To read part 1, click here
This is part 2 of the 2 part series about how to dig yourself out of depression. If you did not read Part 1, click here. As we discussed in Part 1, depression can be debilitating and can suck every ounce of energy out of your body. It can impact your relationships and can steal your self-esteem and confidence. If you read part 1 and have been utilizing those two tips, I hope that you are starting to feel like yourself again. Starting these baby steps will begin to bring out the confidence in yourself. This increase in confidence will give you the motivation to start tackling the more difficult problems in your life. If you did not get a chance to start the tips discussed in Part 1, do not worry, it is never to late to start. Part 2 will discuss the importance of increasing the frequency that you exercise and being kinder to yourself. These two tips, added to the ones previously discussed will give you the much need tools to dig yourself out of your depression.
First off, you hear from media, society, doctors, and everyone else that it is so important to exercise 3-4 times per week. With your fast paced life and low mood, this seems almost impossible. However, the negative side effects you experience both physically and mentally from not exercising only exacerbates your depression. I know that this may seem like the last thing that you want to do, but let’s talk about how exercise can increase your mood and your ability to process the underlying reasons for your depression. When you exercise, your brain releases feel-good endorphins that increase your well-being. Exercise is a great way to release the stress and worry that you may be experiencing from your depression. It is very difficult to think about your worries and negative thoughts when you are running on the treadmill or taking a walk outside. It allows you to take a step away from these negative thoughts and give your mind and body the break it so badly needs. Exercising is also a way to boost your confidence by accomplishing and completing the goals that you have set for yourself. Last but not least, when you are feeling down and depressed, the last thing that you want to do is socialize with other people. Going to the gym allows you to be surrounded by other people who may be in the same place as you. A friendly smile or a quick hello is an easy way to boost your mood. You may even start up a conversation with the person on the treadmill right next to you. This may seem like a daunting task, but I encourage you to start at a place that is realistic for your situation. If that means taking a walk outside, pat yourself on your back for getting out there and putting effort forth to dig yourself out of your depression.
Secondly, being kinder to yourself is something that you tend to overlook and forget about. You often spend a majority of your time and energy trying to make others happy. By neglecting yourself, you lose touch of what makes you happy. Being kinder to yourself can be accomplished in many different ways. You may think, why should I buy myself nice things or treat myself. These small simple gestures to yourself may seem insignificant, but these gestures compound and ultimately increase your drive and self-esteem. Depression works by sneaking into your morale and self-esteem and tells you that you don’t deserve better. It tells you that there is nothing that can do to make you feel better. Wrong! You do deserve better and you do deserve to treat yourself to things that make you feel whole inside. Buying yourself a new candle or treating yourself to a nice dinner can be a great way to show yourself that you deserve better. The activities and items that you choose are going to be different for everyone but will have the same impact on your mood. Start by taking 15 minutes a day and choose an activity that will allow you to feel tranquil and calm, such as lighting a candle, using essential oils, or taking a bath. Every so often you can even buy yourself something to help you know and believe that you deserve it. After all you have been through you deserve to take this time for yourself. These 15 minutes can make a huge difference in your life and you will start to learn again what makes you happy.
Both tips discussed above can aide you in recovering and digging yourself out of the depression that you feel stuck in. Exercise can have many great effects on your morale, energy level, and self-confidence. This can also become a healthy part of your daily routine that you continue as you move forward with your treatment. Start small and work your way into harder and more challenging exercises so that you do not become discouraged. Being kinder and treating yourself to things that encourage calm and tranquil feelings can give you that much needed boost that will lead to that goal once you start to see the positive impact it is having on your life.
Live Truly, Love Fully