By Brittany Drozd, LCSW – Providence
In this day and age, we’re all looking for a quick fix, instant gratification, and the least amount of work possible for the greatest reward. I know this because I do it too. And really, you’d be silly not to.
But sometimes, this can get us into trouble.
For decades, there have been endless trends in fitness and nutrition that suggest less-than-healthy ways to lose weight and get the body of your dreams. With these kind of promised results, who isn’t at least intrigued to learn more? Admit it!
What have resulted from such trends are tighter FDA regulations on drugs and food products that may be harmful to us, such as the use of ephedrine in diet supplements.
Yet sometimes, we feel we need something to get us out of our funk or motivate us to get started on a healthier path.
This is true for your mental health, too. Many people report depression and fatigue as a reason for why they don’t want to exercise or can’t improve their nutrition and overall wellness.
But what if diet and exercise is the very thing you need to feel less fatigued and depressed?
Anti-depressants can be very effective in changing your mood. Deciding whether or not to take a medication can be made easier with education. Find out how your body’s hormones, neurotransmitters, and limbic system work in order to understand the effects a medication will have.
Think you should wake up happy as a clam every day and have no worries? This elusive Super Happiness has become the object of people’s desire due to Facebook and other social media sites that show our friends living “the best lives ever” through pictures and posts. Make sure your expectations for your happiness are grounded in reality. You are only seeing a portion of their lives, so try not to compare. Ask yourself how you want to be a happier. And what would it look like? This can help define your goals and expectations.
Give it time!
Your happiness didn’t slip away overnight, so it likely won’t be fixed that quickly either. Find a way to measure your progress in this process so that you don’t get discouraged and lose hope. Use a calendar to track what you did that day, and how you felt as a result. Identify your behavior patterns that resulted in an uplifted mood, and do those more frequently. Some days will definitely seem better than others, and that’s the normal trajectory to success. It’s not linear.
Medicine for momentum
If you are in a place where you are struggling to perform your daily functions, such as work, self care, and familial obligations, medication may help you gain the momentum you need to get started. Consult with your doctor and work with a psychotherapist to oversee your treatment. Anti-depressants can affect people differently, as we all have different chemical make-ups. It may be a trial process to find the right medication for you.
Once you build the momentum you need to get going, start incorporating your preferred activities back into your schedule. Maybe that’s a date with friends, an afternoon walk, or time spent outside. As this increases your level of happiness, start adding in the activities that seem more challenging to you: a yoga class, exercise regimen, or healthier food choices. These activities require more discipline and resilience, so build up your momentum before you tackle them!
Brittany Drozd, LCSW helps success-oriented individuals by offering them strategies, tools, and support to stop living for everyone else so they can live the life they really want with greater clarity, direction and fulfillment. Brittany helps clients reach their best selves by exploring all aspects of their lives, including exercise, nutrition, and mindfulness. Visit http://www.brittanydrozd.com for info on how to work with Brittany. Brittany Drozd is a licensed psychotherapist and practices in Providence, RI.