Depression is a condition that can rob you of even the simplest joys in life, and if you don’t even enjoy the things you love, how can you be productive? The worst part about it is that productivity is actually an essential part of managing depression, but the condition is so good at sucking the motivation right out of you. When you find that depression is beginning to take away your motivation to be productive, remember these helpful tips to successfully manage the condition while remaining as productive as possible.
Routine, Routine, Routine
The experts agree that a daily routine is a crucial component of your mental health; especially if you’re dealing with a condition like depression. Depression can make things seem like they’re spiraling out of control, and your daily routine acts as a sort of anchor for your mind when things seem troubled. The familiarity of a daily routine can help ease your symptoms and assist in focusing on something constructive rather than the dark thoughts in the back of your mind.
If you don’t already follow a daily routine, there’s no time like the present to create one. Daily routines have a significant impact on the productivity of each day and can make navigating life’s challenges that much easier. A routine doesn’t have to be a detailed spreadsheet that assigns tasks to every waking moment, either. A simple list of tasks that you do every day is enough to keep your mind working and focused on what’s important.
A Consistent Sleep Schedule
Sleep is essential to both physical and mental health, and it’s no secret that most of us don’t get enough of it; or rather, we don’t get the quality of sleep that we should. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control, one in three Americans doesn’t get enough sleep each night. How can you possibly be productive and manage your mental health without the energy to do so? Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day gets your body into a natural rhythm, which can make the entire process of falling asleep simpler.
Not to mention, staring at a screen right before bed isn’t exactly good for the brain. Blue light from cell phones, tablets, and other electronics can actually cue your brain that it’s actually not time for sleep. The flickering lights alert the brain and keep you awake for hours afterward. It’s a good idea to turn off your screens at least a half-hour before you attempt to sleep in order to properly unwind the brain and prepare it for rest.
Mental health conditions are difficult to manage alone, so it’s important that you’ve got a great support team behind you. Whether that’s your family, friends, mental health professionals, coaches, or all of the above, it’s incredibly beneficial to have someone in your corner when things get tough. Depression makes things that much more difficult, but with a helping hand, you’ll have a much easier time managing symptoms and staying productive.
For instance, if you find that you don’t hit the gym like you should when you’re depressed, a workout buddy can help hold you accountable and motivate/encourage you to go even when you don’t want to. Likewise, a colleague can help you realize when you’re falling off the wagon and even help you get back up on your feet should you start to slip.
Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. There are hundreds of mental health resources available in your area, and friends and family may actually be more understanding than you think. When you’re thinking things like “why do I hate myself?”, a mental health professional can help you figure out the source of your depression and get you back on track.
Take a Break Once in Awhile
If you find yourself overwhelmed by work, home, or school while you’re battling depression, it’s ok to take a break for a while to recover. We all work hard, and with 40-hour + work weeks, it can be difficult to find some personal time to focus on our own needs. When your depression becomes detrimental to everyday life, it may be time to take a short break and focus solely on managing the condition. Sometimes, you simply don’t have enough emotional resources to manage everything at once.
Don’t feel ashamed about taking a break, even if it’s from the people around you. Don’t isolate yourself, of course; but self-reflection can be incredibly helpful. Self-reflection with the aid of a mental health professional can help you begin the road to recovery and take back control of your mental health once and for all. If you need a break, take one! You’re the only person who’s responsible for managing your mental health, so take the necessary steps to keep it under control.