Our emotional health affects everyday life, our loved us, careers, school, and financial impact. Not only does depression affect your mood and well-being, but also your body physically. Here are the signs:
People can experience:
Mood: Feelings of anxiety, apathy, guilt, hopelessness, loss of interest, loss of pleasure in activities, mood swings, or sadness
Sleep: Excess sleepiness, insomnia, waking early, or restless sleep
Whole body: excessive hunger, loss of appetite, weight gain/loss, or restlessness
Behavioral: agitation, excessive crying, irritability, or social isolation
Cognitive: Repeatedly replaying thoughts, lack of concentration, slow activity, or thoughts of suicide
Sometimes, major life events and changes can trigger depression such as self or family member illness/injury, loss of a loved one or pet, financial burden, divorce and/or break-up, and other external life stressors. I can understand these burdens, in just 2 months (July, August 2016) I had lost 2 family members, and also caring for our sick “child” pet, Sarah (For the story, please refer to “Comfort of Sarah”). I understand the dark cloud that hovers over us as we are dealing with grief, hardship, and emotional ruin. So, how do we *Snap* out of it?
- Get up! Getting up takes a lot of energy, but if you can make that first transition it will help you through. I promise.
- Get outside. Try for at least 15-20 minutes daily. While outdoors, keep your thoughts open, listen to the birds, hear the cars traveling by, feel the breeze, the sun’s warmth, and scope out the sky = viewing the external beauty of the world outside your home gives a sense of peace, which you may understand your thoughts. If you can’t make it to the front door, open the blinds, and turn the lights on. The darkness only makes depression worse.
- Create a journal. A piece of paper will do just fine, or write in a journal that means something to you. Jotting your thoughts gives you understanding to what’s going on and a sense of relief.
- Make contact. It’s easy to avoid calls, texts, and emails, but human contact even only for 5-10 minutes can help. People are there for you, whether family, friends, or co-workers. Someone out there is wondering if you are okay. Also, if you believe in a higher power, pray or meditate for relief and comfort.
- Seek your pet (if you have one). Pets can sense your distress and want to love you and console you. That is their job and nature to please you. Petting your 4-legged friend lowers your blood pressure, heart rate, and is calming.
- Pop a B-12. The vitamin has many benefits including increasing energy, mood, concentration, among many others while stimulating the brain and circulation. Everyday, I take a sublingual (under the tongue) 1000 mcg B-12. If I miss a dose, I can tell. B-12 has minimal drug interactions with other medications, which I have only found one. The website drugs.com and webmd.com can give you further information, and please consult your doctor first.
- Go for a walk. Even if you only walk down the street, over to the next house, or to the mailbox, that’s something. Getting out of the house and your “depressed” environment is important. Try and meet with family, friends, or go for a drive by yourself, sit at a park, or go to your favorite store. Whatever interests you had before, they are still there, just open yourself up.
- Let it out. Crying is important especially if you are grieving, console with a friend, counselor, or find a free website for discussion with others dealing with depression. Knowing you are not alone gives the outlook of a “team” perspective to help you through.
- Find your inner-self. Understanding your thoughts, feelings, and knowing “you” allows you to discover what difficulties you are facing and gives the reality of it. Sometimes, we can only be so strong, but when weights are added to our plate, burdens are hard to carry. We all have a power within us, and attempting to find the positive “silver lining” of the situation can change your perspective. **On a personal note, when my mother in law passed, my wife and I grew closer together emotionally with our experience during that time, which is the “silver lining” to help refill your emotional cup**
- Go for a visit. Visit someone you may or may not know. For instance, go to a local nursing home and visit with some of the residents. Many individuals are alone, scared, sick, and need a friend too. Visiting a care-type facility, animal shelter, or volunteering at a hospital allows you to understand that everyone hurts in some way. This will encourage you to feel good about your life, what you can offer to others, and know you have a purpose. If you live alone, this is especially beneficial, since they are alone too and now you have each other.
If depression has fully succumbed you consult with your physician, counselor, or local emergency room. There is help! If you are having thoughts of suicide, call 911, or 1-800-SUICIDE.
I hope this post may have helped you in some way. I know that dark cloud is hard, but YOU CAN make it through!
Please feel free to leave a comment 🙂
Have a beautiful day and make everyday count!