I was down a few weeks ago when this particular memory bounced into my head. I was sitting in my therapists office, discussing something – what, I don’t remember. I think I mentioned to him how I had gone to the gym (unrelated, but hey, exercise can really help depression), despite the fact that I had been really depressed at that moment and didn’t feel like it at all. And I remember he said that was good, because that moment when you are most down is exactly when you should get up and do something.
It wasn’t meant to be particularly profound. But it’s one of those things that REALLY stuck with me. My wife calls it faking it till you make it. I referred to it as “pushing through,” but that struck me as simplistic, as if you can just willpower your way through depression (sometimes you can; often you can’t).
Imagine yourself as depressed as you have been. What do you want to do? The answer there is obvious: Absolutely, positively nothing, aside from this:
That, as far as I am concerned, is the worst thing you can do.
Please keep in mind I’m only speaking from my personal experience and this isn’t medical advise, but I’ve always found that lying down and swimming in depression leads to one thing and one thing only: More depression. And guilt. “I SHOULD be doing my chores. I SHOULD be hanging out with my kids.”
Is that guilt warranted? Of course not. Everyone deserves time to lounge around and do nothing – yes, you too, depressed person. But – and again, this is just my personal experience talking here – sitting around when depressed just leads to feelings of self-loathing and guilt.
This would be my advice to you, dear reader: Just…try doing something. Anything that’s actually active and engages your mind, body or both. It may be reading a book. It may be going for a walk or heading to the gym. Write. Play a game. Do jumping jacks. Hell, I really don’t care.
What I do know is that, based on my own experience, is that sitting there, doing nothing, in the long-term, can equal a surrender. As best you are capable, get up, get moving. Will it make you feel better? Hopefully. Maybe. But doing nothing will certainly continue to sap your hope away, and anything is better than that.
Any specific strategies you want to share? Leave them below!