Posts Tagged ‘Depression’
March 8th, 2013
It happened again.
I had another several weeks of depression. It always seems to come around a time when I had hoped to start blogging again. So I don’t, because it’s just going to be day after day of the same thing.
- I’m extremely overwhelmed by everyday tasks.
- I find basic housework dreadful and energy sapping. It is a gigantic weight on my shoulders.
- It seems like clutter is piling and piling and it is severely oppressing me. (Though in reality it’s being managed – it isn’t growing.)
- I cry every day.
- My brain is in a continual fog and I cannot write.
- I can’t imagine ever accomplishing anything creative and “meaningful” with my life.
- I’m short tempered with my husband, my mother, and my toddler.
- I cry more because I feel like a terrible mother. (And daughter; and wife…. And sister; and friend.)
But I’ve continued to exercise a few days a week despite this and I’ve learned that that is the most essential piece to my mental health.
At my lowest these past several weeks, exercise didn’t make me feel any better and just sapped my energy. But I did it anyway.
Most of the time though, it makes my entire day better.
- I’ve started to feel those endorphins that my husband is always talking about.
- I think it helps with the insomnia and with quieting my intrusive negative thoughts.
- It makes me feel more relaxed and less overwhelmed about the chores and the clutter.
- I am able to adopt that healing attitude that life is not a race.
- I accept that my life is not currently designed around deadlines and social engagements.
- It doesn’t matter if I finally get the Christmas decorations that are sitting in a pile in my office put away downstairs this week or next week – or here is a crazy though – ever.
It doesn’t matter.
Exercise makes me more confident. I feel more secure about the state of my home – take me as I am world! I feel more at home in my own body. I feel better about my creative ideas. I feel like there will be time to make my ideas come to life. My thoughts aren’t such a jumble that I feel hopeless that I will ever accomplish anything creative or fulfilling again.
Because of exercise I believe I can weather this storm and arrive again in another season of creating, growing, and improving my life.
Oh, in case you are wondering, the reason I am even able to fit exercise into my life at all with winter weather and a toddler, is the new Gold’s Gym in town. Like the Stroller Fitness class I was invited to when Sebastian was 10 weeks old, and where I met my best friend in town, it has saved me.
I love the classes! I love the protein shakes! I love the childcare room!
I love meeting my good friend there and working hard together while our children play together. I love running into just about everyone I know there. I was never a big “gym” person until I tried this one. No joke, I thank the universe for bringing a Gold’s Gym to my small town.
March 6th, 2012
Recently, I found myself in the midst of some very blue days.
I felt extremely sad and lonely and my homesickness for Denver (city life) was ultra-strong.
I had already noticed that when I lack sleep – and I’m always lacking these days – I feel depressed. The depressed feelings were just starting to become more obtrusive – lasting longer throughout the day and for more days in a row.
And then, yeah, couple weeks ago it got pretty bad. I was beginning to actually get tearful at times. I haven’t felt that way in a long time, but it’s becoming apparent that this happens to me every couple of years.
Now? I’m almost better again. I’m back to my enthusiasm about my current entrepreneurial endeavor, but it’s at a healthy, non-manic level.
So yeah, I meant to write some posts about depression while I was feeling so blue, but it’s possible that the storm may have passed for now.
Either way, I’m reading Andrew Weil’s book Spontaneous Happiness. Thank you loving hubby for ordering it for me at the library!
And I’m really going to work on getting to bed earlier. Honest!
Like all moms, I’m sure, it’s extremely hard for me to get to bed at a decent hour. I never have time to do the reading and writing I want to do when Sebastian is awake.
Every night I face the dilemma. We make dinner, get the baby to bed, and then, against my better judgement, I stay up too late.
But, I’ve got to take care of me if I want to live my best life.
Maybe a miracle will happen and I’ll suddenly start going to bed between 9 and 10 pm, getting up at 6, exercising, having tons of energy, and living happily ever after!
A girl can dream!
But for now, I’m taking my vitamins, walking as much as I can during the week, and making it a goal to hit the sheets before 10 pm!
What time do you go to bed? What time does your alarm clock (or your kid) wake you up? Does lack of sleep give you the blues?
June 8th, 2011
Ever since I took physics in high school, I’ve joked that my intertia is at rest. I’ve never been a “doer.” I’m more of a … sitter. And, I suppose, a thinker. Nevertheless, I’m quite prone to do-nothingism.
(A surprising amount of people Google do-nothingism, I’ve discovered. One of my most popular posts is Battle Do-Nothingism With a Stew and Feel Better, in which I was feeling pretty depressed, forced myself to cook, and felt better in the end.)
The idea is that when you are not in a mood to enjoy or do anything, if you do something, anything, you will feel somewhat better.
But what do you do when your stike against do-nothingism fails?
Last week, I had finally motivated myself to cook something again, something more exciting than whole wheat mac and cheese, and I made a very fancy quinoa salad. Though I wasn’t feeling particularly good that day, I took the little one shopping, almost gave up when the first store didn’t even have zucchini, forged ahead, even when Sebastian tried to thwart my efforts, and produced a finished quinoa salad, with currants, dill, zucchini, and lemon …
… that sucked.
I felt bad, I pushed myself to do something, and I still felt bad.
Almost worse. There was an angry moment of failure where I wanted to cry. Just for a moment. So I lashed out at my husband (sorry, Tim). Then I went to bed.
During my many night-time awakenings, I kept envisioning drying the soggy quinoa in the oven somehow. And maybe it would have been enough to spread it on a cookie sheet and dry it that way, I don’t know. But I still needed to “do” something.
So, as I’ve already chronicled, I got up the next day and turned my soggy quinoa into muffins (which honestly, were, meh – still a little soggy in the middle, and not my favorite flavors).
And, that day, I was flying high with my “doing!” I thought,
“This is it! This really is the solution to all my mood problems! I need to “do!” And the more I do the better I’ll feel. I’ll cook all the time. I’ll spend all day in the kitchen! And because I’m in here all the time, I’ll keep it clean. I’ll have more energy, I’ll exercise more, I’ll throw in a load of laundry here and there, clean the bathrooms, and every day I’ll just get better and better at this thing called life!”
I was all excited about posting about my new epiphany and my raised energy levels.
And then yesterday – I felt like CRAP again.
I’m not giving up on this “do something, anything” idea, though. I do think it’s essential in fighting depression. So, yesterday, I strapped Sebastian into the mei tai baby carrier and I cleaned as much as I could of this messy house, even though I was feeling terribly overwhelmed. I put some clutter away, I washed a few pots and pans, I did a load of laundry, I broke down several boxes, and put most of the tower of recyling in the garage. And I felt alright come bedtime.
And I feel somewhat better today.
I guess I’m proud of myself for not letting my cooking failure get the best of me. I kicked do-nothingism in the butt, and it did make me feel better for awhile.
It’s just that there isn’t a an accomplishment in the world that will make me feel good all the time.
My days are a series of exaggerated highs and lows in a sea of lethargy.
I mean, I know that’s pretty normal. Most “mommy bloggers” admit to being quite a moody bunch. But, then, there are also a lot of people who have a ton of energy, and aren’t overwhelmed by every little thing that must be done to keep a house clean and food on the table.
I dunno. Maybe I just need to cut out caffeine, or sugar, or gluten.
If you know the answer, please let me know!
March 5th, 2011
In my fight against clutter, I’ve begun with my emotions. As I mentioned a couple of posts ago when I began my Clutter Kick Campaign, CLA (Clutterers Anonymous) asserts that there are three components to cluttering: physical, emotional, and spiritual.
Which brings me to last night. As you may know, I’ve been trying my darndest to make positive changes in my life. I’m trying to kick bad habits and replace them with good ones. But yesterday evening I was feeling particularly down. I was in a state where I was creeping closer and closer to tears, and really, really, really, wanted to lay on the couch and order take-out rather than cook dinner. I was dangerously close to wallowing in Do-Nothingism.
What is Do-Nothingism? It is the odious state in which you feel so bad you can’t bring yourself to enjoy or do anything – it is procrastination’s nefarious cousin. David D. Burns, M.D. wrote a very influential book that I’ve been reading this week, called Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy. Dr. Burns and his colleague, Dr. Aaron T. Beck, are pioneers of the revolution in therapy that is Cognitive Behavior Therapy. They discovered, through much documented research, that there is an undeniable connection between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and that you can improve your mood by improving either your thoughts or your behaviors.
Dr. Burns has worked throughout his career with severely depressed patients who can’t even bring themselves to get out of bed. In his books, he demonstrates techniques for combating this severe form of doing nothing, which tends to lead you on a downward spiral of depression. He has proven that doing nearly anything at all will undoubtedly make you feel better than not!
So, I decided to take Dr. Burn’s advice and Do Something – Anything! I went to the store and bought a few ingredients to make a stew from The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged.
Simultaneously, I examined my thoughts:
“I hate cooking.”
“Cooking is hard.”
“Life is hard.”
While chopping the potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, and brussels sprouts, I marveled at how easy this was. If broken down into components, cooking is really just a series of very easy steps! Right? And, though I felt fatigued and wanted to curl up in the fetal position and eat ice cream, I couldn’t deny that the closer my stew came to being finished, the better I felt. I mean, I was still very, very tired, but now I had a delicious stew to nourish that tired body!!! Score!
In the end, I had one of the best stews I have ever made, which I will absolutely make again. In fact, I’m certain that I will make it often enough to do so without a recipe.
Now I do feel better than I would have if I’d done nothing. I feel pride that I served my husband and myself a delicious meal (and this on the night before he had to take his Step 3 Medical Licensing Exam).
And if you want to make this delicious stew, it is really easy:
- I used four organic russet potatoes, three large organic carrots, one onion, three cloves of garlic, and eight brussels sprouts, all chopped. I sauteed these until they were tender while boiling a cup of French lentils in a separate pot.
- Then I added a magical combination of spices: 1 teaspoon each of turmeric, cumin, ginger, and coriander, 1/2 teaspoon of allspice, and a dash of cayenne.
- Once mixed in, I added four cups of low-sodium veggie broth, sea salt, and the lentils. I let it simmer until it tasted ready to eat!
So, the next time you are feeling like wallowing in do-nothingism, remember that actions can change both your thoughts and your feelings. I believe that this observation is so incredibly life-changing, that I made this handy little diagram for you to picture when you’re feeling down. Cheers!
Really the arrows should be pointing in both directions, but hey, I've never made a diagram on the computer before.