Is Depression Stealing Your Joy?

Are you someone that suffers with:

~ Depressed or sad mood

~ Short-tempered or easily annoyed

~ Loss of interest or enjoyment in hobbies or activities that you previously enjoyed

~ Feelings of worthlessness or guilt

~ Thoughts of death or suicide

~ Difficulty with concentrating or making decisions

~ Feeling tired or fatigue

~ Feeling restless or slow

~ Changes in appetite such as overeating or loss of appetite

~ Changes in weight such as weight loss or weight gain

~ Changes in sleep pattern or inability to sleep

According to "The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder", these could all be signs or symptoms of what is clinically called "Depression". Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses humans experience in today’s society. These symptoms lead to severe disabilities and interruptions in over 350 million peoples’ lives! That is an extraordinary statistic. Sadly, there is not enough information on how to treat these symptoms and far too many drug companies bombarding us with their “solutions”.

Even if you have not been clinically diagnosed with depression, many people experience periods of depression, often accompanied with feelings of anxiousness, worthlessness, guilt, shame, or self loathing. In my experience, I have found that my feelings of depression are often connected to negative beliefs I have held about myself. Usually these thoughts can be traced back to the seed belief that "I am not ____________ enough". Now, you could fill in the blank with almost any adjective: dedicated, loving, rich, strong, healthy, whatever. Maybe you, too, have held some deep belief that you are not ____________ enough? Does that play into your feelings of depression, anxiousness, worthlessness, or self-loathing?

As one who has struggled with bouts of depression, I know first hand how difficult it can be to bounce back once the spiral into darkness takes hold. So how do you climb out of the pit of despair and find balance and ease in your life when everything around you feels so hopeless?

The two most important tools that have helped me return to balance (and stay there) are Selfless Service To Others and Nurturing Self Care and Self Love.

Selfless Service - When I take a step outside of myself and offer my time, my help, or my love to someone in need, I can start to see a bigger picture and realize 1.) there are people out there who have it a lot harder than me and 2.) I know I must be of SOME value if I am able to help even one person and make their day a little brighter.

Self Care & Self Love - This can sometimes be the hardest to access when you are in the depths of depression because depression basically kills ALL desire to do something positive (or do anything at all). Just like you can do one small act of kindness for another person, you've got to dig deep and find one small act of kindness you can do for yourself. This requires a lot of self Will to actively CHOOSE kindness to yourself when that may be the last thing you think you deserve. That simple act of kindness could literally be as easy as taking a walk in your neighborhood and smiling at your neighbors, soaking in a hot bath listening to some uplifting music you enjoy, watching some positive self-love YouTube videos, or following one of my guided meditations. Once you start to take on one Self Love action each day, it will start to snowball - much like depression, but the other direction - and you will start to feel a little bit better each day.

If you want to start taking some positive Self Care actions but crave some support and accountability, join my 21 Day Self- Love Challenge. I kicked off the Instagram challenge on Wednesday, but it's never too late to join in. Each day I will be posting

1.) Something I love about myself and

2.) A Self Love action I am taking that day

You can participate with me by posting your Self Love and Self Care actions using #ichooseme #selflovechallenge and tagging me @jenhilman so I can see your posts.

#ichooseme #selflovechallenge Day 1: I love that my body is healthy and fit. It feels the best when I feed it healthy, clean food. I have a long day at work today so I’m taking good care of myself by preparing a meal to take with me. Tempe, spinach, and tomato sandwich. Usually I just try to eat before I go to work and wait 'til I get home to eat and by then I’m usually starving and not making healthy choices. Just want to eat whatever I can get my hands on the fastest. Today I’m choosing #selflove by thinking ahead and making sure I can feed myself when I’m hungry. What are you doing for your #selfcare today? Tag me @jenhilman in your post so I can see! Comment below what’s your favorite snack to take to work?!

Don't let feelings of depression or anxiety keep you down. You are worthy of Love and Care just as much as anyone else out there. Your feelings of sadness, loneliness, hopelessness, and despair CAN be overcome with determination and perseverance on a path to Peace and Wellbeing.

Follow along with this Guided Meditation for Self Worth to help you get into the right mindset to will help you shift your whole perspective. Sending you light and love on the journey.

Looking for more great videos to help you on your path to Ultimate Wellness?


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