There are times when you know depression is heading in, unpacking it’s bags, and is going to stay for a bit. Then there are times when you feel off and then it hits you, depression surprised you.
This happened to me last month. For a few days I just felt weird. I wasn’t unhappy. Life wasn’t any more or less stressful. So why was I in this funk?
I had a few days of getting really upset with the kids while Eddy was working, all day long! He works mostly 12’s. When he’s home, he is home. It’s amazing. But when he’s gone, he’s gone all day long!
Eddy has a rotating two week schedule. One week he works Wednesday and Thursday. The next week he works Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
I know I shouldn’t complain but having him work every other weekend and half of the nights is DRAINNING! I also know that many people work long hours all the time. Props to you all!
Here is where I’m going to say that for people who have depression, anxiety, ADD, or other mental health issues this can and will effect you differently than people who do not suffer from mental health issues.
By the time the weekend rolls around on his long weeks I am done. I have less patience, less stamina, less desire to repeat myself a million times, and just want to be alone. #truthbomb
My funk of a mood started at the tail end of a long work week. It really did catch me by surprise. I just kept thinking, “What’s wrong with me?” and “Why can’t I just get out of this mood?” Well, it turns out that depression was sneaking it’s ugly head into my life. Depressions surprised me again!
Here are some things that happened around this time that depression surprised me:
- I drove past a horrible looking accident on the freeway going about 10 miles an hour. I was behind the police and incident management trucks who were just reopening the freeway after it being closed for hours. I’m talking two sedans that were totally and completely crushed in the front. One of the car’s whole side was missing. I could see right into the passenger side of the car and SEE the blood. I instantly lost it, starting crying. Without a doubt I knew some incredibly sad things happened that day. And I was right. I later found out that two people had passed away from that accident. Heart braking!!
- Long work week for Eddy
- I had to stop working out because I injured my super lame knee, again.
- There were a couple times I lost it on my kids. I always feel horrible and so drained after ward.
Shortly after these things happened Eddy was calling me on his way home from work. I had gotten the kids to bed and just laid on my bed, crying. Saying all the bad things that I had said and done. Thinking how horrible I was. I wasn’t a good mom…. Bla, bla, bla. You know what I mean.
Eddy chatted for a few minutes and asked how I was. I started crying again and told him that I was not in a good place. I was having a hard time and needed help. This is when I really realized that depression surprised me again.
He is such an amazing person and said all the right things to help me the best that he could right then on the phone. When he got home he held me and told me more amazing things.
I’m telling you- a good cry and a hug from your favorite person is so healing.
So what should we do when life hands us crap and depression surprised us?
Many of the same things we do when we see it coming. Sorry to not have this amazing trick to share with you,
Take Time for Yourself
Take a mental health day off of work. Get a babysitter or arrange for your spouse to be home. You need some mad alone time! You need time to rest, relax, try to get that stress and sadness away.
Get Your Self Outside
Even if it is freezing, get your face in the sunlight for a few minutes. Bundle up and walk around the block. Strap your kids into the stroller, have them ride their bikes with you as you take a stroll outside. Drive to the mountains and sit outside in the fresh air.
Move Your Body
A few days after I broke down to Eddy I had my OBGYN appointment. We talked about what was going on and what had changed. Her number one thing she said I needed to do was workout. Well, I can’t really workout with a bummer knee. Or can I…
My doc suggested that I go swimming. But, I had just canceled my gym membership. So I had to get creative. I did more stress releasing yoga and stretching. And once my knee was feeling better I started to bike or walk SLOWLY for 10 minutes. Followed by an upper body lifting session (hello!!! I can still work out my upper body if my knee is being lame) or yoga.
It wasn’t what I wanted to do but it quickly became what I needed. I was working my body the best way that I could and it was helping me. So get up and move your body the way it feels best.
I can’t tell you enough that working out is such a great depression help. Get up and move!
Yoga or Meditate
This kind of goes along with working out. But it also is very separate from it. Yes, yoga is working out. But it is sooo much more than that.
When I have been consistent with my yoga I have noticed such a change in my attitude. And my depression and anxiety. Yoga and meditation are such important aspects to your mental well being.
I have noticed that depression surprised me less when I am consistent with yoga.
My breathing would becoming slower in situations that might stress me out. I stayed more calm when my kiddos were pushing my buttons (not all the time but a big improvement). There was just an overall feeling of calm and peace. It’s amazing!
Talk To Someone
Talking to a family member or friend can be really helpful. It may be time to talk to a professional. If you already see a therapist you may need to see if you can schedule a session sooner rather than later.
Also, talking to your doctor is a good idea if you really feel the need or want to talk about adjusting any medications or starting any.
Write Things Down
Maybe this depression moment caught you by surprise because the triggers were different. You’ll want to keep note of this. It will be helpful in the future.
Or maybe your bla mood turned into depression, again write it down. The more you keep track the better you’ll be able to help your future self.
While you’re at it, you might want to tell a loved one about what’s going on. This may help them in the future to see any signs of possible depression sneaking in.
Have you heard the phrase, “Forget yourself and serve”? Well, my friends there is a lot of truth in forgetting yourself while you are serving others. It doesn’t have to be huge, grand service. Simple acts of service can and will brighten the lives of those we serve and our own.
The tricky thing about mental health and depression is it is not a one time thing (for most of us). Nor does it start the same, feel the same, act the same every single time.
It can change and keeps us on our toes. We need to celebrate the good days and count our blessing. This has helped me at times in the past with my depression, wither it was depression I knew was coming or when depression surprised me.
As always, You are enough! 🙂 Always!
Please reach out to anyone (me included) if you are needing help. Here are also some good resources as well:
Here are some links to blog posts I’ve written about mental health and ways to help oneself.