Many people struggle with depression and recurring melancholic periods in their lives. According to The National Institute of Mental Health, in 2019, 19.4 million adults struggled with depression in the USA (that is 7.9 percent of the population).
Sadly depression affects a large portion of the population, both adults and teenagers, causing the January blues to stay much longer than expected.
Depression is often accompanied by anxiety, changes in eating and sleeping patterns, motivation, and the level of social interaction with others. At these times it may feel like you are stuck in a position that you can’t escape from.
It’s tough and you don’t necessarily have to be diagnosed or continuously sad to seek help and perhaps a radical change within your lifestyle. You may not notice but sometimes problems or melancholic emotions can be self-inflicted. Of course, it’s more complex than that, however, until you recognize and admit that something doesn’t feel fully right you could easily turn your life around.
Step 1: Try to find the cause of your emotions.
If someone would ask you why you are sad you may think to yourself for a second and could only say “I’m not sure.”
Often people are sad because of certain events that they have experienced lately, be that an injury, weather conditions, or hormones. Unhappiness from these things tends to be temporary and the person experiencing it usually has a hunch about it.
The greater problem is when the negative emotions you are experiencing are ongoing and you cannot put your finger on the cause. Often it’s still there but you may fail to recognize it as it may be embedded within your daily life.
Extreme stress and anxiety can be caused by family members or significant others. It may also be linked to friendships or workplaces. It’s important that you sometimes view situations objectively for your own good.
Step 2: Stay optimistic.
It’s also crucial that you don’t give in to the sadness as there is always a solution.
Once you admit to yourself the source of toxicity, the next step is to do something about it that changes it. Some ideas include going on vacation to get away from the negative environment and having honest conversations with certain people in your life.
Step 3: Make a change.
Sadly at times first it goes worse before it gets better. After discovering the source of the negativity, you may need to perform somewhat radical changes within your life to bring about positive change. This may include quitting your job and leaving behind a narcissistic boss or removing things or people that bring you down.
Step 4: Enjoy the freedom.
Instead of viewing the change as a failure, regard it as freedom. Jobs are important and so are relationships, however, once they have an extensive negative impact on your mental (and maybe even physical) health then you should not feel any regrets.
Step 5: Try new things.
After big changes, it’s okay to have a smaller break. Maybe paying a visit to an old friend or family member across the country could be something to do.
You should also keep in mind that there is nothing holding you back from doing what you would like to do or from trying new things. What’s important is that you take care of yourself.
There is no shame in going to the cinema or mall alone if others are unavailable. It may be even better and more liberating as now you will be able to spend as much time in the bookshop without someone continuously asking how much longer you will take.
Step 6: Value yourself.
It may only be now that you have removed the negative person or thing from your life that you notice how much you have been brought down.
The next step is gaining back your confidence. Be brave and adventurous. Don’t be afraid to wear a pink leather jacket if that’s what brings you happiness.
Maybe up until now, you were self-conscious but also avoiding the gym. Perhaps now that you don’t have that external pressure you can join certain sporting groups.
The same could be said about eating. Once you have more time on your hands you can explore cooking healthier or simply more exotic meals. This would not only give you a new set of skills but could improve your self-image as well.
Step 7: Maintain the “new” you.
Once you manage to move on from trauma or previous toxicity, you may not even notice the passing of time.
Time is great medicine and you probably will figure that you would never want to go back to the initial situation. In order to preserve your current mental state and happiness is to do things that feel good and right. Be aware that you can say “yes” or “no” whenever you would like to.