Getting out of depression is extremely hard. You don’t realize you’re heading into it until it’s too late. Then once you’re in it, you can’t figure out how to get out of it. You’re exhausted and overwhelmed, and no longer have any motivation to try to get better.
The last time I was hit with depression, I couldn’t get out of it. I ended up hitting rock bottom and had to dig myself out. I had to ask for help which was super hard for me to do, but honestly, I was so mentally exhausted that I didn’t even have the energy to try to fight to remain in control.
Below are the steps I took to get out of the hole, and hopefully some of these tips might help you.
***Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. These are just tips and tricks that worked for me. If your depression is too difficult PLEASE reach out to a medical professional asap. There are a lot of great resources out there so please check what is offered in your area. There is no shame in asking for help, you shouldn’t be doing this alone.***
Not everyone is going to be okay with this option. I fully understand and respect everyone’s choices and beliefs when it comes to medication.
For myself, it was necessary. The anti-depressants took a few weeks for the medication to kick in, and I was lucky the dosage was good and I didn’t have any major side effects. The medication helped clear my head and allowed me to focus on tasks again. I was also given anti-anxiety medication to take on the days my anxiety was debilitating.
My doctor had me keep a calendar and write on a scale of 1-10 where my depression and my anxiety were daily so that he could track it when I came in for check ups.
I highly recommend therapy. It doesn’t have to be for a long time, but from my experience, if you don’t address what caused your depression, it’s just gonna keep popping up in your life until you do.
Find a therapist that works for you. You need to feel comfortable and safe with them. If you can, find a therapist that offers zoom appointments. I found this extremely helpful on the days I could barely get out of bed. I didn’t have to go anywhere other than to my laptop.
The other step my doctor took when I went to see him for antidepressants was blood work and a full physical. Depression can be caused by a lot of things so it’s important to double-check that your body is running properly.
Delegate If You Can
While you’re trying to get better you need to delegate as much as you can during your process of recovery. If your depression is anything like mine was, you’re probably already not doing much as you’ve given up. If you’re able to, sit with someone you can lean on and come up with ways your responsibilities can be met during this period of time. Your energy for the next little while will need to be heavily focused on steps to get better, and even though the steps are “easy” for a non-depressed person, for a depressed person they’re the equivalent of a marathon.
- If it’s financially possible hire a cleaner to clean your home so this isn’t on your to-do list. If it isn’t, do you have someone who can take on this chore for you for the next couple of months?
- Purchase easy and healthy food to eat. Does this usually cost more? absolutely it does! but it’s cheaper than buying a ton of ingredients you won’t have the energy to prep and then cook a meal with so it rots in your fridge and you order fast food. Also, stay away from fast food!!! Your body and brain need vitamins, grains, protein, and healthy fats to heal. Deli sections have a ton of premade options that are yummy and easy to cook.
- Order your groceries online. Personally, I found grocery shopping EXHASTING! I simplified it by ordering them online and then just picking them up.
One of the things I delegated was my fitness routine. I really wanted to return to the gym but didn’t have the mental capacity to do it solo. My husband, who is a natural fixer, needed something to fix so I gave him full control over my gym time. He drove me to the gym and walked me through each gym exercise he had planned for me to do. Which leads me to my next thing….
One of my favourite movie quotes of all time is from Legally Blonde: “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t”. This became my mantra to get me to the gym and to get me through the exercises.
Exercising doesn’t have to be going to the gym. It could be yoga classes, working out at home, hiking, cycling, pilates, boxing, or water aerobics. It could be as simple as going for a walk around the block.
HIGHLY recommend the gratitude journal for this! It’s super simple as you just write 3 things you want to happen each day and in the evening 3 things you’re grateful happened. Some days will be harder than others, but it’s a great way to retrain your brain into being positive.
Also, if you like to read, find a motivational book. I wrote about my favs awhile ago, but if you’re looking for a recommendation you can click here.
Don’t Shut Your Friends/Family Out
This one is important. You’re going to need support and distraction. Let people help you. Allow them to pop in with a coffee to chat. I get you don’t want to feel like a chore for them or put this on them, but they want to help! Just like I’m sure you would want to help them if the roles were reversed.
Depression is hard to get out of and you can’t do it alone. You need everyone rooting for you and cheering you on.
If you have any suggestions please leave them in the comment section as I would love to hear about them.