depression

Sometimes, it Takes a While

Drew Patrick Miller/unsplash.com

Drew Patrick Miller/unsplash.com

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

Chapter I

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost... I am hopeless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out. 

Chapter II

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in this same place.
But it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out. 

Chapter III

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it there.
I still fall in... it's a habit... but,
my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately. 

 Chapter IV

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it. 

Chapter V

I walk down another street.

 

- Portia Nelson 

Do you have Stress-Resilient Habits?

Morgan Sessions/unsplash.com

Morgan Sessions/unsplash.com

John Preston, PsyD, ABPP did a training on “The Habits of Stress-Resilient People” last month. Putting my two cents in the mix, you can develop stress-resiliency by:

  1. acknowledging that pain and suffering are a part of life, rather than an exception - if you live long enough, and sometimes, you don't even have to live that long, you know that crap will hit the fan

  2. choosing to be with uncomfortable feelings - as unpleasant as they might be, difficult feelings will be there. Feel them rather than hide from them; they do come and go

  3. having a good cry – according to biochemist and “tear expert” Dr. William Frey, tears contain stress hormones that are excreted from the body through crying

  4. taking things in, moment-by-moment - fight the tendency to operate on auto-pilot

  5. recirculating moments of joy – everyday, train your brain to notice the things that have gone well that day

  6. focusing on doing what works – do what is most effective in the moment, rather than dwelling on what's fair, unfair, should, should not, etc

  7. living a valued life – What matters to you? What do you want to live for? Doing those things will bring you vitality and meaning even when life gets tough

Thoughts? Would love to hear them! Need help developing these habits? I'm here!

3 More Tips for Managing your Depression Outside of the Therapy Room

Luca Iaconelli  /unsplash.com

Luca Iaconelli /unsplash.com

It's hard to get off your couch. It can be hard on a day when it's nice and sunny, and even harder on a day like today. Don't let depression detour you from living your life! Here are additional tips for managing your symptoms, the last one being my favorite:

  1. Keep (some sort of) a schedule. It's Friday, what's there to do? What about next Tuesday? What makes life happen for you? Plan for it, put it on your schedule, and DO it!
  2. Connect with your social capital. Human contact is SUPER important to get us through tough times and to remind us there's a world outside of ourselves. Who's your community? Don't shut them out! Let them in...
  3. Take your thoughts less seriously! There's an average of 60,000 thoughts that go through our minds each day, and yet, we put a lot of weight on some and not on others. Having a regular meditation practice is one way to help you notice your thoughts as nothing more than just thoughts.

Here are tips from an earlier post. 

Need more and wish to come into the therapy room? Call me up!

5 Tips for Managing your Depression Outside of the Therapy Room

Arno Smit/unsplash.com

Arno Smit/unsplash.com

Everywhere you look you see the evidence of spring. The days are getting longer, there are intermittent sun breaks, and the flowers are budding. Somehow you think your depression should be lifted by now; yet you still feel crummy. When you're feeling low, chances are you'd want to watch 5 hours of Netflix, eat a gallon of ice cream and crawl into bed. It is very counter-intuitive to leave the house, go for a walk, soak up some sun, or call up a friend.

And, that's exactly what is going to help you get through that funk! If you wait until you feel better before doing something, it might never happen! And even if it does happen, it'll be sporadic and very mood-dependent.

Here are 5 tips for managing your depression outside of the therapy room:

  1. Get some physical activity. I'm not talking exercise, because when I say exercise, people think of the gym. Go for a walk, do yoga, shoot some hoops. Any activity that gets your body moving is better than no activity at all.
  2. Go do something you enjoy! Is it strolling the farmer's market, picking up your guitar, or watching a funny movie? Pleasurable activities disrupt the cycle of depression and rumination.
  3. Choose healthy food options. Eat even when you don't have the appetite and slow down your eating if you have a tendency to overeat. Food is fuel, so what you eat and how much you eat matters.
  4. Bathe in the sun. Sun exposure will help your brain release the hormone serotonin, which is a natural mood enhancer. 
  5. Have a regular waking and sleeping schedule. Get the optimal amount of sleep that's needed for your body. When you're tempted to nap, transition to a less sedentary activity.

Stay tune for more tips! Need more help than reading a blog? Give me a call!