On Depression – A Message for Collective
It’s easy to get stuck in a mental loop when you’re expected to power through the tough stuff. We take meds that help us keep physical and mental pain at bay while we continue to exhaust ourselves and push our already strained bodies. Then we wonder why we feel so shitty all the time.
You might not be able to completely avoid depression and anxiety but how you care for yourself can make all the difference in frequency and intensity. This is especially important right now for those of us in the northern hemisphere who are looking down the barrel of winter and seasonal depression.
It doesn’t help that the 3D threatens to fall apart around us if we take time away from our responsibilities. It’s pretty hard to rest if it threatens the job that barely keeps a roof over your head or you’ve got little ones that need your full and constant attention.
This is where prioritizing yourself becomes the most important thing you can do in order to be healthy for those who depend on you. No, you may not be able to just take a week off, let alone the time you really need to recuperate, but prioritizing yourself means that you seek out every opportunity to make things easier for yourself.
Learn to listen to your body and brain so you can anticipate the times you may need a little extra love and care. When you cook, make extra so you don’t have to cook again tomorrow. Learn to prioritize your work, say “no” to new responsibilities, delegate, or ask for help instead of allowing yourself to drown under the pressure of trying to meet some bullshit expectations of being able to do it all. Meditate before you turn Netflix on or enjoy a quiet cup of coffee before you wake the kids.
Most importantly, say no to others as often as possible. Get stingy with your time even if certain others aren’t happy about it. You’ll find that your relationships with those who truly care about you will be better for it. The rest can kick rocks, amiright?
If you struggle with the depression mess, I’ll tell you the 2, no, 3 most important things that have helped me.
1. Hating yourself for not meeting expectations only makes it worse
Ok, your home looks like a very rare kind of natural disaster struck, so what? There are millions of people out there who struggle with the same thing. It is what it is and there are a million more reasons why your home in its current state of chaos. Maybe you need to address those reasons but that’s lengthy work and you need swift solutions.
2. Use the 5 minute rule to trick your brain
Tell yourself that every time you get up to go to the bathroom or whatever, you will spend 5 minutes on a task. It doesn’t even have to be 5 minutes, it could be just carrying some dirty dishes into the kitchen or moving a few scattered clothes to the hamper. The idea is to bypass the overwhelm of a huge task and possibly end up doing more than you planned because it’s not so bad once you actually get started.
3. Make it as easy as possible for yourself
Half the battle is challenging yourself to make less of a mess in the first place. Everything should have a home but you want to be sure to avoid over-organizing at the same time. It’s not helpful if you have a different box for every color (or whatever) when you have a hard time putting stuff away.
Organize instead by designating which things are used most often and using baskets or bags for the things you use in multiple areas. Put small garbage next to your bed and couch so clearing your “lazy” space is easier. Use shelving or hooks to utilize vertical space because it looks and feels better than taking up floor space.
Whatever you want to do more of, keep it close to you and in your line of sight. Trying to break a habit? Do the opposite and create as many steps as possible in order to make it more of a pain. Know your weaknesses and create an environment around you that removes some of the obstacles.
Here’s a great chakra meditation from one of my favorites 🙂