After years of minimizing your emotions to the small range of feelings between high and low, or drunk and sober, dealing with what seems like a sudden encyclopedia of unfamiliar sensations is a challenging task. Feelings are a funny foe. They are not exactly visible or tangible, yet they are very real when present and often demand to be addressed. Trying to fight or avoid feelings is not the healthiest approach to dealing with them. For while they remain unseen, they don’t exactly go away. Emotions store themselves in the body, as well as in patterns of thinking and behavior.
Depression Management in Recovery
Depression, or experiencing being depressed as an emotional state, is tough, especially in the early stages of recovery. Clinical depression, passing depression, or depression that is a result of withdrawing from drugs and alcohol makes feeling out of control of your heavy emotions an uncomfortable experience. When depression hits, overwhelming feelings of melancholy, isolation, detachment, dissociation, and sadness take over. The sun doesn’t shine as bright, colors are a little less vibrant, and there seems to be a black rain cloud programmed to pour right where every step is taken. Strong emotions don’t have to mean a lack of control. Rather, learning to embrace, regulate, and manage emotions is an integral part of recovery.
Let it in, Let it out, Let it go
It may seem like your feelings are trying to end life as you know it, but they aren’t actually that powerful. Fighting against feelings of depression is like resisting a boa constrictor or a pit of quicksand- it’s only going to get worse. Embrace the emotion, release its power, and simply let it go. Talk to a friend, counselor or sponsor about this experience. This doesn’t mean the depression will disappear like magic, but it will lighten the load of how much impact it has.
Known as a happiness vitamin, vitamin D has been shown to boost spirits and improve mood. People who live in sunshine-deprived areas take high amounts of Vitamin D and sit under UV lamps to compensate. Vitamin D also helps hormone regulation from the thyroid, which can contribute to feelings of depression.
Get movin’, Get groovin’
The body likes to move. Of course, try telling it that when it’s being weighed down by an episode of depression. Low hormones and blue emotions feel like two ton weights attached to your arms and legs, killing your desire to get up and get active. However, exercise hormones like adrenaline and epinephrine can break through the darkness by boosting energy and metabolism. That’s why it’s so important to force yourself to be active, releasing these excellent chemicals and improving your mood.
The Center for Life Change provides you with the tools necessary to navigate the unexpected seasons of life. Call 951-775-4000 today for more information on our transformational recovery programs.