You wake up, but can not seem to pull yourself out of the warmth and comfort of your bed.
Beyond that though, the moment you wake up, what keeps you in bed is the feeling of sadness, as though the day ahead is one more of many full of dissatisfaction.
You can't even really appreciate the warmth and comfort of the bed because you are immediately overcome with those feelings of dissatisfaction, sadness, and hopelessness.
So, instead of getting out of bed and facing the world, you turn back over and sleep.
One day passes to another, and another for weeks, months maybe and it just doesn't seem to get any better.
Depression can take away all the joy, motivation, and pleasure from your life leaving you without the ability to feel good, happy, or at the very least neutral.
At least, that's how it seems.
After all, that's how it feels, so that must be the way it is, right?
Your mind runs with thoughts about how bad things are, and how hopeless your situation is.
If you think it and feel it, then it must be true.
But, haven't you had thoughts that weren't true?
Feelings, that come and go?
So, if your thoughts have been wrong before and if your emotions have changed in the past, then doesn't that mean these current thoughts and feelings can change as well?
The answer is yes, they can.
Depression can feel like a doomed fate that you can't escape, but the reality is you have a lot of control over aspects of your life that can reduce depression if not eliminate it.
The first place to start when taking your life back from depression is your sleep and by extension your daily routine.
This may sound like a minor aspect of depression considering how strong the thoughts and feelings can be during your waking hours.
However, the fact is, your sleep is, without question, vital to your mental and physical health.
We need to stop thinking of the brain and body as separate things.
They are so intertwined that everything you do to one impacts the other, and sleep is the base of all wellness.
If you get your sleep back on track there is no telling how huge of an impact it will have on your emotions, thought patterns, and outlook on life.
So, start by waking up at the same time every single day.
Set as many alarms as you need and place those alarm clocks or your phone on the opposite side of the room.
Do whatever you need to to get vertical (out of bed) at the same time every day.
This simple step regulates your hormones which impacts your energy level, focus, and motivation.
To make it even better, go to sleep at the same time every night too.
Regularity and expectation can have a massive impact on positive feelings.
Then you can begin to make additions to your daily routine, which brings us to our next point, physical exercise.
One of the biggest impacts depression has on people is the loss of motivation and energy.
Luckily we can directly impact these factors through the choices we make every single day.
Once you've got your sleep back on track you can build on that momentum by adding other healthy regimens to your daily activity; i.e. exercise.
Start small, how small? However small you need.
If that means a 5-minute walk, then by God start with a daily 5-minute walk.
Then each week increase that by another minute or two.
Slow and steady does win the race, when the finish line is mental health.
These small changes won't seem like much day-to-day but after a couple of weeks, you'll be surprised by how much better you'll start to feel.
With every small goal you set and accomplish your motivation and confidence will improve giving your mood and energy a much-needed boost.
By the end of a few months, you'll hardly recognize yourself and wonder how in the world you lived before.
Your mind is a plastic thing that can be molded and changed.
Depression molds it into a sedentary and inactive object, but you have the power to change all of that by creating consistent routines and moving your body.
As I said before, the mind and body are linked in ways that modern neuroscience is still discovering; change one and you'll begin to change the other, so get moving!
Once you start moving your body and your sleep is regulated you naturally start wanting to fuel your body with higher-quality foods.
That's right, nutrition is the next step on the path to overcoming depression.
The plain, simple, and painful truth is that the tastiest and easiest foods to get are the worst fuel sources for our minds and bodies.
Fast food, candy, chips, cereals, donuts, ice cream, pizza, and on and on are all full of delicious but vicious combinations of chemicals that our bodies simply weren't built to ingest.
Foods that are high in sugar, fat, and carbs (essentially every meal from any fast-food chain, or restaurant chain in the country) increase inflammation which is the root cause of heart disease, brain disease, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and so much more.
Ever wonder why the disease is so high in such a highly developed society? Look at what the population is eating.
Again, you don't have to overhaul your diet overnight, and once you start moving your body regularly you'll naturally look for healthier food sources.
Make small changes to your diet over time and slowly build your way to better eating habits.
For instance, if you're going to Mcdonald's for lunch, get a medium instead of a large.
Take the top bun off the hamburger, or order water instead of soda.
Make small goals for your diet and take the same approach you did with exercise, slow and steady.
You're not going to change your life in a week, but you might in a year.
Depression can be a debilitating experience.
It hijacks your mind and body and convinces you there is nothing you can do about it.
It steals your joy, motivation, and energy.
But, you aren't doomed to an unchangeable fate.
You have control over everything you need to conquer depression.
Get your sleep on track.
Start moving your body.
Change your diet.
Start as small as you need to and slowly build up changes over time.
That's the only way to create lasting change.
It won't make your depression go away overnight, but you'll be shocked at what a difference a few small changes can make over a few weeks.
Don't let depression win, take your life back.
When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.
In order to perform this action you have to login