you’re getting ready for something.
- Go Outside: This can be one of the toughest steps for people who struggle with depression-actually leaving the house. On e of the problems with this step is that people are easily held back by not having a place to go. “Okay, I can go outside….but then what?” Get in the car, run errands, go to park and so on. The goal is to spend at least 10 minutes outside.
- Choose One Exercise: Getting your body moving is a good way to start feeling better. Choose an exercise that works for: walking, running, swimming, jumping, etc.
- Make a List of Activities: Brainstorm activities that you’d enjoy doing. Include things to do at home and out with people. Try to generate a list of things that includes others and that gives you some to yourself. The activites can be a mix of productive (e.g. work-related) activites, and hobbies, and self-care.
- Schedule Activities: Schedule the activities throughout the week. Try to plan out either one or two weeks ahead of time and actually write the activites into your calendar with specific times and days.
- Psychotherapy: It’s important to keep in mind that the desire to stay inside and lay around isn’t what causes depression-it is a symptom of depression. Psychotherapy remains a necessary step throughout the process of dealing with depression in order to prevent further episodes, reduce severity, and hopefully be rid of depression altogether.
What’s most important to keep in mind is that you’re not going to feel like doing anything discussed above. If you’re going to wait to “feel like it”, then it may never happen.-Nathan Feiles
These steps were pretty helpful and I’m going to do my best to get at least 2 done today.