Do you have depression? Well, depression is more than feeling sad. There is another symptom that no one else talks about very much.
According to The Mayo Clinic, one of the symptoms of depression is:
Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports
You might feel like you have no motivation. You don’t want to do anything at all. No matter what you do, you just feel bored.
It is like life is dull and lifeless, and has lost all of its color. Everything is in shades of gray.
That’s what it feels like to lose interest in everything. You don’t really want anything. You just sit there like a lump being bored and unmotivated. You might want to sleep a lot.
This ties into two other depression symptoms:
Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
Sometimes depression looks like just being so tired that everything takes a ton of effort to do. You don’t want to get out of bed. You don’t feel motivated at all.
This can be one of the worst parts of being depressed. At least when you are sad, you feel something. Even feeling bad is better than feeling nothing at all.
That’s the mood I was in yesterday. I just was completely unmotivated, bored, and tired. I just laid down on the couch all day watching my daughter’s gaming videos. Not something I would usually watch with her.
Depression is hard to talk about, hard to cope with, and sometimes when you are depressed it just looks to someone else like you are tired or lazy.
It is hard to explain this feeling of heaviness that comes over everything; your body and your psyche. It just covers you in this state of blah.
Getting out of the blahs
If you want to feel less blah because of depression, one of the strategies that is supposed to work is called Behavioral Activation. This means, no matter how you feel, get up and do things anyway.
According to Medical News Today,
Behavioral activation is an approach to mental health that focuses on using behaviors to “activate” pleasant emotions. The idea is that by putting action first, a person does not need to wait to feel motivated, but they can still gain the benefits that the action has on their well-being.
When you get moving, even with simple tasks, you can start to feel better about your daily life. Even if you don’t have any motivation.
I usually start with some cleaning if I am trying to use behavioral activation, because if I don’t feel like doing anything, I may as well do something useful. That way, I feel better for having accomplished something.
Spend time in nature
When you spend time in nature, it helps to fight off depression for several reasons:
By getting outside and getting moving, such as taking a walk outside in a park or other natural area, you are moving your body and soaking up fresh air and sunshine.
This helps to lower your depressed mood because of the properties of the UV rays, which can help to make you happier.
According to Healthline,
Exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the brain’s release of a hormone called serotonin. Serotonin is associated with boosting mood and helping a person feel calm and focused.
Since with depression you have lowered serotonin levels, anything that can naturally boost this chemical in the brain will help to improve your mood.
Have some coffee
You probably know that caffeine gives you energy. But did you know that coffee can reduce depression risk by up to one third?
According to the National Coffee Association,
Caffeine blocks mood-depressing chemicals in the brain. Caffeine blocks receptors in the brain from binding with a chemical (adenosine) that causes fatigue and depressed mood.
So, your cup of joe in the morning (or the afternoon!) can help you feel less depressed and more motivated to get through the blah days.
Who knew that coffee is actually scientifically proven to decrease your risk of depression.
If you are having a blah day, and feeling like all the sunshine has gone out of your life, these are some ways that you can get out of feeling like everything is just in shades of gray. To fight off depression you can:
Get up and moving
Spend some time outside
Have some coffee
However if these symptoms persist for longer than a few days, it is also important to talk to a mental health professional about your depression. This way, you can develop additional long-term coping strategies and get prescribed a medication if needed.
Here are some tips for Finding a Therapist.
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