I had a good talk with my counselor last week. We were talking about fighting depression and how you need to maintain a balanced battle against its evil. It’s a balancing act, but with diligence and hard work, you can really make progress against depression.
First, there’s the physical battle. Medication, sleep, exercise, diet. This is the part that many people, including myself, really struggle with. Medication for me is easy, I have quickly seen the effects of both taking and not taking my medicine. But sleep is hard (I just want to sleep all the time, and the compulsion is tremendous), and diet and exercise are even worse, because it usually takes a long time (up to 6 weeks even) to see positive effects. I’m not that patient. But I can’t ignore the plethora of studies that link exercise to well-being, or obesity to depression. I have to fight better.
The Second Aspect is Social. Getting out helps me tremendously. Talking to people. Interacting. Improving my relationships. When I let the depression win, I stay home and don’t interact. Sometimes I even think a lot about how people don’t like me or how I don’t have any close friends anymore. Getting out, no matter how hard it is, fights these feelings. I’m decent at this. Not great, but not bad either.
The Third Aspect is Educational/Occupational. It involves working at something and getting positive feedback for it. I’ve improved a lot at this since I started going back to school, but I wasn’t very good at it before and I fear for how I’ll be after I finish school. I think it’s harder when you have a job — be it a paid job or simply the essential job of taking care of a family — that doesn’t give you much positive feedback. But if YOU can find yourself satisfied with a job well-done, then that’s all you really need!
So I’m working on these Aspects in myself. One inspiration to me is my sister-in-law Sienna. She is very smart (just finished her Master’s in English) and a great Mom and is very active. She struggles sometimes too, but she is GREAT about fighting it with exercise and diet and getting out and doing good things. Yay for Sienna!
So keep yourself balanced and keep on fighting. You can do it!