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Depression and Self-Sabotage

It is completely okay to acknowledge that we are struggling with depression!

The problem starts when such acknowledgement turns into self-sabotaging habits.

Have you skipped exercise one day which turned into days? How about getting take-out food rather than cooking which led to eating out most days?

Habits start with an good and necessary decision to take a break from something that is repeated.  This happens when we don't put a limit on the behavior.

Here are some examples and possible solutions to depression created self-perpetuating habits in no particular order.

Oversleeping
Sleep is necessary and wonderful for regenerating the body. However, when we sleep more than our body needs, it can turn into sluggishness. Depression often makes us try to hide from our pain and suffering for which sleep is a 'perfect' solution... for a few times but repeated use will have diminishing positive effect and increasing inability to get out of the vicious cycle of depression.
Solution:
- set an alarm to regulate your sleep
- ask your loved one to monitor your sleep hours and wake you when it is time to get moving
- find some activity that you like and make it the first thing you do after waking up

Isolation
We all need space to be at times to be alone with our thoughts. However, prolonged isolation can quickly turn into loneliness, cause negative circular thinking, and a host of other problems that come from not having feedback on what's happening to us.
Solution:
- dedicate a specific time interval each day to spend by yourself and break the isolation with some activity that you value (call a friend, watch a series)
- ask your friends and family to check (call or visit) on you at a specific time (like between 2-4)
- if you are truly alone, you can still break your isolation by getting outside input by doing research on a topic interesting to you (make sure you explore all aspects and viewpoints)

Poor diet
We all have cravings and it is okay to give in at times. Yet, eating burgers or chocolate every day is not supportive of getting better physically or mentally. It goes for the other extreme too, like very low calorie diets. Fluctuating eat schedule like binge eating or starvation will also result in deteriorating mental health as our bodies will be in a state of confusion as to what to do.
Solution:
- set a schedule to eat at least 3 times a day within the same 2 hours each time
- prepare food ahead of time so you don't have to think about what to eat when it is time
- create a menu and shop accordingly
- if you must, buy some treats that can be portioned out and have it no more than once a day
- cut out sugar as much as possible since it is one of the worse things for depression

I hope this helps in recognizing and curbing your self-sabotaging behaviors!

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