It doesn’t matter how far, or how fast you go, but moving will make a gigantic difference for your depression. I won’t bore you with the details, but moving gets all those happy chemicals in your brain going. We want this different brain activity! Plus, moving usually gets you out of the house — Huge bonus! It allows you to get out of the thinking blahs you’ve been in. It won’t be easy at first, but each time you choose to move, it will become easier.
Yes, saying your thank you’s and counting your blessings everyday sounds completely hokey. I’ll be the first person to agree with you, but stick with me for a minute because I’ve seen this work for depression. I’ve seen this work well. In order for gratitude to work, make sure you are mentioning things you are legitimately thankful for. Not those things you feel like you should be thankful for. Maybe you start with the roof over your head. Then your bed. Then the air, and sunshine. And someday when this starts to become a habit and you find yourself searching out things to be thankful for you’ll notice the buds on the tree and the flavour in your salad. Until then, it’s a bit of grind, and that’s okay.
People need people. According to Dr. Sue Johnson, rather than being known as Homo sapiens – “one who knows”, more accurately we should be Homo vinculum - “one who bonds.”
I doubt there is a worse feeling than to feel completely alone; there’s a reason isolation is used as a torture tactic. We need each other, and it’s hard to reach out. Don’t throw a big party, or go straight to the family reunion, but text one friend. Suggest a bike ride (bonus, movement!), and have a small conversation. Eventually you’ll find someone who ‘gets’ what you’re going through. The feelings, the fatigue, the insomnia, and the small piece of feeling heard will feel so good. Maybe next week you see this person again, or you catch someone’s smile and you realize you’re not completely alone in this world.
Karyn is a Registered Psychologist, who primarily practices from a Cognitive Behavioural perspective. She received training from Dr. David Burns, and loves collaborating with her clients to find the thoughts and actions creating obstacles in their lives, and leading them through steps to test if these thoughts and actions are true and helpful.
Johnson, 2014. Love Sense: The revolutionary new science of romantic relationships. New York: Little, Brown and Company.
Lyubomirsky, 2007. The How of Happiness: A new approach to getting the life you want. USA: The Penguin Press.