Two years ago I sat on a flower tan couch with the scents of vanilla candles burning. Across from me sat a woman who for the past three weeks listened as I poured my heart out. I had sought counseling as a special needs mother who did not want to vent any longer to her spouse because he also dealt with the same stresses I did. I remember I told my counselor about a certain episode in my childhood that I felt really contributed to why I was the way I am as an adult.
Depression: You Are NOT Alone!
She stopped me and said, “Amee do you realize you have been in a state of depression your entire life.” The hairs on my neck bristled up and I felt my defenses coming up and then I said, “No, why would you say that?” She ended up explaining that because of the abuse, because of the lack of protection and the feelings of neglect that I had become so use to being depressed that it became my new normal. Now that I was trying to break free from the vicious cycle I had to unlearn some of my behaviors that as a child were a perfectly healthy protection mechanism, but as an adult were keeping me from my potential as a mother and woman.
It was at that moment that I felt like a blanket lifted off my shoulders and I could breath again. Maybe she was right, maybe I had been so sad as a child and depressed that I learned to mask it and it became my normal. Whatever it was it gave me a new mission in my life to dig out of depression. It was my new badge and I was determined to finally LOVE my life and everything that came along with it good or bad. In this post I am going to share with you 5 ways on how I dug myself out of depression. Do I still get depressed from time to time? YES! Unfortunately, depression is a part of my make up and something that I can either choose to ignore or I can combat daily and not let it control who I am.
5 Ways to Dig out of Depression
I find that when I write out how I am feeling it releases those feelings and gives my words wings. I have pages and pages in my journal writing about everything from moments in my childhood to issues I was having as a mother. It helped me really put onto paper what I was feeling and then I could take a step back and analyze what I had written. My first step would be to start journaling and no this is not something you have to ever share with anyone.
Changing Your Diet
I do not believe in diets, but I do believe that what we put into our bodies has a huge effect on how our bodies function. I spent more time learning how to portion control what I ate because I realized in doing so I was eating way too many carbs. Yes I love bread and cereals what can I say!! I also upped my water intake and really focused on buying as much NON-GMO and organic foods as I could. I noticed a huge difference in the way I felt physically and also in my son who is very sensitive to food.
Exercising 30 Minutes a Day
I had never been one to workout. I hated working out because I never felt the need for it, but I knew not only for my health, but for my depression I had to get more active. The first few weeks were rough and if it had not been for my husband and an online fitness support group I was a part of I doubt I would have stuck with it. Working out is not only good for your health because it gets your body moving and working more efficiently, but it also releases happy endorphins. If you are having a rough day simply taking a jog or a brisk walk around the block can totally change how you feel. Exercising does not always need to be about weight it can also be about so much more as I wrote in this blog post HERE.
You might be thinking what is personal development? Until I became a health and fitness coach I had never heard the term either. It is where you seek out people whether in books, YouTube videos, pod casts or conferences that are of the mindset you want to be at. It is also a way for you to grow yourself personally and I am not talking self – help books necessarily either. For myself personal development came in the form of learning how to be a better leader for my team of coaches, it also included me reading books on nutrition dealing specifically for my special needs son. It was anything that grew me as a person and something that made my life better. By doing personal development you can learn valuable ways to grow your mindset and learn how to not be trapped by depression.
Have More Sex
Yes I said it. Having more sex can tremendously help elevate your mood. I know this because my husband decided to try to go as many days as we could in a row having sex to see if it would make us happier and less stressed. I won’t say how many days we were able to have sex, but by the end of the experiment I will say it was something that tremendously helped us each. Now what happens if you do not have a significant other the I fully support loving on yourself or spending time doing something that will create happiness within yourself. They say that sex can help a person sleep better and it can also help you feel more confident.
Whatever ways you use to combat depression I do want to say that depression is an ugly beast. It is sometimes too hard to deal with on your own and if that happens NEVER feel bad for having to get on medication. I have been on anti-depressants a few times in my life and not ashamed of it. Up until I was pregnant I was on an anti-depressant and will go back on once our baby is born. Know that you are not alone, sadly millions of Americans suffer in silence with depression I encourage you to not be one of those people. Seek help, try the five ways I suggested that have worked for me and never give up on living the life you so desire.
What ways do you use to combat depression?