I think all of us have reached a stage in our lives, at some point or another, where it’s hard to get up and start the day. Living your life seems tedious and exhausting. All your energy and life force have been dragged out of you to the point where a vacation won’t do the trick (maybe a month of sleep will). Some might called this depression, I prefer calling it a bout of sadness.
Bouts of sadness can be caused by anything from hormones, vitamin or nutrient imbalances or too much mental, emotional and physical stress. Overcoming them seem hard to do when you’re in the middle of the situation but they can be overcome quite easily if you follow these steps. Bouts of sadness can also pass with time as your hormones correct themselves and you receive the correct nutrition.
1. Avoid caffeine
Lower your coffee intake during bouts of sadness. Coffee is a comfort for a lot of people but during bouts of sadness caffeine can hinder rather than help the situation. There is no conclusive evidence that coffee causes depression. However, the increased alertness that comes with the consumption of coffee can translate into feelings of anxiety and cause insomnia, which can indirectly affect your mood and cause bouts of sadness. I would not suggest that regular coffee drinkers stop having coffee all together but limiting yourself can make you see results and a relief in your symptoms.
2. Have your fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients and vitamins that can help reduce feelings of sadness caused by poor nutrition. Iron deficiency is the main culprit when it comes to feeling sluggish and tired. Most of us forget to eat proper meals during times of stress. The symptoms of poor nutrition lead to sadness, which for most means more junk food. If vegetables and fruits aren’t your thing, go buy some multi vitamins as an alternative.
3. Get your 8 hours
Some people function on less than 8 hours sleep a day and some people going through a hard time might want to sleep way more (that month of sleep I was talking about earlier). It is important that you first and foremost make sure that you are giving your body enough time to sleep. Sleep helps your body heal and reset. Without that time your hormones will go out of whack. If you’re awake more than you should be, you are using resources that your body doesn’t have which can lead to burnout. Similarly, you should not be oversleeping, set your alarm for 8 hours of sleep every night and wake up when your alarm goes off. This feeds into one of the points below of not breaking routine but also avoiding the negative side effects of oversleeping.
4. Do not isolate yourself
As tempting as it may seem to draw the curtain on the world when you’re having a bout of sadness, don’t do it. Do not take a sick day and stay at home alone, do not say “no” to visiting your friend on the weekend. Isolating yourself is feeding the problem instead of working toward a solution. You could be adding feelings of loneliness and a lack of support to your arsenal when you isolate yourself. So despite how badly you want to stay at home, get out there, go to work and stay social. (You might want to forewarn your friends that you wont be a ton of fun).
5. Do not break routine
Yes you’re drained and feeling exhausted and now I’m being mean and telling you not to break routine by carrying on with all the hard work that caused this in the first place. As I said before we aren’t trying to feed the problem, we are solving it. Staying in routine is the best thing you can do for yourself. Still go to gym, still go to work and still cook your own meals. Going off routine is not a good idea as you might be adding feelings of being lost, empty or like something is strange or missing.
Bouts of sadness are temporary, they are a speed bump in your mental health that can be overcome by taking better care of yourself for a little while. If after reading this you think that you are suffering from depression, which is a pervasive sadness and dulling of experience that won’t go away without formal intervention, you should consider seeking help immediately.