Our head writer Sam tells his new years resolution and how he hopes they will help with his depression.
Is 2015 the year it all changes?
I have had a few bad years, ten of them to be exact – but during this time some of the greatest moments of my life have happened. I got married, got a family, I started businesses, I had moments of success, moments of joy and moments of satisfaction – but I still suffered daily with severe depression and anxiety. This suffering always outweighed the good times and put a dark haze over what I had achieved.
So this year I have promised to make some rather significant changes, and will update everyone as I go via this site, sharing advice and tips as I go. But with a mind full of the black dog, how did I prioritize what I wanted to achieve in 2015?
Resolution 1 : Exercise
Okay, I know what your thinking – a bit generic right? Everyone wants to get fit and healthy in the new year, start that diet or start training for their first 5k – but I am not going all out here – I just want to start exercising more. I have COPD (primarily caused by smoking for the past 15 years) so exercise has always been very difficult for me – when you add depression and anxiety into the mix it gets even harder. There are days when even getting out of bed feels like the most exhausting activity and so doing a 2 mile run in the morning is simply out of the question.
But, exercise is insanely helpful in boosting your emotional state. The saying “You are only one work out away from a good mood” couldn’t be truer for me and so finding the motivation and the energy to get out to the gym is going to be critical this year and that’s why its my primary resolution. Here is what I have implemented to make it that little bit easier.
- Social anxiety and a lack of confidence with my current body prevents me from feeling comfortable at the gym so I am going to work out at home. I’ve cleared a space in the spare room, built a multi-gym and treadmill off eBay as well as some free-weights and a cross trainer. Now there is no excuse – I can’t complain the gym is too far, or closed, or full of egotistical bullies – it’s just me, my iPod and some weights.
- I don’t have a crazy goal – im overweight and not in the best of health right now, so I just want to get better. Theres no 6 week’s to six-packs here – just a conscious effort to start moving more, burning some calories and stretching.
- I’m going to keep track – monitor my stats and keep a log of my improvements – this should help to motivate me to keep going. The primary one here is the peak-flow meter which tells me if my breathing gets better. COPD: Your days are numbered.
Resolution 2 : Family Time
My wife is my best friend, and she puts up with an awful lot of stress, worry and heartache from me. There are often weeks when I am next to useless (she would probably say months) and she needs me to be more present. So that’s the goal – spend more time with my family relaxing and enjoying ourselves. Oh, and a little bit more helping out around the house.
Resolution 3 : Smoking
I have been trying to quit for sometime now, but seem to alternate between being addicted to smoking, and being addicted to nicotine replacement therapy – one is bad for my lungs and the other is bad for my finances and teeth. 2015 will be the year I finally kick the habit for good.
Resolution 4 : Positivity
I’m going to find one thing every day to be positive about, no matter how seemingly small or insignificant it is. I spent too many days feeling blue about everything and need some little rays of sunshine in my life. This is an exercise in re-framing, changing how I view situations and learning to take the positive aspects out of as much as I can.
Resolution 5 : Write More
I love writing, and I need to write more – not only for this site but my novel, my poetry and my general musing. Writing is a great distraction and allows me to focus on something specific and unrelated to my current mood. If something provides an escape from depression and anxiety you should definitely endeavour to do more of it – so that I will.
Let me know your resolutions, and what you will be doing to make sure they stick.