Managing depression behind the chair.
I'm a Gemini, and maybe you're not in to astrology but heres something I know: it fits.
I'm constantly changing, I don't sit still for long, I can't concentrate on much of anything, and my moods move like the wind. When I say moods, I mean moooooods, because that is where my depression fits in.
I'm not an extrovert or a positive thinker, I'm not the girl that wins the gold at the end of the story. I'm just an average woman trying to function through normal life tasks, run my business, and love on the people who deserve my love. Depression likes to cut in to all of that, break it in to tiny pieces, and make taking a shower seem like the biggest task in the world. It makes me think that the opinion of strangers matters deeply, that I will never be good enough or worthy enough, and that my heart and my mind will constantly be at war; I will quite literally never get ahead. Then the sunshine comes and for a split second I remember that none of this is truth, even though that second disappears as fast as it came and I'm back wallowing in the depths of my despair while trying to get turkey meatloaf finished in time for dinner.
This poses a real issue when it comes to getting things done in a timely manner. I tend to try and do everything all at once, like write a blog post while simultaneously mopping the kitchen floors because for that single hour I'm motivated and I'm "okay." It also poses an issue when it comes to having to deal with personal interaction for 10 hours a day behind my chair. I literally have to put on a show, even at my worst, in order to make sure the person I'm serving is enjoying their time... any one with depression knows that this is nearly impossible.
Here is what I've realized: that cycle doesn't need to be my reality. Trying to accomplish everything doesn't need to be my reality. Pleasing every one doesn't need to be my reality. There will always be laundry to do, money to make, dinner to cook, floors to mop, and depression to manage. I get to choose what I prioritize, and lately I'm prioritizing rest and quiet. If I just let myself be upset when I'm upset instead of feeling guilty, If I let myself take a walk instead of doing the laundry, If I let myself serve a client quietly instead of putting on a show... I'm prioritizing myself, and giving myself the space to not be okay in order to be okay.
Here are a few tips for when you're trying to function and your body feels like it's on empty, behind the chair or in your daily life:
1. Give yourself space to rest. Pencil in time for a walk or even to sit outside by yourself for ten minutes. This is the MOST important.
2. If you have to interact with someone, ask them open ended questions about themselves. This takes the pressure off of you and usually leads to them talking and you listening.
3. Prioritize tasks when you feel good. You can't do everything at once. Make a list and number them by what is most important - start there.
4. Carry essential oils with you. Put it on your wrists and behind your ears. Bergamot and Lavender are my favorite go to's for depression and anxiety. I like to put some on my wrists and cup my hands over my nose for 3 full deep breaths when I'm really over(or under)whelmed. This usually helps rejuvenate and calm me down long enough to slightly function.
5. Don't get angry at yourself. Be kind and forgiving to yourself. Remember that in order to take care of any thing or any one you need to take care of yourself FIRST. If this means you call in sick and spend the day in bed, that is perfectly acceptable and you deserve that.
If you can't remember all of these try to remember the first and the last as those are the most essential. Taking care of and forgiving yourself are the biggest keys to success when you're dealing with your mental health. I can for sure tell you that the ride for me is never smooth sailing, but I've learned how to keep it from being a complete storm (most of the time, at least.)