The lights are turned dark in your room. The thought of getting up and facing another day seems unbearable. The world is coming to an end in your eyes. You lost something important to you and it means more to you now then your own sanity.
Your lover has decided to move on or you’ve lost a loved one to death. Your house has been threatened by a foreclosure or you can’t afford to put food on the table. Your child is sick. You were fired from your job. The list of potential causes is endless, but it can all lead to the same result: situational depression caused by grief.
According to the World Health Organization, 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression. It is a leading cause of disability.
The symptoms of depression can be as simple as feeling sadness or nervousness. You may have long term headaches, stomachaches, or heart palpitations. You may begin skipping out on work, school, or social activities. You could notice that you just aren’t as hungry as you used to be or you want to sleep all day. Many times people will turn to alcohol or drugs to calm the pain they are feeling.
Life can be full of hardships and setbacks. We can choose to stay stagnate when we hit rock bottom or we can stand back up and refuse to accept defeat.
If you are the type of person who wants to move forward then try these 4 helpful tips to coping with situational depression.
- Keep a journal: Start to write down day to day exactly what you are feeling. Write your ideas, interactions with others, achievements, losses, concerns and any happy moments. Pay attention to emotions that you have never felt before or that are revisiting from a past scenario. Writing down your thoughts and feelings will help you to understand them more clearly. Keeping a journal of both the positive and stressful events can help you face these events head on and help reduce long-term emotional and physical health issues. You will also begin to notice your own patterns from month to month.
- Stay as healthy as you can: Force yourself to eat even if you aren’t hungry. Maintain your normal eating schedule. Eating less than normal is better than none at all. Drink water even if you don’t feel thirsty. Studies show that water is a great “anxiety quencher.” When the body is dehydrated, it can actually induce anxiety and nervousness. Exercise even if you never have before. SHOWER! Need I say more?
- Go to a comedy show: Laughter really is the best medicine. Laughing releases endorphins in the brain which lowers stress. It is a physical as well as an emotional release. Added bonus: many comedians’ jokes revolve around dark or stressful times in their lives. You will get to see how putting these moments into perspective can change your outlook
- Seek out a professional to talk to: Friends are amazing and they play an important role in our social world, however using a therapist as a sounding board is a much better idea. You may be able to solve your issues yourself just by hearing the issues out loud with someone who won’t just openly agree with everything you say. Therapists are there to guide YOU in finding your way to a happier life. Counseling has no definitive time line. Some people go for months, years or even life. You may Interview different counselors before settling down with one. Counseling is like a marriage. You want someone you trust, you can be 100% open to, and that you leave feeling like you have learned one thing about yourself.
It never hurts to keep looking for sunshine. – Eeyore