I got this direct message through Instagram the other day, it said; "Kevin, I'm depressed. I can't figure it out. Do you have any advice?" Have you ever felt that way before? When you just don't know what to do?” I get these messages all the time, people trying to figure things out. "Kev, how do I get out of depression?”
I want to share with you a story because what will often surface is that we feel like we don't know why we're depressed and we don't know what to do. And that's super common. Not every time is it something that you can easily solve but often it is, and it just becomes a matter of developing some greater self-awareness. Maybe you should ask some better questions or have someone helping ask some better questions with you.
What I want to do is break down a little bit about how this scenario unfolded and maybe it might help you in your life as well. When I got the message, like the said, the problem was, "I'm depressed. I don't know what to do." This makes me think of my favorite quotes that I always want to share with everyone by Jim Rohn; "You can't change your destination overnight but you can change your direction." And so you can't arrive at this healthy, healed spot automatically, but in this exact moment you can start making new decisions to move towards that new destination. And so the example was an athlete who called and said, "Kev, I can't figure out why." And I said, "Okay, well, let's break it down. There's got to be a little bit more to the story than just you are because you are.""Give me some examples." And what he said to me was; "Well, I had a concussion early in the season last September, so I had to take some time off to recover from that. And I still don't feel like myself. I've been eating really poorly. Eating a lot of fast food, not making any meals. I just lay on the couch all day and I feel like a blob." So my reply was; "well, that kind of makes sense why you'd be depressed." Those things all add up along with other stuff along the way.
What I was doing was breaking down the situation and saying, "Well, first of all, if you had a concussion and you have to recover from that, one is that it's going to take time to recover. And two is that like getting yourself back into the groove, if you don't feel like yourself on the ice, totally makes sense. You might not feel like yourself until maybe getting past the end of the season and then into next season because not only are you dealing with your head but you've got to take time off the ice so your fitness level has dropped, per se. You don't have a hands on the ice as you used to and you don't have a fitness from going to the gym and everything else. Number one: You can't beat yourself up so much when you've had a setback that requires you time to recover from."
We're often like that. We often want to just force ourselves back into it, into work, back into our daily lives looking after the kids. As a motocrosser, I broke a bone, I wanted to get back on the bike as quickly as possible. First thought is don't beat yourself up so much. The second thing is around the gym. It's like, "Okay, well you admit to me that you're laying on the couch and you feel like a blob. It's because you're being a blob." What can you do to change that? You can today, in this exact moment, make a decision to get yourself back to the gym. And what I explained was that when I talk about being a hero of your own movie in some of my keynote presentations, is that the hero moment comes down to these small examples and small details.
One: The hero makes the decision that I'm going to take a new direction today. Just get into the gym. That's a hero moment right there. The second thing is when you're at the gym, you don't have to crush it your first day back. Just a matter of getting there and doing exercise period, just stretching alone. If you do no workout but just get to the gym and stretch that day is still a hero moment. Because you actually got yourself out of the house and went there and was physical and created movement in some way. That's a hero moment. And then build you on that. And then you start saying, "Okay, now I'm going to get my heart rate up. Now I'm going to start lifting some heavier weights."
Don't think that you have to get to that peak fitness level back your first day because you're not going to do it. Don't beat yourself up. And start looking at how you can start making some better decisions and break things down. And then the third thing is just around nutrition. It's the same idea where he's like, "I've been eating like crap." And I'm like, "Okay, well it'd be nice to be back on a awesome diet regimen," but you don't have to nail three meals a day for five or seven days a week to feel like you've got it back right away. It might just be replacing one meal a day with some better quality food. It might just be getting some more water intake so you develop a better routine of staying hydrated and that's going to increase ... that's going to support your cognitive level.
All of these things, the activity, creating the blood flow, creating a release of endorphins in your brain and nutrition of helping your diet filter everything through your body better will result in you feeling better. Right? What I want you to think about is that when we're in depression, I'm not ... There's a whole other side to like if there's a chemical imbalance and the medication side. I'm not as experienced on that side. But I have a lot of experience when it comes down to cognitive behavioral therapy and taking responsibility in your life and creating a self-awareness to see where in your life can you make personal decision to improve. And it all comes down to you being honest with yourself and asking yourself some better questions of like, "Where am I actually struggling? What is my problem? And what can I do today to fix it?"
And I would encourage you to literally take a piece of paper and talk to yourself and write those things down. Write down the questions that you're struggling with. "Why do I feel this way?" And then answer that question on paper, "Because I feel like a blob on the couch." "Why do I feel like a blob?" "Because I'm not going to the gym." "Why am I not going to the gym?" "Because I'm not disciplined enough." And go through that process and start to discover yourself, the reasons of why you're in that situation.
And if you need to, shoot me a message. I'm always encouraging people to shoot me a DM on Instagram or Facebook. I'll do everything I can to get back to you and help you but the best thing you can do is be more specific with yourself and me so we can help you find out those moments where you can be a hero in your own movie too.