5 Tips For Being Productive When Depressed

You know those days when you wake up depressed and you know that it’s important that you be productive nonetheless? Those are rough days!

It is possible to be productive when you are depressed. It might at times feel like you are climbing a mountain backwards in flip flops but if you have to be productive it IS possible.

Here are 5 essential tips for being productive when depressed.

#1 – Get out of bed!

This, obviously, is the most essential piece of being productive when depressed. And it’s most probably the hardest.

For most of us bed is our favorite place to be when we are depressed. It’s cozy and warm and safe and we can sleep away our sadness. At least for a while.

But to be productive you have to get out of it. Which is hard but imperative.

People I know who suffer from depression have a myriad of tricks to get themselves out of bed and stay out of bed. They place their alarm clock across the room and when it goes off they have to get out of bed to turn it off. Some people strip their sheets off their bed once they are out or even take their mattress off it’s box spring. Whatever it takes to keep them out of bed and getting started on their day.

#2 – Exercise.

The second most important piece of being productive when depressed is getting some exercise.

I know! The prospect seems herculean but what a difference it will make if you can do it!

Exercise produces endorphins which is exactly the chemical that is deficient when you are depressed. Exercise will help replete your bodies supply of endorphins, at least for a while.

And newly stocked your body, and mind, will able to be more productive.

So get out and do something. Take a walk, go for a run, do some yoga, play frisbee. Whatever you enjoy that will get your heart rate up and those endorphins flowing.

#3 – Choose one thing to get done.

Sometimes all it takes is doing one thing to get out of a depressed stupor.

Sitting in your bed, or on your sofa, pondering all of the things that you have to do can be so daunting that you give up completely and instead binge watch The Walking Dead. That is not productive.

Instead of focusing on everything you need to get done consider ONE thing. And get up off the couch and do that one thing.

Often times, if we are able to break our stupor and get something done we will feel so good that we will want to go on to another thing. And, while we might still feel depressed, we are being productive which will ultimately help put that depression at bay.

#4 – Choose to do things that you CAN do.

When I am depressed there are some things that I am absolutely not capable of doing. Making phone calls is one of them. I hate making phone calls on a good day. On a depressed day, forget about it.

I do know that on a depressed day there are some things that I can do. I can sort through my piles of paper and recycle and file them as necessary. I can go through and clean up my email inbox. I can do research on future blogs. I can go for a walk.

I know my things might seem weird but they are my things. Think about the things that you could do when you are depressed. And do them. Because even if you can’t make phone calls doing something else is definitely productive.

#5 – Let yourself off the hook.

Okay. You are depressed. And it sucks. But it is what it is.

Recognize that you are depressed and that you will have to ride it out. And in the meantime you might not be as productive as you would like to be but you are as productive as you can be.

If you don’t let yourself off the hook, don’t recognize that this depression will pass and that you will become your old self again, you will only sink into a deeper sadness which could fuel your inability to be productive.

So take care of yourself. Recognize that you are in a tough place and that you are doing your best nonetheless.

And then get up and do that one thing!

Being depressed is horrible. Being productive when depressed can seem impossible. But it doesn’t have to be!

Living with depression is like carrying a 50lb gorilla on your back. It’s debilitating and exhausting. But it doesn’t have to defeat you.

Get out of bed, exercise, choose one thing to do, do it and let yourself off the hook.

Trust me! You will be glad you did.

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

How To Make It Through The Day When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed And Tired

Our modern lives are chaotic, jam-packed and exhausting and it can be hard to make it through the day when you are feeling overwhelmed and tired. And because it seems that every day is the same it can be very hard to get ahead of it all.

It IS possible to get through those days overwhelming and exhausting days. All it takes is a little awareness and intention and you can do it!

Here are 5 ways to do so.

#1 – Make a list and prioritize.

When you are feeling overwhelmed and tired just thinking about all of the things that needs to be done can shut you down for the day. And shutting you down for the day is definitely not what you need because that will only lead to more overwhelm tomorrow!

So take a minute and make a list of everything that you think needs to be done today. Once you have a list make a list of everything that REALLY needs to be done today. And then take that list and prioritize what needs to be done first, second and third.

If you know exactly what needs to be done, and you can look at it in front of you, your overwhelm will immediately subside, at least a bit. A big piece of overwhelm is the result of just not knowing what needs to be done.

#2 – Take it one step at a time.

Once you have your list it’s important to start at the beginning.

You have a list and it’s prioritized and now it’s time to take it one step at a time.

Another cause of overwhelm is that we jump too quickly ahead or start to visualize an end result that isn’t what we want it to be and so we get derailed.

So take each item on your list individually. And if something gets in the way don’t give up. Get back to your list and keep moving forward.

#3 – Do something for yourself.

A key part of surviving through exhaustion and overwhelm is to do something to take care of yourself. When we are at the end of our rope our tendency is to put ourselves on the back burner and everyone and everything ahead of us.

It’s important that we take even just a little bit of time to do something for ourselves and recharge our batteries.

What would work for you? Perhaps it’s a walk or a run, a mid-morning croissant snack, tea with a friend, a pedicure or even a massage. Whatever would work for you to make your day just a little more manageable.

#4 – Remember to eat and eat well.

When we are running around like crazy we tend to forget to eat. Or if we do eat we eat something that isn’t good for us.

An important part of fighting overwhelm is to make sure that we eat well, food that will fuel our journey through the day.

What kind of food? Protein is the most important – eggs, nuts, chicken, cheese. Make sure to eat a good breakfast and lunch or, at the very least, keep some protein with you to snack on. A bag of almonds in the glove box can make a huge difference.

#5 – Take a cat nap.

I know you are laughing at the thought of fitting a nap into your crazy day but if you possibly can it will make a HUGE difference.

I am the queen of the 20 minutes nap in the car. I pull over in the shade or sun, depending on the season, put my seat back and snooze for 20 minutes. When I wake up my energy levels are definitely up and I can get through the rest of my day.

So try to make some time to snooze. It will be totally worth it!

This crazy modern life we lead makes being overwhelmed and tired a regular occurrence. And, since tropical vacations aren’t usually available to help us recharge, it’s important that we do what we can do to get through the day.

So make a list, set your priorities and take care of yourself. If you can take care of yourself then you will better be able to take care of others. And get yourself through the day intact and ready for another one tomorrow.

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

How To Achieve Career Success and Love Your Life

Do you sometimes ask yourself how to achieve career success AND love your life?

Your career is very important to you. You are working hard to climb the ladder at work and you are relishing your success. You like the recognition and love the money and feel like you have it all. Or do you?

Being successful, and the things that come with it, are important to you but you don’t want those things at the expense of your happiness.

We only have one life to live and it’s important to live it well, after all.

So, how to achieve career success and love your life? Here are 5 important things to consider in order to do so.

#1 – Choose a career that you love.

Success is important yes but it’s only one part of your career. It’s important to choose a career that you love.

We spend a significant portion of our life at work and in order to love our life we need to love our work. If you are successful at a job you hate then you will spend the majority of time doing something that makes you unhappy.

So choose carefully. Take some time to inventory what is important to you at work. Is it the industry you work in? The quality of the workplace? The amount of independence you are given? If the things that are important to you aren’t part of your every day work life then change it up.

Sharpen your resume and get ready for change!

#2 – Schedule time every day to love yourself.

I know. This is easier said than done. You get up at the crack of dawn to get everyone out the door. You hit the ground running at work and don’t stop until it’s time to get everyone gathered and fed and put to bed. And then you do the same thing the next day.

It’s really, really important that you take a break somewhere in your day and do something for yourself. It doesn’t have to be everyday but it has to be regularly.

Taking care of yourself will not only make you a better employee, and therefore more successful, but it will allow you to take care of yourself, a key piece to living a life you love.

What could you do for yourself? You could take a walk. Or a yoga class. You could schedule time with friend for lunch. You could sit in the shade somewhere and watch videos about cute cats. Whatever it is that makes you feel good and like yourself again.

How do you fit that into your day? Put it on your schedule! In red. It’s the thing that is non-negotiable. That can’t be changed for a meeting. If it’s on your calendar you are more likely to get it done!

#3 – Continue learning, for your career and your life.

For many of us we achieve career success and then we just rest on our laurels and then let life happen around us. We finish college and wipe our hands of anymore classroom time. Thank goodness it’s done!

It’s important that we keep learning, both personally and professionally. This could mean taking courses or attending seminars that could advance your career. It could mean taking a pottery class. It could mean reading a book about a new subject. It could mean taking up crossword puzzles.

The goal with learning something new is to keep your brain active and young. This will promote growth in your career and happiness in your life!

#4 – Keep in touch with friends and family.

It is so easy in our crazy, career filled days to fall out of touch with our friends and family. We tend to take our friends and families for granted, assuming that they will always be there. And usually they are, at least for a while.

Connection with friends and family is very important and neglecting them can make life a much less enjoyable place. In your absence, life goes on and you miss out on it. Birthday parties, cookouts, shopping trips and school events all happen with or without you.

Ask yourself what would life be like without your family and friends? Would all of the career success be worth it?

Part of loving your life is loving your peeps. So take the time to spend time with everyone, either individually or as a group. You will be glad you did.

#5 – Don’t put your career over your love life.

Love is one of the fundamental pieces of living a life that you love. And it is often the first thing that is neglected in the pursuit of career success.

We know our person is there, and we assume that they will always be there, so we stop tending the relationship. And the consequences can, again, be disastrous.

Also, the most successful people in this world have a loved one would supports them. Think Bill and Melinda Gates. Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan. Both members of these uber-successful couples say they couldn’t have done it without the love and support of their partner.

So make a huge effort to spend time with the one you love, to make time where there is none.

Before it’s too late. Because without love in one’s life it’s hard to love one’s life.

When I was little I was taught that I could have it ALL. Work and love and a family. For many women that is the goal. To achieve career success and love your life.

And it IS POSSIBLE. It requires a lot attention and effort but you can do it!

Choose a career you love, take care of yourself and those around you and never stop learning. These are all key pieces of having it all.

Go for it! You can do it!

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

What a Healthy Relationship Needs to Stay Healthy

You have been in a healthy relationship for some time now and everything seems to be going great! And you are reading this because you are wondering what a healthy relationship needs to stay healthy. Good for you!

I believe that there are 7 components of a healthy relationship. Pay attention to these 7 things and safeguard your relationship from the things that can tear you apart.

#1- A healthy relationship needs good communication.

Really, there is nothing more important for a healthy relationship than good communication. Nothing.

It is important that we tell our partners when they aren’t making us feel good. It is important that we tell our partners that they are important to us. It is important that we tell our partners how much we love them.

I can’t tell you how many of my clients find it almost impossible to be honest with their partners about how they are feeling. They are scared of making themselves vulnerable and afraid of the outcome.

Just last night a client was telling me that she felt like all of the hard work that she and her husband had put into saving their marriage was slipping away because he was busy at work and she was lonely. She said she was just going to try to find interests of her own. I suggested that she tell him she was worried that the results of their hard work was slipping away. Be honest with him about how she was feeling.

She did and he got it and they made a plan for time together this weekend. Together.

#2 – A healthy relationship needs just the right amount of sex.

Every happy couple has a sex life that suits them. There is no exact formula for how much sex a couple must have to be happy. Instead, each couple needs to decide what is best for them, to talk about it and play around and meet each other’s sexual needs in a way that makes everyone excited.

I have a client whose husband wants to have sex EVERY night and, while she really likes having sex with him, every night just doesn’t work for her. She used to just rebuff his advances, which made him feel bad, but on my advice she talked to him about it. She explained how she felt, they agreed that she would be the instigator and that she would instigate often. That worked for both of them and they are happy.

So tick this one off of your list. Talk to your partner about your sex life and make a plan to make it work well for both of you.

Sounds fun, right?

#3 – A healthy relationship needs some inside jokes.

What really? How can that be? That is such a little thing.

Happy couples are like a little islands unto themselves. Sure, they have families and friends and jobs and responsibilities but they also have things that they only share with each other. Inside jokes.

Imagine this. You and your spouse are at a family BBQ. Tensions are flying over something. Politics, perhaps. And then your father in law says something, something that he ALWAYS says and that you and your spouse have whispered about in bed at night. You meet eyes as the statement is made and you just connect. You smile and nod and go on with the day with a warm feeling in your tummy.

Connection is what real love is about. And having a secret is super fun. So having an inside joke, a combination of the two, can’t be beat for keeping couples close.

#4 – A healthy relationship means keeping promises.

Promises. They are usually made with such good intentions but when they are broken there can be disastrous consequences.

Promises have to do with trust. If you make a promise and don’t keep it then trust is lost. It’s better to not make a promise that you can’t keep then continue to break ones that you do.

I have a client whose boyfriend kept promising her that she could meet his kids. And yet every time a meeting was set up there was always an excuse about why it couldn’t happen.

Eventually she stopped wanting to meet his kids, and, ultimately, she stopped wanting to be with him.

Her trust in him had been lost. And without trust what is there?

Make your promises carefully. Remember how important they are for maintaining trust. And love.

#5 – A healthy relationship means not taking each other for granted.

Let me state that one again. Don’t take anyone for granted.

When we first fall in love our attention is completely focused on that one person. But as time goes by we get distracted by life and we can start to neglect the one we love. We know they are there, and we assume that they will always be there, so we stop tending the relationship. And the consequences can again be disastrous.

This I can tell you from personal experience. My husband, no matter how awful I was to him, always promised me that he would never leave me. I didn’t mean to but because of this I took him for granted and while I planned to make changes to my behavior I never quite made it happen.

And, guess what. He left me.

So pay attention to that person in bed next to you. One day they just might be gone and where would you be then?

#6 – A healthy relationship needs quality time and shared interests.

Yes, we are all busy, with lots on our mind and all sorts of pressures. But it is important that you take the time to have quality time with your partner. Time that is spent together doing things that you both love.

In my marriage we divided and conquered. My ex-husband worked hard and I took care of the kids. Any free time we had we spent focused on the family. We had nothing left that was just us. As a result, we stopped being the two of us in a relationship but being two of us working parallel to each other, raising our children, managing the business of our family.

So find something that you both like to do together and do it. REGULARLY. Don’t let that love slip away in the hustle and bustle of life.

#7 – A healthy relationship means making your partner a priority.

Yes, yes, I know. There are so many important things in our lives these days. Making money is one of the first that comes to mind. Making sure our children grow into successful adults is another. And then there is exercise. And friends. And hobbies. And your phone.

And all of these are important. But one thing that you realize, when you no longer have a partner, is that none of these things really matter because you, well, you don’t have a partner.

So make your partner your priority. Every day.

Work is important but so is getting home for date night. That Saturday morning 15 mile run? Go for it but if you could instead spend the morning alone with your spouse, consider it. A movie night with the girls? Bring your husband instead. Movie negotiable. The phone? Put it down.

Consider all the good that could come from making your spouse a priority. Connection, laughter, physical affection, good will, sex, happiness. Arguably more life enhancing than the money and the muscles and the children with a perfect score on their SAT.

100 years ago the author George Sands said: There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.

No truer words have ever been spoken. Love is what makes the world go round and it is important that we recognize that and take action to preserve it, no matter what. That we do what needs to be done to keep a healthy relationship healthy.

So pick up the phone, call your person, tell them you love them, make them laugh and invite them out to do something fun.

Do it now. Don’t wait!

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Signs Your Depression Is Getting Serious And It’s Time To Get Help

For some time now you have been feeling really sad. Not yourself. And you aren’t enjoying your life. Do you feel like your depression is getting serious?

Your friends are telling you that it will pass. To snap out of it. But you are wondering if you can. You are wondering if maybe you are clinically depressed.

There are ways to tell…

Here is my latest: 5 Signs Your Depression Is Getting Serious And It’s Time To Get Help.

#1 – Your depression is getting serious if you can’t get out of bed or off the couch.

How much time do you spend on the couch or in bed? You aren’t necessarily tired but the prospect of getting up is just too daunting to face. So you stay horizontal all day, watching Netflix and feeling like a loser.

This habit is a significant indicator of depression. People who have been diagnosed with depression tell of the great lengths they go to stay out of bed. Of stripping the sheets, taking the mattress off of the box spring and leaning it against the wall, locking the bedroom door. Whatever it takes to keep them out of bed and wallowing in their depression.

#2 –Your depression is getting serious if you have no interest in the things you love.

Have you lost interest in doing the things that you have always loved?

Does the idea of going to school or seeing friends or going out to dinner just seem like too much to bear?

People who are depressed isolate themselves. The energy that it takes to get out of bed and interact with others is overwhelming. So they don’t.
Ironically, going out and doing the things that you love is a great way to alleviate depression temporarily. Unfortunately the treatment can often seem too daunting to undertake and so people who are depressed just stay home.

#3 – Your depression is getting serious if you have overwhelming feelings of hopelessness and dread.

Do you spend much of your time running all sorts of negative thoughts through your head about how horrible your life is? What a loser you are and how no one will ever love you? Are you 100% confident that this will never change?

People who are depressed believe that all of the negative thoughts that run through their head. Unfortunately they also believe, falsely, that it will always be this way!

The truth is is that when one is depressed things can only seem hopeless because when one’s mind is in such a bad place it’s impossible to believe that the future will be any different.

The good news is that once the depression is addressed that feeling of hopelessness can disappear completely!

#4 – Your depression is getting serious if you are impatient with those you love.

Do you find yourself losing your patience with those you love? Do you scream at your kids if their homework doesn’t get done? Do you sneer at your husband if he asks you what is wrong? Can you not even talk to your mom anymore because her incessant questioning is just too much?

Impatience with those you love is a huge indicator of depression. The sense of the hopelessness that our condition will never change and that we are worthless makes it intolerable for us to interact with others, particularly those who love us and want the best for us.

Ironically, it is that love exactly that we need most in our life when we suffer from depression. Pushing that love away ultimately can make the depression worse.

#5 – Your depression is getting serious if your appetite has changed.

Have you found that recently your appetite has changed? Do you find yourself indulging more than usual in Ben and Jerry’s and Oreos? Or do you find that you have no taste for food at all? Have you lost weight and find yourself listless because you aren’t eating?

Changes in eating patterns can indicate depression. When depression goes untreated we can self medicate with food, often to one extreme or another. Which is not healthy and can make it all worse.

Or course, eating well is an important part of dealing with depression. And failing to do so only makes the feelings of hopelessness and despair worse.

Depression gets worse the longer it goes untreated. Unfortunately we hate to admit to being depressed because our loved ones, and society as a whole, tend to stigmatize those with depression.

So, ask yourself if you have any of the symptoms above. If you do, seek professional help immediately. Call your primary care provider and tell her exactly how you have been feeling, using this article as a reference if you like.

Treating depression is easy. Living with it is not.

 

Article previously published on Your Tango.com

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!