I am just going to jump right into this post.
I know there are a lot of people out that that struggle with anxiety and/or depression. I am one of those people. I have found that it is not something that ever fully goes away, especially when you’re dealing with both. Anxiety often triggers depression, which creates more anxiety – it’s a vicious cycle.
I do my best to “be on top of it” by getting professional help, as well as doing everything I have learned to manage this as a part of my daily life in order to stay on the up and up – so to speak.
One of the absolute, best things in winning the fight against this has been consistent exercise. It has done more for me than any medication ever could. It literally saved my life, and changed it for the better.
Over the last few months, I have really struggled to keep my daily exercise plans constant. I do well for about a week or two, and then I just kind of get tired or bored – or both. I have also dealt with a few triggers which have lead to increasing symptoms. It is becoming for apparent that this is something more than just a “funk.”
When I opened up to someone very close to me about it, they’re response was typical of anyone who has never dealt with mental health issues. I heard the line I have heard from so many people before: “You just have to stop moping around and get to the gym.”
I know it’s coming from a good place. I know they just want to help. I appreciate the urgency in their hearts to push me to do what is best for me. Sometimes it just scares them, so instead of being more empathetic, they jump to an urgent sense of wanting to fix me – with a stern “you just need to do this right now.”
Obviously, it’s not that easy.
So what I want to talk about today is how someone like me – suffering from anxiety and/or depression can take steps to getting better.
I have noticed that I have been feeling excessively tired. Not just physically, but mentally too. I even went to my primary doctor thinking maybe it was something else this time – and not the tale-tale sign that I was headed down a rough road. I hoped for anemia, or something that would more easily be fixed with a simple vitamin tablet. Alas. My blood work was completely normal. (Don’t get me wrong, that’s a blessing in itself.) I have been sleeping a lot more. I have trouble getting out of bed in the mornings. At the same time my insomnia at night has gotten a lot worse. During the day, I barely have the energy to think, let alone hit the gym. Staying focused on almost everything seems like a huge task. I count down the hours till I can just lay down in bed, both due to exhaustion and the comforting thought of a safe place in which I can hide from the chaos that has been in my head all day.
I have so much going through my head at any given time, that I just want quiet. So I tend to become somewhat of a hermit, because going outside is both anxiety inducing – and mentally overwhelming. A few posts back I mentioned that I was experiencing a lot of anxiety every time I was supposed to go to the gym, or even the pole fitness class.
I look back and realize it was just another indicator.
So what do you do when this happens? Because it is very hard to push yourself to do things when you just don’t feel well.
Well, here’s what I suggest.
First things first, I am a huge advocate of counseling. If you’re experiencing anxiety or depression – or just symptoms that you know aren’t exactly you – seek professional help.
Sometimes, just getting out of bed is a victory in itself. So if that’s all you can muster that day – try not to be hard on yourself.
Try your best to exercise. It might not happen…I know this…in fact I am living with this right now. But, It can be something as simple as a walk, or some stretches, even breathing exercises. All of which can really help you feel better. Start small, and work your way up.
I usually try to map out my week I feel if I have a plan, I’m not trying to figure out what to do on a any given day. A plan gives structure, which is helpful for me. So do what’s easiest for you. Easy is what we need when we are dealing with so much more.
If your plan doesn’t pan out – don’t beat yourself up. It’s okay. Just keep trying – eventually you will get there.
Some days will be better than others. Some days will be worse. Do what you can any given day and consider it a victory.
Try to surround yourself with friends or people that are positive and supportive. Having negative influences in your life will not help.
Confide in a person in whom you can trust, they may be able to help motivate you. I have a friend who struggles with motivation as well due to her overly busy schedule as a stay at home mom, and wife. In devoting her time to her family, she is often too tired to make time for herself – I am sure many of us have been there! So we team up to try to motivate each other in following through with our gym plans via morning texts, fitbit challenges, or just agreeing to meet up for a group run.
Get some sun. Being outside in fresh air and sunlight is uplifting – even 10 minutes or day, or 1 to 2 times a week can make a huge difference.
Write things down. Blog it, Vlog it, write it in a diary, or where ever. Make it public or keep it private – whatever feels comfortable for you. But getting it out there in whatever format you choose helps to get it off your mind.
Try meditation, they have great guided meditations on you tube.
Read books, or color, try crafty type projects.
Try to eat healthy foods, that are vitamin rich.
Stay away from harmful things such as drugs or alcohol – these can actually cause more depression and/or anxiety.
Most importantly, whatever you do – just remember how important you are. Remember that the way your feeling is not permanent. If you’re sad, it’s warranted, and it’s okay to feel sad. We just have to remember not to stay sad. Or Mad. Or angry – or whatever it is you are feeling. Your feelings are valid – And so are you.
Here’s to another week my friends.