When you’re depressed you feel stuck, unable to find your way out and, most of all, unwilling to even make an effort. You’re unwilling to change, unwilling to try something new, unwilling to look at possibilities. But you can get yourself out of depression simply by looking around.
How stuck are you?
Often the depression part comes when you feel stuck and have absolutely no idea what you want and need to get yourself unstuck. The not-knowing is so huge that you don’t even try. So how can you move out of that?
Remember that life moves in cycles
There’s no way you can stay stuck because the natural flow of life is in cycles. You’re always changing. Sometimes not happily so, but nevertheless you are always changing. So the good news is: however stuck you feel, however depressed you are, life is a moving process and it will change.
Identify the cause of your stuck-ness
Look to find what’s missing in your life. It may be encouragement, it may be a focus for your work, it may be some genuine downtime that you need for recuperation and regrouping.
I certainly have gone through periods of not-doing because my body had been pushed and truly needed to rest. Give yourself permission to goof off. Listen to those natural, organic reasons for feeling stuck, for not being willing to tackle anything new.
Wait for the cycle to change
I’m writing this now because I’m watching myself move through a period of unwillingness to do any of the things I could do. However, because I allow my life to unfold, I’m being patient with the cycle, this whatever-it-is.
And I don’t know what’s missing. I don’t know what steps to take to help myself move forward. What can I do, how shall I move forward when I really want to stand still?
My body will show me the way
I can wait for my inner wisdom to give me a sign as long as I don’t wallow in this whatever-it-is. That means I have to be willing to consider change, to consider next steps. To look closely at what and why I’m resisting.
Fear is not the cause of this stagnation. I just pushed my way through months of learning new programs that would take me to my next step.
Fatigue is not the cause. I’ve just taken it easy for the last few days.
Discouragement is not the cause. I have fabulous projects at various stages of completion. I’m on the right track and it’s working well.
Uncertainty about my direction is not the cause. I’m very clear about what I want to say, who I want to say it to and how I want to offer it to the people I serve.
Something is changing
There is some change happening deep within me and it simply needs some time. Something at my core is changing and it’s too subtle for me to recognize. It could be a need. It could be a new direction that hasn’t yet been made clear. Whatever is changing is still changing and it isn’t time for me yet to know what it is or what to do.
And so I wait.
I could go exploring
Even if I sit here like an owl, turning my head first one way and then the other, it only commits me to looking, not moving. You know how nature moves in cycles. There’s no particular date for a bud to bloom or a leaf to drop. Nature just hangs out in the moment and things happen. Could I be like nature and just be in the moment?
From my owl position I do not want to move. I’m full up of exploring new ideas, or digging deep within myself to find answers that I then share with others. Sitting here looking around is a big enough move for me right now.
What if this inability to move forward is not about what I have, but that it’s about what’s missing? How do I identify what’s missing – how do I start doing that?
The exploration for the missing piece
For me, the missing piece is interaction with more upbeat, interesting people who are passionately moving along their own paths. I already have a few such people in my life. Do I need more or do I simply need to interact more frequently with the ones that I have? Or is it simply time to wait for life to unfold – to evolve – to emerge?
Wait your way out of stuck-ness
I definitely have good stuff going on in my life. I love what I do, I share with people and I know when I make a difference. I’m using my skills and acquiring more.
But in this particular moment there’s stillness.
There’s waiting. There’s patience. There’s unclarity. And most of all there’s no need to do anything except watch.
Feel your way out of stuck-ness
The more I keep tuned into my own feelings, the more easily I’ll recognize the answer when it appears. The more I honor my own inner nudges and make it OK to read, or look out a window, or whatever seems to call to me, the more balanced I become and the more aligned with my passion and purpose.
Notice your rhythm
Maybe you’ve been pushing yourself too fast or too hard and suddenly you simply need to pause and regroup. The change in rhythm can be misconstrued as stuck-ness, when, in fact, it can simply be self-healing. Small changes in rhythm are absorbable. The large swings are more noticeable and can be misinterpreted as stuck-ness.
I will wait for the change to happen
But I won’t wait too long. There comes a point when a person has to cut bait – let it all go and just move forward. One foot in front of the other, one task completed, another begun.
When I start to move, even with the smallest of steps, I’ll acknowledge that particular victory. Even writing this article is a victory – I’m exploring what I think and feel about being stuck, about being dispirited and trying to figure a way to get myself to move forward. And I’m sharing what I discover with you.
Depressed means gloomy, glum, sad, unhappy, melancholy, dejected. Each one of those words is not something I want to be. And actually, I’m none of those. But I am a little off balance. I’m a little unmotivated. I have a lot of “I-don’t-want-to’s” showing up.
And so I wait
I make mind maps with pencil and paper to uncover my unconscious concerns and capture them in a form I can see. I wrote this post to figure out what I think. And I wait. I’m waiting for me to change just as my life continues to change.
And I trust
I trust the cycles. I trust my own evolution. I trust my perpetual enthusiasm, which seems to be taking a rest. I wait. And I act on whatever willingness comes up.
And let that lead me on to the next step.
And the next.
One step at a time. One small change at a time – back to happiness and fulfillment.