" I find that sticking with what I can control limits me from thinking about what I can't. "
1. Your productivity may be inconsistent
My productivity coincides with my mood. There are days where I can get up and conquer the world. I get everything done on my to-do list, and have enough energy to clean the kitchen. There are other days where I can barely get out of bed. I switch to survival mode and do the bare minimum. I am learning to work with my body instead of against it. I resist the need to do more than I'm able, and I make up for it on the days where I’m can tackle more tasks.
2. Some days you wish you didn’t exist, and other days you are happy to be alive
On Monday I’m questioning why I’m here. On Tuesday, I’m excited about the new Batman Lego movie. It comes and goes. This is actually a good thing because I realize that it is a passing phase. Although I feel like crap on a specific day doesn’t mean that I will always feel that way. There are good things to look forward to in life. I just have to get through the bad days in order to enjoy the good ones.
3. Not all meds are created equal
Many people won’t try anti-depressants or anxiety meds because they think none of them work. Either that, or they try a few and apply their lack of success to every possible medication out there. It’s a trial and error. What works for you won’t work for someone else. Also, medications target different brain chemicals. Your depression may be caused by different factors. You have to find the medication that works best for you and your lifestyle.
4. Your therapist needs to have the same qualities as a potential mate
No need for a relationship with your therapist. However, you will find that you tend to look for the same characteristics in your therapist that you would look for in a partner. Can’t stand someone who cuts you off mid-sentence? Cringe when you think about someone who doesn’t acknowledge your feelings? You probably won’t like a therapist who does those things either.
5. You have to focus on your physical health to make up for your mental state
In my book, Unstoppable Joy, I dedicate a whole chapter to physical health. Mental and physical health are linked. What you lack in one, you will need to make up for in another. Just like those suffering from physical illness need to stay in good spirits to recover quickly, those suffering mentally need to build their body. Diet, exercise, sleep….all of these will either help or aggravate your condition. Whenever I get extremely depressed, I take a nap. It helps me recharge. When I don't get enough sleep, it makes my symptoms ten times worse.
6. You are more likely to have anxiety
The dreaded depression-anxiety spectrum. You think doom and gloom all the time, and you are more than likely going to freak yourself out. You think the world is coming to an end every other day. The only proven way I can limit my anxiety is practicing mindfulness. I focus on the here and now. It distracts me from dwelling on the past or thinking about the future. I also try to stick to my normal routine as much as possible. I find that sticking with what I can control limits me from thinking about the things I can’t.
7. And you will literally overthink everything
Did I leave the stove on? How am I going to pay my bills next year? What if so-and-so thinks I hate her because I haven’t text back yet? And on and on…I end up having to remind myself of facts versus emotions. You see, feelings aren’t necessarily facts. I can feel like a failure, but I may be doing great in life. Then I recognize that maybe my feelings are trying to get the best of me.
Dr. Nicole M. Robinson