No Complaint Zone

2017-02-08-1486522553-1503231-amysmalarz.com8.png
Coming out of the clouds...seeing something as it's the first time you have seen it...

This was my awakening on Saturday morning. There were inside rumblings on Friday night but it wasn't until Saturday morning that I realized I had been depressed...for a while.

Sure, I was smiling on the outside, but on the inside...I wasn't. Like many of you, I had my fair share of challenges in 2016. My business was shifting a bit, I was almost sued, I lost two really big contracts I had been planning on, etc. To some that might sound crazy. To others it might sound like another day at the office.

I had some great things happen too. I launched my Podcast last April. My book was published last August. And I had some super amazing speaking engagements in Q4. And to everyone outside, things were looking up.

But on the inside...that was a very different story. I was having a hard time getting up in the morning. And for me - that's strange because I have always been a morning person. Yet, now it was a struggle to get up at 5am. I would find myself laying in bed, thinking about so many different things. I would be rambling on and on inside my brain and the next thing I knew it was 5:45 or even 6am. Now, to some that would still be early but for me...that was late. I had lost precious time that I like to have in the morning. Time for yoga, time to read, time to write, time to mediate - time for me. And I was losing it by just laying in bed.

I was also isolating myself more and more from friends and family and loved ones. I was calling people less, reaching out to fewer business colleagues, not going to nights out with friends. And even at soccer games, I would find myself preferring to stand alone to watch the games - avoiding contact and conversation with others.

Of course, I could rationalize all of this. I'm busy. I'm tired. I just want to stay home. I just want to watch the game.

And though all of this, I just felt off...like I wasn't fully there. I was seeing and experiencing things but not like I used to. Not with the love of life and energy I normally bring. That "being full of life" and "full of energy" felt too hard. It felt easier to coast through and avoid as much as I could get away with.

And then some things started to change. Last week, I started noticing a little more of the small and simple things in life. Last Friday, I started conversations with other parents at the soccer game and didn't work to avoid them. And I laughed and smiled - and meant it and felt it.

And Saturday morning, as I opened my eyes, for the first time in a long time, I got right up and out of bed. No laying there thinking about the day ahead, or yesterday or anything. I just got up.

To some of you, all of this seems crazy and of course I got out of bed. But for others who relate to the being slower to start your day; being more inclined to isolate yourself because it feels safer; seeing your friends less often; generally not really wanting to have to "deal with" the world - you know what I mean.

I'm no expert in psychology and i'm not a psychiatrist but I can share some things that I believe helped me turn myself around - or at least start to - in case they might help you or someone you love. This is not medical advice. This is Amy's Help advice.

  • Being aware that something is off is HUGE first step. You will tell yourself many times that something feels off but it's not until you become truly aware and admit that you are aware that you can start to make a positive change.

  • Positivity...a dreaded word for someone in depression - and sometimes a word that feels impossible. But as someone famously said impossible is really I'm Possible...so taking 1 minute a day to say something outloud or write something down that I'm grateful for has changed my life.
  • No complaints. This was a challenge given to me recently by my coach and I will tell you, it's a doozy! I am amazed at how many conversations are started off with complaints or how often complaining is used as a means for finding commonality with another person. This point forward - my life zone is a no complaint zone. If I don't like it, I can fix it, do something differently or move on. But I'm not longer wasting energy on complaining.
  • This is just a start. And I know many of you have other ideas and ways for moving yourself forward and lifting your fog.

    And, if you would like to join me and some other amazing, strong and beautiful women, we are doing a 5 Day Gratitude Challenge! Selfishly, I wanted to bring more Gratitude into my daily life - and I didn't want to do it alone. Click HERE to join the 5 Day Gratitude Challenge - even if you aren't or haven't been depressed. Depression is not a prerequisite for participation but if you are depressed, it's even more critical that you click HERE to join so you can share your Journey with us!

    Be aware. Be positive. Be grateful.