In life, we all have periods where we feel beaten down by things. It could be situations we are in, something that happened, people in your life, or just the monotonous, everyday humdrum of working life that does it.
Recently I’ve been fighting back against depression and anxiety, but not because I’m unhappy. I have a loving fiance, a great slew of opportunities on my plate, and as far as I know, my health. Life can be good. It is good.
Except, I’m simply overwhelmed with the blows that keep coming. My sister being diagnosed with cancer kills me. It weighs on my mind endlessly because my sister should not have cancer. Nobody should. One of my best friends from High School passed away last week due to a lifelong battle with her body. Diabetes sucks.
I’m not angry. I’m sad. I’m helpless, because I can’t do anything to cure my sister if her cancer spread. I couldn’t take my friends diabetes away. In life, there is so little that we can control in this sometimes insane world we live in.
We can’t control what happens, but we can choose how we handle it.
I used to hate that saying. Sometimes I still do, because I hate the idea that I’m choosing to sit and cry about things I can’t change because I’m grief-stricken. I think in those moments, it’s what’s happening to me that’s the issue, not how I’m handling it.
Still, as frustrating as it is, it’s true that only we can change the perspective. It’s not to say we can’t be angry, upset, depressed. It’s simply meant to remind us that we can take action to make life a little easier on ourselves.
Here are a few ways that you can help yourself.
Physical Activity i.e. Yoga, Hitting the Gym, Running
Physical activities like yoga, running, aikido, or the gym, are great to get you moving, thinking about something else, and boost your energy. It’s been proven that physical activities have great benefits in fighting depression and anxiety, little by little.
Do What You LOVE – Even if You Don’t Want To
I would be lying if I told you I didn’t spend some evenings laying in bed, watching crappy programs I didn’t care much about and playing Candy Crush (Which is totally fun <.< … >.>) when I would rather be painting or reading a great book. It isn’t that what you enjoy is tedious enough that you don’t want to do it, it’s that you are so stressed or depressed that you dwell and drown in that pit, disguising it as “relaxing” like I did. Don’t talk yourself out of what you enjoy. In fact, when you’re feeling like a flan in a cupboard is exactly when you should take a deep breath and just do what you know you love to do. It will boost your spirits.
Taking deep, long breaths is very helpful to quell anxiety. Boost your zen with some tips on breathing here. I go to yoga regularly and the classes I attend place a big focus on breath before and during yoga to calm and quiet the mind, putting you into a very peaceful state. Even if yoga isn’t your cup of tea, controlled breathing is very beneficial.