When depressive symptoms are taking over your life

By: Bria Wannamaker

You can’t stop having bouts of crying. You feel like you’ve tried everything and you’re all tapped out. Of course, you’ll do anything to get to where you’re going – if you only knew where that was – can I get a road map of this divine path that I’m supposed to travel, please!?

You have tunnel vision, you feel stuck – trapped even. In a continuous loop. Is there something that I’m not doing right? Something that I haven’t yet tried? How come that person has it together and I don’t?

Our bodies hold so much wisdom. We have to support our bodies so that they can support us back. We blame our headache, digestive issues, and muscles soreness on everything external; giving our time, attention, and energy to Dr. Google. What if you have the medicine inside of you? What if you’re part of the cure, part of the solution?

Bria Wannamaker
  1. Take inventory of your self-care practices…
  • Physical
  • Nutritional
  • Emotional
  • Social
  • Spiritual
  • Intellectual
  • Financial
  • Environmental

How are you really though!? What would you rate those categories? Can you pour more into those areas of your life? Can you breathe life into those facets of your being?

“Energy flows where attention goes.”

Tony Robbins

2. Where is your attention focused?

Take another look at that list; where do you need to set boundaries, and add or remove patterns and routines in order to be more whole.

3. Get grounded in your body

Get curious. Breathe deeply into your whole body and ask how it’s feeling and what it’s trying to communicate to you. Proceed as needed to attune to your needs.

3. From the outside looking in

If you were your friend, what would you say about what your going through now? If you were giving advice to your friend about this same situation, what would it be? Would you want your child, mom, or sibling to be in this same situation? What solutions would you offer them?

Approaching it from this lens helps us to shift our perspective from that tunnel vision (thanks for keeping us safe, limbic system) and helps us to activate the prefrontal regions of our brains that help with planning, organization, and other executive functioning. However, I did mention above that the body holds so much wisdom, so if we are able to dig into the somatic experiencing of our emotions before leaning on logic and reasoning as we so often do – this could be useful in strengthening your intuition and your connection to yourself and will hopefully lead to less overthinking, overanalyzing, and spiraling thoughts.

4. Move the emotions through your body so that they don’t get trapped

Again the somatic piece, keep on coming back to the body. What is the anxiety telling you? What is the urgency communicating to you? What is your frustration trying to tell you? Do you need to act on this or wait to respond?

Is what you’re doing right now working for you? Trying to logically take control of your day, rushing through everything, that incessant sense of overwhelm, jumping from one task to the next without even taking a moment to breathe in between, getting little tiny drip drops of joy.

Try instead getting in touch with feeling your emotions and where they are held within your body. Breathe into those spaces. Move your body gently, nourish yourself, listen to what your needs are.

“The opposite of depression isn’t happiness, it’s purpose.”

Cathy Heller

5. Get empowered…

What IS within your control? What ARE your strengths? Where DO you excel? What ARE you an expert in?

How can you turn your pain into purpose? Suffering is pain without a purpose. If you really are in a situation of suffering, abuse, neglect, discrimination, or other – this is not OK. Please know that you are worthy and deserving of so much more. Click here for information on resources.

What I mean is that often times we can perpetuate our own sense of suffering by neglecting to believe in that outcome that we’re headed toward; short term pain for long term gain. Ex.1– struggling through your first year of business but knowing that the pain is worth it to never work for someone else again. Ex. 2– sticking it out in your current work role so that you can be put into a job promotion pool and enjoy the next 20+ years in your workplace. Ex. 3– experiencing pain, loss and heartbreak while trying to get pregnant while keeping in mind your sense of purpose with raising a family. Growth and healing involves attuning to, acknowledging, and moving through pain with an intention in mind.

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