Realistic New Year’s Resolutions: Living with Depression

Fordland ClinicNews

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The fact is, we can’t start over or become entirely new people when the clock strikes midnight. We can only try a little bit harder from where we already are—to be better people, to help others, to improve the world around us. And odds are, if you live with mental illness, you’re already trying incredibly hard every minute of every day. If you live with depression, here are a just a few suggestions that might help in 2020:

  1. Take More Walks – Exercise is hard. It’s especially challenging when you experience the lack of motivation, loss of energy and physical aches and pains that often accompany depression. So, rather than attempt to join your friends at the gym three times a week, start way slower; simply try to incorporate more daily walks into your schedule and take the stairs when you see the opportunity.
  2. Try New Hobbies or Revisit Old Ones – Revisiting old hobbies or finding new ones is a way to get yourself engaged in some new activities throughout your day.
  3. Conquer Small Items on Your Bucket List – Setting and sticking to goals can seem daunting. Perhaps that’s why life goals can seem like an impossible feat. So, for those who have a bucket list, remember that it’s easier to tackle a goal when you break it down into manageable steps.
  4. Communicate Your Needs More Openly – With depression, it’s essential to have a support system in place. Identify the people in your life you trust, and if you haven’t shared your diagnosis with them, it may be helpful to do so.
  5. Have Realistic Expectations – It would’ve been nice to wake up on January 1st with all the energy and determination to go out and conquer some of the lists that have been floating around the internet: go to the gym three times a week, read every night before bed, eat healthier, spend more time with friends and on and on. But the reality is, some people live with depression, a serious medical condition. Just like we wouldn’t expect someone recovering from a heart attack to suddenly jump out of bed with a list of “new beginnings” because the date on the calendar changed, you can’t expect the same of yourself.

If you want to take part in New Year’s Resolutions, or you’re attempting any kind of change this year, be realistic with yourself. As long as you’re trying—however that may look for you—you’re succeeding. Our Behavioral Health Consultants at Fordland Clinic are available for appointments.  Also, there is always someone that can help you via your phone 24 hours a day.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

Crises Text Line – Text Hello to 74174