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.
Watch some of your favorite YouTube videos - out of bed.
Water the plants
clean out the fridge
meal prep for the week or make a meal prep idea list
Take a hot bath
Do some yoga
Play with the cats
Play with Yeji (My pet hedge hog)
Read a book
Look at the fish in the fish tank for a while
Make the bed
Organize a drawer or closet that you've been wanting to organize
Dust the whole house
Write a blog
Make a post on instagram - outside of bed
Call a friend
Go for a walk
Stretch a little
Listen to music - outside of bed
Sit outside for a little while
Go window shopping
Go for a drive
Draw a picture
Make a mug in the cricket mug press
Budget (I love budgeting..)
Make a mood board
Make a to do list
Drink a cup of coffee
Make a meal to eat right now. Something tasty
Wrap a crystal necklace
Go to six flags and ride a roller coaster
Plan a vacation, you don't have to know when you're going, just that you want to go.
Plan a road trip
Make a Pinterest board for my dream wedding
Make a wish list on amazon
Text 5 friends
Review local businesses that you've been to
go grocery shopping
Take some photos of things or yourself around the house
Get all dolled up for no reason
Try learning a new thing - like French braiding
Go to a garage sale (if its a weekend)
Do the dishes
Do a load of laundry
Wash the sheets
Make a yoga video for the website
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.
Drink a cup of hot tea
Go to a dog park, who cares if you have a dog or not.
Take yourself on a lunch date
Take a friend on a lunch date
Go see a movie at a local theater
Get a massage
Repurpose an old piece of furniture in your house that needs a new look
Make a positive affirmation list and post it on the bathroom mirror
Play a game on the playstation
Play a game on your phone
Play a game on your computer
Make a piece of downloadable content for the website
Review a book online
Find a group on Facebook that you can be apart of
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
Create a "morning ritual" - Create a go to list that you want to stick to for each morning. Heres mine :
Make your bed
Wash your face
Make a pot of coffee
Before drinking coffee, drink one glass of water
Drink a cup of coffee while sitting outside or watching a favorite YouTube channel
Look at your planner and write out a plan for the day, or decide if you want to just go with the flow
Make some breakfast
Take your vitamins
Spend at least 15 minutes outside
Go to a local park and swing
Work on your scrapbook
Make a picture printing haul to a local print shop. Print all those digital pictures that have been hidden in your phone or camera
Create a bedtime routine. Heres mine:
Try to start getting ready for bed no later than 10pm
Make a cup of hot tea
Take a slow and mindful hot bath
Wash your face
Put moisturizers on face and body
Drink a small glass of water
Brush teeth and floss
Read or listen to one chapter of a book
Make a reflection journal entry of things that I am grateful for or things that I value and why
Write at least a couple paragraphs of the book that I've been working on for years
Volunteer for a local charity
Make some homeless care packages to keep in the car
Clean out the car
Wash the car - either take it to get a good wash, or wash it yourself
Get a manicure
Get a pedicure
Get a haircut / hair color
Write a poem
Create a recipe
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
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
Sell some unneeded items on an online marketplace, plan a garage sale or bring a box of unneeded items to GoodWill
Make a list of things that are causing me stress and write out a way to reduce or eliminate the stress item
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
Shave your legs - This is something I always put off, but I feel so good when I do it
Spend some time on a shared hobby with my significant other
Enjoy a face mask - make it yourself if you have the ingredients
Turn on music in a language you can't understand, then just listen and go with the flow
Go outside barefoot and stand in the grass for 5 minutes
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
Make a music playlist - I always want to do this but I never do
listen to a podcast
Mark important dates on your calendar and things that you are always forgetting to do, pay, or holidays, and birthdays
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
Pretend to be a vlogger all day. Video everything you do whether you plan to post it or not
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.