Fighting Depression

When Plan Z fails – fighting depression

What do you do when you run out of letters in the alphabet?

Sometimes, no matter how hard you push and try and shove and battle, you’re stuck. You can’t move on with your life the way you want. And that is bloody annoying. Now, you know me, I’m not a quitter – when I’m faced with a problem, I battle away at it. If Plan A doesn’t work, I’ll try Plan B, Plan C, Plan D and so on and so forth wearily through the alphabet. This time, I’ve got to Plan Z and, guess what? Plan Z fell flat on its nose too. So now what? Give up? Hell no!

There are times, it strikes me, when you just have to submit to the Hand of Fate or whatever you want to call it and…wait. .

Does that mean you wait passively? Does it mean slumping into depression or necking a bottle of wine (or more) a night? Nah. Been there, worn that T-shirt. It’s old. I figure that, even when you’re really neck deep in Stuck (and quite possibly nose deep in Shit too), there are still things you can do. Exterior circumstances might be immovable forces but you can still work on the things over which you have control – ie yourself. So I’m using this waiting time to get myself in order.

When life gets tough often the first things we let slip are diet and exercise. If you’re feeling low it’s the easiest thing in the world to reach for the comfort food, to grab the booze…to say ‘Sod off!’ to the gym and to slump at your desk, or sink into the sofa rather than going for a run or a swim or whatever. Of course it’s a vicious circle. Eating shit food and necking alcohol plunges you further into the depression cycle. Forgoing exercise makes you miss out on all those gorgeous endorphins. So you get more depressed and, well…you know how it goes.

My exercise regime has slipped of late. I blamed it on having two injured shoulders but really, I was just making excuses. So I’ve started doing a weekly circuit class at the gym, and got a new programme too – because I know that, when my muscles work hard, my mind smiles. Can’t get to the gym? Can’t afford it? Not a problem. I could adapt my plan for a DIY home workout if anyone’s interested?  Or, really, just do whatever you like as long as you’re moving – it could be walking, chair yoga, dancing like a loon round your living room…whatever.

Food-wise I had been letting my diet go to hell in a handcart and, yup, my mood nosedived along with my blood sugar levels. So I’ve been hauling myself back into healthy eating. No extreme juice fasts or detox diets, no hair-shirt stuff – just good balanced healthy eating.  Again, if anyone’s interested, I am happy to give more details in another post.

The other part of the equation is meditation. I can’t make the bastard world outside me change (at least, not yet), but I can always change my interior world. Too busy? Let me really annoy you by quoting the old Zen adage:

“You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you’re too busy: then you should sit for an hour.”

So here I am. Waiting. But not just waiting – exercising and meditating and eating seriously decent food. And it feels… better.