It’s a challenge to live with depression. Many people believe they will never feel anything, but sadness. The truth is you can live a satisfying and fulfilling life full of happiness despite having it. Take it from me, as many of you may know I’ve had it all my life. My main dilemma with depression is that it’s a vicious cycle. Once you think you’ve recovered you fall back. Therefore, it’s important to have a backup plan in case it has a full grip on you again. After years of battling with crippling depression, I have created a routine that I obligate myself to do before it’s to late.
When depression is holding on tight and won’t let go, I immediately go into fighting mode. My depression manifests as a lack of energy, insomnia or hypersomnia, isolation, feelings of worthlessness, suicidal thoughts, bad eating habits, irritability, poor concentration and memory, bad hygiene, and derealization. If I don’t act quick, all these symptoms make it difficult to get better. Through much therapy and self-evaluation. I learned how to pinpoint these symptoms in the early stages, but sometimes I don’t act on time. So, what’s my backup plan you may ask?
Well, I obligate myself to wakeup at 5:30 in the morning to drink a huge class of water, eat some fruits, change into my workout clothing and head out to the track for a walk and cardio workout. I emphasis on the obligating part because once depression creeps in, I do not want to get out of bed much less do anything. To get up I tell myself, “I can do this” and then count “1, 2, and 3”. One number 3 is push myself up, and open my windows for light and fresh air.
After my workout I must fight my intense cravings of eating fast food and instead make myself a nutritious meal. Believe it or not, processed and junk food will worsen depression. So, I focus on healthy choices instead. If my food craving is too intense, I will have a small sized chocolate bar, and eat it mindfully. By mindfully I mean eating it slowly, savoring all the flavors, letting it sit in my mouth for a little while, and I even smell the chocolate bar. If I don’t do this I will end up eating all the sweets in my home and feel like it is not enough.
Then I take a shower and change into clean clothing even when I don’t want to. At times my depression makes me believe that showering will zap what’s left of my energy, but it always improves my mood drastically. Starting the day with a fresh slate pushes me to get better and continue with my responsibilities. After completing these tasks, I start to work and focus on my studies. To stay energized I make sure to drink loads of water, eat fresh fruits and snacks throughout the day. I also take breaks because if I don’t allow myself to rest, I will have no energy left to finish the day.
At the end of the day I take time to pursue my hobbies. I like creating content for my blog, reading books, and watching movies. This last step is extremely important because depression makes you feel lifeless and if you give in even your favorite activities will feel like a drag. It is essential to allow room for fun and to talk with friends even if every part of you is screaming not to. This may be a simple routine, but it’s one that keeps me going in the darkest of moments. If I don’t obligate myself to get up, workout, eat healthy, socialize, work, study and have fun. I will become a zombie and wonder through life empty, sad, and wanting to die.
When all else fails I talk to my closest friends and family. Even when I feel like they don’t care, they will have my best interest at heart. They don’t understand what I’m going through, but they will listen and pull me back up. Depression is evil and if you let it win it will be game over, but trust me, happiness is achievable. You don’t have to fight it alone, find people who care about you. Stick to a routine that will help you overcome your relapse. I lived far too long in agony to allow depression to control my life and decisions. I will not lie to you, it won’t my easy, but I can assure you life is worth it. What routine do you follow? Let me know in the comment section below.
To create a routine check out my previous article: Relapse: Take Control of Your Life
“I have depression. But I prefer to say “I battle” depression instead of “I suffer” with it. Because depression hits, but I hit back. Battle on.”
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Checkout Psych2Go’s latest video on depression