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Students, many people get depressed, but there is a lot of misunderstanding, and unfortunately, many people do not have good strategies for working through depression. In this video, I tell you my story and give you real strategies that can help.
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So recently one of my students asked me if I get depressed. The answer to that is, yes, I get depressed, I’ll explain that to you in a minute. What’s up, my name is Seth with SethPerler.com, I’m an executive function coach in Colorado and I help struggling students navigate this thing called school so that they can have a great life.
As far as depression is concerned, there are forms of depression that are chronic, which are ongoing, they are debilitating to someone’s life. There are periods of depression that happen very naturally when something very tragic or sad happens in our life, for example, the death of someone who’s close to us or if we move to a new city/state and the grief of the changing nature of the relationships with our friends from where we’re moving from. There are all sorts of types of situations that will cause a very normal depression or sadness, there will be a period of time you’ll experience that. And then there’s sort of this periodic thing where it can just happen more randomly. So what happens to me nowadays, now I’ve gone through different phases of my life, I’ve gone through phases where I’m chronically depressed and I was just depressed all of the time. I’ve gone through phases, obviously, like everybody, where it’s situational when somebody passed away or I moved to a new city, there are little waves (or big waves) of this thing called depression.
And then there has been what I have now. What I experience now is probably from anywhere from two to four days a month where I have a day I’m just off. I’m just depressed. I feel, for me, it feels very flat, very empty, very just, nothing seems to be going right. Everything seems to be wrong. It feels heavy and uncomfortable, and exhausting. I’ll have no motivation or energy to do anything. So that’s kind of how mine is. On those days I practice being reflective or introspective or metacognitive, getting to know myself, being self-aware. I practice mindfulness, being conscious about what’s going on, which is the thoughts that go on silently that can often drive. When it’s subconscious, it can drive us in ways that we don’t want, you know. But what happens to me since I am a more reflective person since I’m willing to look inside me since I’m willing to deal with my own stuff. Everybody has stuff. Your parents have stuff, your grandparents have stuff, your aunts and uncles have stuff, your cousins have stuff, your teachers have stuff, your heroes, your favorite people that you admire in the whole world have stuff. We’ve all got junk. But I’m someone who deals with my junk; I work on my junk. I work on myself, I work on being the better person. We’ve all got stuff, you know, skeletons in the closet, we’ve all got some junk that has to be cleared out, thrown away, and worked on. So for me, because of that effectiveness that I work on and practice, and I’ve done this for many many years, because of that when every two to four days a month it does hit me, and I wake up in the morning and I’m just like, “Oh, it’s one of those days.” Sometimes I slog through it because I have something to get done and I’m able to do it but it may not be my best. Making a videos on a day like that will never happen. I cannot make videos on a day when I’m like that. But other stuff I can do. I can work with people live when I’ve made commitments, I follow-through on my appointments on those days, stuff like that. You know, I might just want to get out of the house, like going to the grocery store to get something, just to get out of the house or something.
But I know that on those days, sometimes I just need to do what’s called self-compassion, or self-care. And that’s where I can say to myself, “Okay Seth, you’re human, you’re not perfect, you’re having an off day, just chill.” It’s okay if you’re not productive, it’s okay if you don’t get done the things that you think you’re supposed to get done. The world isn’t going to stop because you didn’t follow through with what your plan was. I can be okay with me, “You know what, just chill.” It’s okay to just have no energy for a day, whatever. Now I know that some of you watching this may have worse experiences than that. You may be someone that has it chronically all the time or you’re maybe someone who hardly ever has it. Or maybe it’s just the situations that knock you off center, difficulties in life. Either way, yes, I do get it. I used to have it a lot. If you have it a lot, we don’t have to stay in that state, but it’s hard work. It’s not just taking medication and all of a sudden things are magically done with the magic pill. That’s not how life works no matter who you are. We have to work on ourselves. We gotta look deep. We gotta have the courage within, and it can be scary to look within, I know that. I used to be afraid that if I looked inside, I might really find out that the truth is that I really am a worthless lazy failure that doesn’t deserve anything. After doing the work on myself I’ve found that “Oh, that’s not true at all. Actually, I have a lot to offer people.” So doing the work on yourself will help you if you’re having it chronically you can minimize it, start overcoming it, start having more. It’s not going to be perfect, but you can have more good days. The good periods, the good times during the day where you have some peace of mind and you’re not feeling depressed can get longer and longer and longer and you can string more days together that are good days. That’s hard work but it’s doable. If you’re working with this you’re not the only one that’s gone through this. People all over, many many many many many people you know are going through this. For a lot of us, it’s part of life, and it’s okay. The second we start fighting it and say, “You know what, okay, so I don’t feel great right now. What am I going to do about it? How am I going to work myself out of it? How am I going to live in the solution rather than live in the problem?” There’s a saying that goes: don’t judge your insides by other people’s outsides. We live in this Instagram world where everybody acts like they’ve got it together. But if you have been following any Instagramers or Youtubers or any of those people that have massive channels, what you’ll notice is most of them get to a point where they’re going to do some videos about the real side. The real reality of their life. They’re going to come clean with people and say, “Yeah, I struggle with this, I struggle with that. It’s not all perfect, not like how it looks so awesome on Instagram. Everything looks great, but it’s not.” They’re just normal people. That’s all any of us are. Any of us. Nobody, nobody that you know, not a single person that you know is beyond human. Nobody is above human. We’re all just having a human experience.
So, the answer is yes, I do get depressed. The way it works for me like I said, is two to four days a month. I have tools to work with it, to let it do it’s, and to let it pass. It doesn’t get a grip on me more, I’m not afraid of it more, it doesn’t hold me back anymore. It’ll hold me back that day but it doesn’t get me into a downward spiral anymore, it doesn’t control me anymore or anything like that. It’s something that I work hard on and that work has paid off. On the bright side, let’s say that I have a month where I have two days where I’m just depressed and not myself. On the bright side, I have 28 days or so when I’m pretty good. I’ve got a pretty good life. I’m getting decent sleep, I’m eating decent food, I’m getting exercise, I have good people in my life, I do work that I like, I have time for self-care, I have time to be social. I have a pretty good life. So 28 days out of the month I got it pretty good and I’m very grateful for that. I’ve done a lot of work on practicing gratitude and focusing on those things.
Anyhow, that is my reality as far as the depression stuff in my life and who that’s concerned and how it shows up. Either way, I hope that you have a fantastic day filled with gratitude with some good people in your life, some good exercise, some good food, some good rest, some good self-care, some positivity. And that’s about it. I’ll see ya in the next one.
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