We all have moments that make us weary. I wrote a post a couple of months back “Navigating the difficult times in our lives.” 2016 and the beginning months of this year were rough for me. My first job drained me because I was in a negative environment. Then there was saying goodbye to a friend who moved. Then there was the difficulty in trying to find a position that would offer me a U.S. work visa. It wasn’t what I expected to go through which was thus aggravating. Back then, I used to have pounding headaches during the day. I used to wake up early hours in the morning crying. I remember getting a regular physical and my doctor told me I was a little underweight and my blood pressure was slightly below normal.
My situation had affected me mentally and physically. I was deeply unhappy and my body was worn out. Consequently, I had to find ways to push through the challenges. I had to find ways to get through my pain and the uncertainties that life brings us and I did. Now, I feel much better than I have in a long time. So I have some suggestions on how to overcome the moments when we’re stressed and depressed. The times when we feel as though there’s a dark cloud hanging above us that we can’t escape. There’s a way out.
Control the Mind
The way we think about ourselves and our lives affects our world. We all go through challenging situations that may cause us to be negative. But we need to learn to shift our thoughts. To not dwell too much on the things we can’t control.
I had to accept that I didn’t have control over my visa status. I had to come to terms with making my move to leave New York and starting anew in my country. Arriving in Nigeria, in order to be happy, I had to shift my perception. It meant I had to let go off the anger and negativity I harbored because life didn’t give me what I envisioned in New York. I also had to question the thoughts that said I can’t create the life I want for myself. I had to remind myself of what I’ve been able to do that I’m proud of. I had to remind myself of what I’m fortunate to have. When I cultivate the spirit of gratitude, I see how good my life is.
Make Time to Socialize Or Seek Counsel
When life’s challenges become overwhelming, isolation seems inevitable. It can be necessary to be on our own because we all need moments to ourselves. I need moments to meditate, to reflect, to learn more about myself and what I want. But when I completely isolate myself, I can easily become a recluse. Then, I don’t reach out to connect so I get stuck in my problems and stresses. Forcing myself to make time to connect more with others put me in a better state of mind. Speaking to family members and friends about the challenges I faced brought me a new perspective, support, motivation and simply a listening ear.
If you don’t feel as though there’s someone you’re comfortable with discussing your challenges, it might be best to seek professional counsel.
Exercise matters especially when you’re going through difficult times. Being active makes an impact. Staying active gives me the energy I need to carry on with my days. Staying active produces endorphins that put me in a good mood.
When I wasn’t feeling my best, I had to make more time to run. It helped me because I always feel fantastic after a run. It also helps me to focus more and gain clarity.
Feed Your Spirit
It can be difficult to continue to do the things you enjoy when you’re depressed. But taking on activities that give me joy brought me peace of mind that I didn’t have when I was only ruminating on what was going wrong in my life. Writing, reading, doing yoga and strengthening my faith through meditation and prayer are my safe haven. All these things are my comfort place. So you can ask yourself, what are safe and healthy things that bring you joy?
If you’ve dealt with depression, what helped you get to a better state of mind?
Below, the video is by Bishop T.D. Jakes who provides great advice and insight for how to deal with depression. Bishop T.D. Jake’s sermons lift my spirit. He discusses how often depression can be associated with shame. You feel the need to hide it but that shouldn’t be the case. I hope you’ll find comfort in his words.