Feeling Stuck? This May be Why
By: Lisa Card Strong, Ph.D. | February 10, 2023
We all have moments of feeling low when life isn’t going our way. Creating change is difficult when it takes most of your energy to just get through the day. Feeling stuck and down can sometimes be triggered by a relationship or work issue. Or, in some cases, there’s no big explanation. You may have thought that this feeling will just go away with time, yet it persists. If this is the case, you may be experiencing depression.
When does feeling down become a problem?
The strange thing about depression is that it doesn’t really matter if there’s a trigger or just a slow onset over time – the experience is the same. Depression can be hard to detect, especially when it’s been going on for a while. When someone feels glum and sad for most of the day on most days, or they no longer enjoy things they used to for 2 weeks or more, they could be depressed. Other important symptoms of depression include trouble sleeping or sleeping too much, low energy, low sense of well-being, low or increased appetite, feelings of worthlessness or self-blame, slowed thinking or body movements, difficulty concentrating or thoughts of dying. Depression oftentimes interferes with relationships, hobbies, and work.
Depression is a common and serious condition that requires professional help. Fortunately, it is treatable.
What can I do to manage this sadness?
Research shows that the best place to start when addressing depressive symptoms is to increase physical activity, focus on proper nutrition, and introduce health-enhancing activities such as relaxation exercises and pleasant activities. A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed that adults who walked 2.5 hours per week had an 18% lower risk of depression than those who did not walk.
Walking just 20 minutes a day can significantly improve your mood and overall quality of life.
Physical activity, when combined with other pleasant and healthy activities, can boost your mood. Make sure you have some activities to look forward to each day. These can be simple things like calling a friend on the phone/zoom/facetime, taking a bath or shower, doing a crossword puzzle or sudoku, planning a date or vacation, listening to music, sitting in the sun or shade, walking outdoors and in nature, drawing or painting, arranging flowers or playing cards. Research shows that engaging socially is helpful and an important therapeutic tool.
Get Help Now
You don’t have to live with depressive symptoms and slog through the day living an “Eeyore” life. There are many different types of treatment for depression that can make a huge difference in your life. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an empirically supported and effective therapy treatment and has been well established for many years. Some people find medication to also be helpful, especially when used in conjunction with therapy.
As hard as it may be, recognizing the signs of depression and being honest with yourself is the first and most important step to feel better. Embarking on a journey of healing creates an opportunity for you to get to know yourself better and build a life with purpose and meaning.
Understanding your low mood or depression leads to an opportunity to rewrite and reconstruct your life. The hardest part sometimes is taking that first step.
If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, don’t wait. Get help today from a professional San Diego Psychologist at Therapy Changes. You and your therapist will work together to develop tools and strategies to cope with the difficult things in your life and address your critical, negative thoughts and behavior patterns.