Thursday, June 09, 2011

When the Going Gets Tough...

It's been a tough few days.  Both of the jobs I was trying to get somehow fell through.  Everyone else seems to have a hiring freeze on, which could last through this year and into next year.
One piece of bad news after another...

After 9 months out of work, I am starting to worry about money, something I haven't had to think much about for the past 12 years or so.  It's hard.  Now I have a family, too.  I have always been able to find a job...except now...

These are the situations when depression is likely to strike.

The telltale signs are:

1) Trouble Sleeping
2) Lack of Energy
3) Changes in eating patterns
4) Short temper or irritability (maybe I always have this)
5) Increased alcohol intake
6) Wild mood swings
7) Frequent headaches

Some days you just don't feel like getting out of bed in the morning.  You want to escape from this situation; run away; click your heels together and say "there's no place like home".  Well, you ARE home.  Now what?

These problems are made worse by worrying about the family.  Will the kids be able to keep going to good schools?  Will the wife be able to continue to buy the things she needs/wants?  What needs to be cut back?  It is very hard for the family to suffer when we feel it is ourselves to blame.

The most important thing to do is to recognize the above warning signs, and do something about them before they creep up on you and destroy you.  Here are my tips:

1) Establish and Keep Routines
Keep going to the gym.  keep waking up on time.  Patterns and routines establish stability.  Stability is good especially when other aspects of life feel uncertain.  Keeping busy is also an important way to avoid boredom and overthinking the issues at hand.

2) Watch Your Diet
there is a big tendency for emotion to express through food.  Eating too much or too little, or switching from sensible foods to junk foods, or the like.  Pay attention to your eating and drinking.  Write every meal down if you must.  Our emotions are also influenced by our diets, so it is important not to slip here.  This can cause a downward spiral.

3) Communicate
Talk to your family and friends.  They love you and want to be strong for you.  let them.  Even talk to your children.  Trust me, they will understand.  Don't try and keep the feelings bottled in.

4) Cry
It's OK, really.  Let it out and cry if you feel you need to.  It's OK to be alone for this, but also OK with someone you trust.  We have all been there, and most of us will be there again.  There is nothing at all to be ashamed of.

5) Sunshine
Get outside, even for a few minutes a day.  Let the sunshine help heal you.

6) Exercize
Keep working out. if you can't afford the gym, walk in the park or do whatever you have to.  Endorphins help calm nerves and generate positive energy.

7) Love
Don't shut out your partner.  Let them be there for you.  It will help deepen your relationship further and make them part of the solution when it comes.

Everyone goes through depression and negativity sometimes.  Take solace in the fact that this is one of the cyclical aspects of our lives.  Hang in there.  DON'T DO ANYTHING STUPID.

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