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Dealing with Depression

I struggle with depression.

This is what I hear in my head: "But wait, aren't you a wellness company owner and a really bubbly person?", "Why are you representing happiness and a healthy mindset, if you're depressed?", "Is something wrong with you?", "Why can't you just be happy?"

The truth is, when you are depressed, it doesn't always change your values, positive outlook on life for those around you, your ability to be successful, or any of the little things that make you, you. The mask that you wear each day to hide the sadness is sometimes just a mask of the person that you want to be or the mask of the person that you are when you aren't feeling the shackles of depression.

For me personally, I always aim to be bubbly and happy to everyone around me. I truly feel that sometimes a smile and a genuine, "How are you doing today?", can make a huge difference for someone else's life. Also, I draw positive energy from those around me that I can joke around with and make a connection to. For me, the depression doesn't seem to fully hit until I am by myself with my own thoughts tearing me down. It may be cliché to say that I am my own worst enemy, but it's true.

Additionally, my thoughts about whether or not I am qualified to be a wellness business owner when I have mental and physical health concerns, is a point that I should never be using to doubt my ability. When I look at it with clear lenses, I think about how my challenges make me MORE qualified, not less. I came to this conclusion as I started thinking about my own experiences with others in the wellness industry. For example, I went to therapy for the first time and was telling her about my alcoholic father and how it has effected my life and she shared with me that she, too, had an alcoholic loved one in her life and she had to find ways to cope with it. I felt at ease knowing that she had been through a similar struggle and she could actually understand what I was feeling. I like connecting with people that are real and raw about the highs and the lows that have created their beautiful character.

Recently, I lost my father. He took his own life on April 5, 2022. This is the father that struggled with alcoholism. The alcohol controlled his life and, from his perspective, he was no longer able to deal with it. It is my belief that he felt that taking his own life was a way of taking back control. Almost like he was going to be the one to end his life, not the alcohol.

Of course, I have been a mess since I found out. I have been searching for answers, breaking down multiple times a day, and unable to stay motivated to even get out of bed or do normal everyday things. It has been the worst thing that has ever. happened to me. I cannot describe how truly shattered my heart feels.

Yesterday was my first day back at work, and I broke down within 20 minutes of walking in. So many people were giving me a hug and asking me how I was doing. It was nice to see so many people caring about me, but it was a constant reminder of the horror that I have been through these past two weeks. Needless to say, yesterday sucked. However, I keep telling myself that I have to get up, I have to continue on with life because my father wouldn't want me putting my life on hold and ruining all the hard work I've put into my friends, family, college classes, my business, buying a new home, or my current full time job. I have so many "irons in the fire"right now that I will impede my success if I do not find some type of motivation deep inside that will pull me out of bed each day.

With that being said, I will tell you about a conversation I had with my mother. It was about four days ago. I was laying in bed crying and I called her. I told her about how I had no desire to get up and do anything, that I hadn't washed my hair since I got the news of my father, that I wasn't eating regular meals, wasn't getting anything done, and I just wanted to lay in bed forever. I told her about how I felt that if I continued on with life, it must mean that I am moving on and I just didn't want to move on. My mother, who is a therapist (not my therapist, but has the skills nonetheless), described a solution to help me while I am in an extreme depression. She said, "I want you to make a list of 100 things you can do if you are feeling unmotivated to get out of bed. 100 things, doesn't matter what the thing is, it can be big or small, but I want you to make the list. When you can't get out of bed, reference your list and just pick one thing off of it that you could do and start there". I thought about this and promised her that I would do it. Then she said, "Today, promise me that you are going to get up after we talk and go wash your hair". So, I promised her I would and I don't break promises to people. I got out of bed, washed my hair and stood next to my bed for a long while. I had promised her I wouldn't get sucked back in. Finally, I decided I would go to the couch and watch some of the channels on YouTube that I really like. I texted her, "Does moving to the couch to watch YouTube videos that I really like count as getting up?" She replied with, "Yes, that counts".

I am going to share with you the list of 100 things that I made to help me pull myself out of bed when I am feeling especially unmotivated. Maybe this list will help you, but I do encourage you to make your own as well.

  1. Watch some of your favorite YouTube videos - out of bed.

  2. Water the plants

  3. clean out the fridge

  4. meal prep for the week or make a meal prep idea list

  5. Take a hot bath

  6. Meditate

  7. Do some yoga

  8. Play with the cats

  9. Play with Yeji (My pet hedge hog)

  10. Read a book

  11. Journal

  12. Look at the fish in the fish tank for a while

  13. Make the bed

  14. Organize a drawer or closet that you've been wanting to organize

  15. Dust the whole house

  16. Write a blog

  17. Make a post on instagram - outside of bed

  18. Call a friend

  19. Go for a walk

  20. Stretch a little

  21. Listen to music - outside of bed

  22. Sit outside for a little while

  23. Go window shopping

  24. Go for a drive

  25. Draw a picture

  26. Paint

  27. Make a mug in the cricket mug press

  28. Budget (I love budgeting..)

  29. Make a mood board

  30. Make a to do list

  31. Drink a cup of coffee

  32. Make a meal to eat right now. Something tasty

  33. Wrap a crystal necklace

  34. Go to six flags and ride a roller coaster

  35. Plan a vacation, you don't have to know when you're going, just that you want to go.

  36. Plan a road trip

  37. Make a Pinterest board for my dream wedding

  38. Make a wish list on amazon

  39. Text 5 friends

  40. Review local businesses that you've been to

  41. go grocery shopping

  42. garden outside

  43. Take some photos of things or yourself around the house

  44. Get all dolled up for no reason

  45. Try learning a new thing - like French braiding

  46. Go to a garage sale (if its a weekend)

  47. Go thrifting

  48. Do the dishes

  49. Do a load of laundry

  50. Wash the sheets

  51. Make a yoga video for the website

  52. Go swimming. If you can't find a pool, find a hotel that has one, a friend that has one, or a local public pool.

  53. Drink a cup of hot tea

  54. Go to a dog park, who cares if you have a dog or not.

  55. Take yourself on a lunch date

  56. Take a friend on a lunch date

  57. Go see a movie at a local theater

  58. Get a massage

  59. Repurpose an old piece of furniture in your house that needs a new look

  60. Make a positive affirmation list and post it on the bathroom mirror

  61. Play a game on the playstation

  62. Play a game on your phone

  63. Play a game on your computer

  64. Make a piece of downloadable content for the website

  65. Review a book online

  66. Find a group on Facebook that you can be apart of

  67. Make a list of all the negative thoughts that are coming up, then go outside and light the list on fire and let it go

  68. Create a "morning ritual" - Create a go to list that you want to stick to for each morning. Heres mine :

    1. Make your bed

    2. Wash your face

    3. Make a pot of coffee

    4. Before drinking coffee, drink one glass of water

    5. Drink a cup of coffee while sitting outside or watching a favorite YouTube channel

    6. Look at your planner and write out a plan for the day, or decide if you want to just go with the flow

    7. Make some breakfast

    8. Take your vitamins

    9. Spend at least 15 minutes outside

  69. Go to a local park and swing

  70. Work on your scrapbook

  71. Make a picture printing haul to a local print shop. Print all those digital pictures that have been hidden in your phone or camera

  72. Create a bedtime routine. Heres mine:

    1. Try to start getting ready for bed no later than 10pm

    2. Make a cup of hot tea

    3. Take a slow and mindful hot bath

    4. Wash your face

    5. Put moisturizers on face and body

    6. Drink a small glass of water

    7. Brush teeth and floss

    8. Read or listen to one chapter of a book

  73. Make a reflection journal entry of things that I am grateful for or things that I value and why

  74. Write at least a couple paragraphs of the book that I've been working on for years

  75. Volunteer for a local charity

  76. Make some homeless care packages to keep in the car

  77. Clean out the car

  78. Wash the car - either take it to get a good wash, or wash it yourself

  79. Get a manicure

  80. Get a pedicure

  81. Get a haircut / hair color

  82. Write a poem

  83. Create a recipe

  84. Go through social media accounts and prune out the accounts that you are following that are not making you feel good to see on your feed

  85. Look at the contacts in your phone and find an old contact that you haven't reached out to in a long time. Send them a text

  86. Sell some unneeded items on an online marketplace, plan a garage sale or bring a box of unneeded items to GoodWill

  87. Make a list of things that are causing me stress and write out a way to reduce or eliminate the stress item

  88. Watch a movie from home. Make a bowl of popcorn or a snack and get cozy with a movie you've been meaning to watch

  89. Shave your legs - This is something I always put off, but I feel so good when I do it

  90. Spend some time on a shared hobby with my significant other

  91. Enjoy a face mask - make it yourself if you have the ingredients

  92. Turn on music in a language you can't understand, then just listen and go with the flow

  93. Go outside barefoot and stand in the grass for 5 minutes

  94. Create a new look for a room in the house that isn't how you want it. Add paint to the wall or make a wall art piece, just anything to spruce up a part of the house that could be used but hasn't had any purpose yet. Don't forget to take before and after pictures

  95. Make a music playlist - I always want to do this but I never do

  96. listen to a podcast

  97. Mark important dates on your calendar and things that you are always forgetting to do, pay, or holidays, and birthdays

  98. Plan your outfits for the week. Take some pictures. wear that old dress, shirt or pants that have been in the back of your closet waiting to be worn

  99. Pretend to be a vlogger all day. Video everything you do whether you plan to post it or not

  100. Go to the lake and have a picnic with yourself, your partner, or a friend.

I hope you found this list to be helpful. I will tell you that it took me a long time to make it but it was enlightening to see that there are so many things I could get up and do that are either free or not that expensive. Making this list actually made me feel motivated to get up and do some of the things on it as well.

I will be making an instagram post asking for ideas for what you can do when you are trying to motivate yourself to get up. If there's something that I didn't mention for my own list (which there's probably tons of stuff), be sure to comment and let me know what I missed or something that you for yourself. You can also comment on this blog post!

Also, if you are feeling really depressed and haven't been able to find someone that can help, I urge you to reach out to a friend, your doctor, or a therapist. Asking for help does not make you seem weak. I actually think that it makes you seem strong because taking the step to ask for help is something that takes courage.

If you are feeling suicidal or hopeless, just know that there are so many people that love you. I love you.

Love always,

Heather Brooke


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