Surefire Ways to Get UN-Depressed
As we’re all reeling from the loss of jobs, restriction of travel and reduction of our income, you may benefit from some techniques I’ve used to stay positive. It’s hard for a grammar nut like me to write a headline that contains a made-up word (“undepressed”), but these are unique times. Thirty years ago I went through a deep depression and came across some strategies that always help to focus me when I get down in the dumps or a bit lost. Trust me; even motivational speakers get discouraged sometimes. The key is that I never allow my discouragement to last more than 24 hours. How do I do that? Four things:
1) Focus on the positive. Even when the negative greatly outweighs the positives, it makes no sense to be depressed over them when you could instead enjoy the benefits: time with family, time to clean out the garage, or to read those books on the shelf, organize and scan that box of photos, etc. Just push the bad thoughts out of your mind except when you have to deal with the situation actively.
2) When I feel myself getting depressed, I simply push the thought from my mind. I reason with myself, “Getting depressed feels horrible and it never helps, so I’m just not going there.” I promise myself that tomorrow morning I’ll wake up with a new lease on life and attack my challenges head-on.
3) Get ready to seize the opportunity when good times return. (They will return, by the way.) Lay the groundwork for a full-on frontal assault on the marketplace when the marketplace is ready. Be sure all you have to do is hit a few keystrokes or make one quick trip to the post office to put your plan into action.
4) Develop an “Action Grid.” I make a list of every area of life in which I need to make progress, and I write down ONE small item to do in EACH category. It never fails to renew my sense of purpose and accomplishment. An example of the one I use is below, but you can see a more readable version here.
Put a checkmark in the left column when each item is completed, and don’t stop until all items are checked off. At the end of the day, your sense of progress will be palpable and your spirit will be lighter. Tomorrow, rinse and repeat.
Guaranteed to UN -depress you!