“Sometimes when you’re in a dark place you think you’ve been buried, when actually you’ve been planted.”
(Said over-emphatically because it’s 8:10AM and I’m crazy tired right now💤).
I think I owe an explanation to my readers as I have been straight-up AWOL for like the past week, and my poor blog has been as empty as a King Size Kit-Kat 🍫 wrapper in my house after about 11:30PM. No lie, that’s when I get my sweet cravings. Is that weird?
Last week, oh, last week. It was such a great week! Let me run you through the list of all the things that went down the last two, count them, TWO WEEKS, and you’ll understand why I’ve been missing.
- My sister’s birthday 🎁(May 3rd)
- My other sister’s birthday 🎁(May 7th)
- My birthday 🎁(May 12th)
- Getting my workouts in! ♥
- Cinco de Mayo 🌮 and The Derby 🐎 had the bar poppin’ and me working extra.
My first gray hairI dyed that bitch out my head.
- Mother’s Day (May 13th) 🎀
- Getting together to celebrate all of the Birthday’s and Mother’s Day where there were three bottles of champagne . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . consumed (no apologies) 🍾🍾🍾
- Went to New York 🌃 with J.
- Went to Philadelphia 🏙 with my friend Lauren.
- Meal Prep – takes forever, so worth it.
- Phone meeting with my Beachbody Coach about COACHING! 💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼
- J almost broke his foot. 🏥
- Celebrated my sisters recent engagement! 💍✨
- Girls night with all my ladies! 👯♀️👯♀️
- I officially announced my volunteer trip to Africa. 🌍
- I dropped my GoFundMe Campaign Click here to read and share!!
- I experienced my first self-doubt and depression symptoms since I’ve started my journey.. 🙎🏼♀️🤷🏼♀️
There you have it, folks. The craziest two weeks in the books for me! So, for today’s blog, and if you follow my Facebook or Instagram then you got a spoiler for this a few days ago, I want to hone in on that last bullet point – because it is soimportant. Today’s topic is:
Challenging depression, habits associated with it, and channeling your positive energy to take control and CHANGE your mindset while you are at an emotional low.
Since I started my Journey 🗺 , I have felt nothing but overwhelming support and positivity from EVERYONE. You guys have no idea how much inspiration, motivation, and accountability that support has given to me. While all of that is so lovely 💕, I still have a critic. I still have a doubter. I still have an enemy. To make it worse, this person is someone that I love. Someone that I respect. Someone that I put my faith into. Someone that I trust.
It’s me. 👆🏼
I am my critic. I am my doubter. I have the ability to be my worst enemy 👹.
In my opinion, one of the most difficult aspects of depression, or imbalanced Serotonin levels, or the “not happy”, whatever you choose, is the sensation of drowning 🌊 that overcomes your being when you are having an episode. I know a lot (if not all) of you can relate exactly to what feeling I am referring. You do not have to struggle with chronic depression to know this feeling. 🙅🏼♀️
Imagine that you are a robot 🤖 . Not an R2D2. I’m talking, Judd Law in A.I. or (a hopefully morally improved version of) Futurama’s Bender. You are fully capable, fully knowledgeable, and fully aware of your state as an emotional being. One day, someone sneaks behind you, switches you to autopilot, and you start to transform from who you were to someone that you don’t even recognize. You feel every change as you transition modes. It feels as if the knowledge start to leach out of your brain 🧠 . A cold sensation runs through your warm limbs, numbing them, as you seemingly lose control of your own movements. You start shake, pace, sit down, stand up and you don’t know why. It hits your chest and your heart ♥️ burns cold ❄️ making you feel scared, alone, and lost. You cry because you feel empty and you know that’s not right. Just before the transition is complete and your sense of awareness disappears, that person flips the switch to pause 🖐🏼. You are now stuck. Knowing who you were, who you can be, but not being able to feel, think, or even move the way you want to. You have become someone that you don’t like and you have no idea how to change; and that makes you sink even lower👇🏼. You feel as if are suffocating in the wreckage from the deconstruction of your being. You feel as if you are drowning in the wake of your own instability. 🧟♀️🧟♂️
That is what it feels like, for me and for many, when I am sinking into a depression. Shitty, right?!
Shitty, but realistic. Sure, it’s the gruesome truth and it may be nasty to read about; but the more that we avoid coming to terms with the reality of our emotional lows, the less chance we have at overcoming them. You have to know your enemy to defeat it.
When you have this drowning sensation coming on, it is so easy to let it take control of your thoughts and actions. You want to crawl into bed 🛏 , or the just lay on the floor, cry 😭 , and you will probably have some sort of panic attack in the process. However, this is the most crucial time to maintain control. You have to work to pull yourself out of a slump! It won’t come naturally 🍃 , at least for a while; and it won’t come easily. You deserve everything that this world 🌎 has to offer, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to fight for it.
I know this is hard! And I am here for you. Without further ado, here are some of my personal tips, tried and true by yours truly, for pulling yourself back into reality when you feel yourself slipping into a dark place:
- Step One: Acknowledge your safety. Your body will first panic 🚨 before you slip into that typical “catatonic” state that most people associate with depression. The no talking 🗣, no smiling 😁, no thinking 💭 state. That panic mode is usually happening when you are uncontrollably crying, and it’s your body fighting because it feels unsafe. This requires no physical action to fix! You can think your way out! Practice reminding yourself that you are not in danger. Your words will automatically calm you down and allow you to think more clearly. Plus they take your mind away from what’s upsetting you. 2 birds, 1 stone. Try asking yourself these questions: Are you being chased? No. Are you being threatened? No. Are you in physical danger? No. Do you have access to air? Yes. Are you bleeding? No. I know, I know. Obviously the answers to these questions are all no-brainers (hopefully you aren’t being chased and can breathe) but your BODY is in fight or flight mode and it doesn’t act within the realm of reason. I promise, you will calm down.
- Step Two: Self care! Self care. Self care. SELF CARE. I would bet all of the money in the world that at least 50% of the cause of depression is a lack of self-care. Not drinking enough water 💧 ? Not getting enough sleep 😴 (7-8 hours)? Not eating 🍽 enough? Eating too much junk food 🍕🍔🍟? Not getting regular exercise 🏋🏼♀️? All of these have been catalysts for my depressive episodes. My advice: the minute you recognize that you are in the midst of an emotional low, the first time you realize you’ve been lashing out at your boyfriend over nothing, the first time you realize you’ve been complaining too much about your job, the first plans you cancel so you can lay in bed and you feel ashamed, drop everything and figure out what you haven’t been doing for your body 🧐. I guarantee it’s something. Your body will always tell you when something is off, you need to listen to it. Diet is always my biggest downfall.. Force yourself OUT of your bed, go to the grocery store, and make yourself a nice, healthy meal.
- Step Three: Avoid drugs and alcohol. Alcohol 🍺 is poison that you put in your body. Yes I am a bartender. Yes I drink it. Yes I MORE THAN enjoy a glass of scotch 🥃 or a beer 🍻 after those super long days. And yes I do have a ton of fun when I’m out drinking with my girls ☠️! Everything in moderation guys. You can have it all, but listen to what your body is telling you and know when to take a break. Are you feeling sad all the time? Are you feeling alone? Have some sober fun, and stop drinking for a while. ❌
- Step Four: Clean up your environment. Have you ever heard the phrase, “You are a product of your environment”? Well, that’s not what I’m going to tell you. You are a product of what you allow yourself to accomplish and to feel. However, it definitely can’t hurt to spruce up your surroundings when you’re feeling down. Not only will it pull you out of bed and get you moving around which will naturally make you feel better, but when you take something that was dirty and make it nicer, you might start to find that you can do the same for yourself 🧖🏼♀️! If you are prone to depression, pay attention to little details in your home such as light 💡 and color 🎨 choices. Dark rooms and dark colors are both motivators for a bad mood 😒 that’s waiting to spiral out of control!
- Step Five: Channel your positive energy! I am a firm believer in energies ✨. What you put out into the world is what you are going to get back, very similar to the energy you put toward yourself. If you keep having these negative thoughts, if you keep reminding yourself of your flaws, that you aren’t good enough, that there is something wrong with you because you’re feeling this way and it’s not normal, then the world is going to serve you as if these things are true. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need from yourself and from the world around you! What do you have to lose? If you’re not sure how to do this, practice yoga 🧘🏼♀️🧘🏼♂️or meditation. Read some personal development books 📚. These mediums can teach you how to channel the positive energy that exists within you and use it to find your happiness 🤗.
- Step Six: Get outside. 🌲🌿🌻⛅️Are you feeling like you’ve lost yourself? Go back to your roots, I’m confident you’ll find solace there. Step out into the sunlight ☀️ . You don’t need to be an outdoorsy person to not be depressed, that’s not what I’m saying. Throw on a bathing suit 👙 and lay out in the sun. Read a book on your front porch. Go for a hike ⛰ . Take photographs at a local park. Go for a drive 🚗 with the windows down. Collect nature items for an art project🌷🌹🌿. Get in the fresh air. Get in the sunlight. Listen to the trees and the birds! You will find some clarity.
- Step Seven: Share your situation. You are no doubt feeling completely alone if you are feeling depressed or panicked. That’s normal, and also an easy thing to fix. Sometimes you can’t fix yourself, and THAT’S OK! Reach out to your family 🤝, reach out to your friends. Journal. Read personal development blogs of strangers and leave a comment. They will want to help you! Let the people that care about you, whether they know you or not, know that you are in a bad place. They will encourage you. If you just aren’t comfortable talking about your feelings, then write everything you’ve got down in a journal! The only one who’s reading it is you – and you’d be surprised how much you admit on paper that you have been hiding from yourself!
Alrighty team! That’s what I’ve got for you today. Pay attention to what your body is telling you, and you can work through any problem! I know that my avenue is fitness, but whatever way YOU choose, you are the light at the end of your tunnel 💋. Feeling alone or confused? Send me a message! Let me help you be the happiest you!
Good luck on your journey to happiness!
Time to do some Beachbody COACH work!