Business + Depression

Somedays I get really depressed. It’s hard to deal with that when you work 40 hours a week at a retail job and it’s even harder when you run an online business to boot.

I do it anyway, and most days I do it gladly.

Then there are the other days. The days when I question what I’m doing because all I want to do is hide away in my apartment and do no work ever.

That’s the Depression talking.

She reminds me of the days when I sat around playing video games all day and when my diet consisted of pizza and ice cream.

“You were happy then,” she whispers. “You didn’t have to do anything, no responsibilities. You could sleep all day if you wanted, play whatever computer games you wanted, eat as much as you wanted, all day long…”

She tells me that I was happy but I know the truth, I was miserable then. I tell her that those things didn’t make me happy and she should know better. So she changes her tactics, gets a little meaner.

“You’re not making a difference. Nothing that you do is going to matter in the big scheme of things. You’re just wasting everyone’s time. Just quit. No one will notice or mind. Don’t show up anymore.  Just quit.”

It’s really hard to run a business when Depression visits.

Lately, I’ve been dealing with it. It’s a rather hard line to walk, depression vs. my business, but I’m beginning to feel like an old pro. I thought I’d share how I cope for anyone out there that fears Depression will keep them from doing the stuff they really want to do. We can work around her.

Push yourself, but not too far.

Sometimes the only thing that I can do is push through the depression. The thing is, I have to use my intuition to know if pushing is going to help or hurt. Somedays I won’t want to do anything at all, and that’s okay, so I don’t. Other days, it is worth it to push through the resistance and do it anyway because it reminds me of how much I love what I do. It’s a thin line to walk, knowing when to rest and when to push, but it’s important to know yourself well enough to know what’s best for you.

Manage your time.

I spend two days a week doing the bulk of my online work and the rest of the week doing the little day-to-day things or working on projects. Managing my time that way gives me the opportunity to rest when I need to. I can spend five days focusing almost solely on myself if Depression decides to visit, yet I don’t lose my stride, and if I spend five days not working, when I get my mojo back, I’m not completely overwhelmed with everything that I have to do.

Know your cycles.

My bouts of depression usually don’t last very long, a week at most, every few months and are moderate in severity. I’m thankful for this, and especially grateful that I’m attuned with myself and my cycles. When depression plans a visit, I hear her coming and I start making plans to make her stay as short and unpleasant as possible.

Know what will make you feel better.

Aside from giving myself time, I have my Depression Kit. It’s not a real kit, just a list of things I know to do for myself. Something on that list will make me feel better. I might have to try twenty things, but one of those things will loosen Depression’s hold on me. I don’t give up. Ever. On those sucky days, practice EPIC SELF CARE.

Don’t beat yourself up about it.

Don’t feel guilty for not blogging, posting, updating, creating, emailing, whatever-it-is-that-you-do — when Depression comes to visit. Guilt will eat you up and take the joy out of your business and it’s a killer. Letting other people down, especially your peoples, sucks but at the end of the day, if you’re taking care of you, you’re ultimately helping your business and making yourself available in a healthier way. Let the guilt go.

What you do is important. 

Even though Depression may tell you otherwise, what you do is important, and if it makes you happy, on the normal days, then hold onto that, don’t forget it, no matter what mean ol’ Depression has to say about it.

Does depression ever stop you from doing the things you want to do? What are your own tips?