Ever wondered why you are not in the mood from time to time?
Being down, depressed, demotivated, unable to focus or be productive is a crucial part of our nature. And important one, as it is close to our well-being and overall health status. As silly as this may sound, it makes sense: Imagine, that you would never experience such mental states. How would you recognize the opposite? Being up and down are two sides of the same psyche.
Believe or not, most people can learn to handle even moderate depressions without any medication.
Okay, we have accepted our current state of mind. Now, let's change it!
1. Calm down.
You will need some focus to start with. Force yourself into a calmed down state utilizing any technique available - a breathing exercise is good one.
What has led you to current state of mind, what was the last thing you did?
- Was it an effort too hard, such as solving a difficult work-related problem?
- Was it a particular feeling or sensation you have experienced?
- Was it an interaction with someone or something?
- Can't recall anything suitable from close past?
Write that down, you will need it later.
3. Immediately do something for yourself.
Do not wait until you are in the mood. Just break your current routine by fully switching to something else. Something you would normally enjoy.
- Have you spent most of the day behind the desk? Go for a walk.
- Around meal time? Get especially tasty one! Not a meal time? Grab a cup of coffee or tea.
- In the middle of a book? Read a chapter or two.
- Take a nap.
4. Process the cause.
Now, with your state temporarily revived, let's not yoyo back into the depression. Start by going back to the cause identified in point 2 and try to produce a plan, that will either lead you to the completion of the cause, or guide your steps should you encounter the cause again. What is a good plan?
- A good plan is always split into manageable parts.
- Each of those parts has a clear and measurable outcome.
- A good plan identifies dependencies, and points out external ones (those out of our control).
- A good plan is never too abstract; it provides overall step by step guidance.
- A good plan is never overly detailed; it does not tap into the execution itself.
- A good plan is aware of the constant evolution it will need to go through.
You have just done a lot of work, well done! Devising a plan is never a small task, no matter the circumstances. You should rest now. After some time, review your plan, update if necessary, and be proud of it.
Time to follow your plan! Do not forget to review outcomes of each finished part and continuously work on bending the plan to fit the ever changing reality.
Bits and pieces.
- The time at your disposal really is everything you have. Use it effectively.
- Cherish your sleep. Plan for it, account for proper slow-downs before the bed time. Make it your routine.
- Be with your family, close friends and the people that charge you up and inspire you.
- Get to know your true self. Introverts get charged-up in completely different ways than extrovert people.
- Eat well. Use meal time as an opportunity to meet people.
- Exercise regularly, 3-5 times a week. Instead of looking for excuses and avoiding your trainings, lower the intensity so it becomes possible even under the load.
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