By Rachel Hill

We all have those days when we wake up and feel like we can take on the world! When everything throughout the day goes smoothly and there are no hiccups or obstacles to overcome and we end the night perfectly content with a glass of wine in front of the television. But let’s be honest, those days are few and far between. Most days it can be tough to feel motivated, with waking up early, trying to work out, trying to eat healthy, take care of a family, survive a pandemic ….

Needless to say, we all have a lot on our plates right now. And if you’re battling depression, those days you feel unmotivated can be even harder to get through. So, I wanted to take some time to write a post sharing some steps I take to get through the days that can be tough. 

1. Do Something. … Anything.

Get out of bed, open the blinds, stretch, brush your teeth, throw on the nearest clean clothes you have, and go for a walk, read, write in your journal, listen to a podcast that inspires you … literally anything positive to just get your day going. I find that this really works for me. It may sound simple, but mustering the energy to do these tasks, or anything really, can be difficult when all you want to do is sleep all day and hide from the world. When I take this first step, it really changes the momentum of my day. I find I am more productive and happier as the day goes on without really even trying. It also leads to better choices when it comes to my diet and exercising as well.

2. Take Breaks.

Now this one can be a little tricky depending on the type of job you have or what your work schedule is like, but if you can, take breaks when you start to feel overwhelmed. Go make a coffee, get outside, go visit a coworker you don’t hate, anything to give your mind a quick break from the daily stresses of work, and catch your breath. And if you’re fortunate that your job allows it, take a mental health day.

3. Celebrate the Little Wins.

Honestly, I probably struggle with this one the most. It’s hard to be proud of yourself for simply “doing the minimum” — getting out of bed, brushing your teeth, and putting on clothes that aren’t sweatpants. But in reality, that’s a win for me some days. And over time I’ve been able to accept that more. And it makes me even more proud when I accomplish far above and beyond that in a day.

4. Talk About It.

This is another aspect of my mental health that I had a tough time with. For so long, I never wanted to admit that I had tough days or that I was depressed. I held on to these feelings that I would be burdening others if I was honest about how I was feeling. But I promise you, people understand, and they are so kind and supportive when you need them. Even people you may least expect. So, I suggest talking to someone when you’re having a tough day. Talk to your partner over dinner, call your mom or dad or friend, and just let them know what you’re going through. In doing so, you take the power away from the anxiety and depression, and you start to remove the stigma around the topic and live life on your own terms.

The Wellness Wednesday series is about helping senior living professionals improve their mental wellness or better support their teams. If you’d like to submit a guest post for consideration, please click here, and scroll to the “Editorials” section. You can see previous Wellness Wednesday articles here.