Depression can be the darkest corner of the earth. For some it can be the loneliest and most helpless place in the world. This is not a subject that I see come up in the fitness industry but it is a very real and powerful mental disease. As part of this population, I can say that it is not easy to cope with and manage life, not to mention trying to add fitness to it all.
How do I cope with this and manage to keep up with life? I can’t give anyone a perfect recipe and send them on their way, but I can share a few things that help me.
IDENTIFY WHEN DEPRESSION HITS
- Often times we don’t realize that our activities are slowing down until they stop completely.
- It can start with skipping the gym multiple days in a row because “you don’t feel like it”. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for taking a break! Sometimes we need that break to be fresh and come back strong! My suggestion is to fill that usual ‘gym time’ with something new, exciting, or different!
- Sleeping has been one of my go-to vices. There were times that my dreams were so much better than my life that I wanted to live in them instead of making a change in my life. This one has and sometimes is the toughest to this day.
- I have days when I feel like I don’t have the energy to even get dressed for the day. These are my messy bun days, the days when I don’t match because I grab whatever is in the closet. It is absolutely okay to have these days. My victory is getting up and out of bed.
- The rest of the day is cake. I make my bed, throw pillows and all, so I am not tempted to lie back down.
- Then I leave my house. Now, I’m sure you’re asking why I would leave my house looking like a hot mess. Getting away from my house is the best thing because it pushes me out of my comfort zone and into a new environment. I see people running errands, smiling and saying hi. It reminds me that other people are going through things too and they are out doing what needs to be done.
- I don’t want to say fake it till you make it, but fake it till you BREAK it. You are stronger than your depression.
NOTHING VERSUS EVERYTHING
- I’m not sure about you but I have gone through different kinds of ups and downs and anyone who has felt defeated by depression can tell you that if affects your appetite. It usually is the extreme of either end of the spectrum. There have been days and days that I have gone without eating. On the other hand, I have eaten myself out of house and home.
- What do I do about this? I set alarms on my phone. I actually use an application called productivity that reminds me to do things and when I hit these slums I add eating at certain times to the list. This is a simple way to keep track of the last time you ate as well.
- Not only is there an entire community right here to support you and lift you up, but there is always someone in your life that would be there for you in a heartbeat.
- No matter what you may think, ‘I don’t want to burden so-and-so’, or ‘I don’t want them to know I’m struggling’; it may be the one thing that pulls you out of that depression pit.
- It is healthy to talk about why you feel the way you do. There are counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists and other resources that specialize in depression that help people just like you and me everyday.
- Be strong enough to ask for help.
“The ones who are the most broken are often the only ones that can keep it together.” I said this in one of the darkest times of my life and that is when I realized that it is okay to fall apart sometimes because the greatest thing is that we don’t have to do it alone. I know what it is like to feel so broken. Make today count. Roll out of bed, eat some pancakes and go outside, because everyday you have the chance to pick up the pieces and make your life a dream.