There can be a fine line between laziness and depression. To an outsider, someone with depression can appear lazy. But nothing can be further from the truth. Laziness and depression have no relation with each other. Someone struggling with depression is not lazy.
Everyone has lazy days where they feel like doing absolutely nothing. And to assume someone with depression is just lazy can hurt them. While they may want to get up and do things, depression stands in their way. They want to work. They want to be active. They want to thrive. But their illness renders them incapable of doing what they want to do. This is not laziness.
Even people with depression initially question whether they are just lazy when they have plans to achieve things each day and cannot make themselves get off the couch or out of bed.
Difference between depression and laziness
There are similarities between depression and laziness but there are key differences between the two. The main distinction between them is you cannot choose to have depression but you choose to be lazy. People with depression do not to want to feel depressed.
Depression is an illness that creeps up on you over a period of time. You do not see it coming. Before you realise it takes over your mindset and your life. It is completely out of your control.
Laziness is a feeling that passes after a few days. Your motivation returns and you can catch up on the things that need doing. It is a clear choice. When you feel lazy you simply choose not to do things. You put things off you planned to do today until tomorrow.
When you have depression this is not possible. You may not even notice the mess and chaos around you. You lose all sense of meaning in life and your responsibilities do not matter. Nothing matters. The last thing you think about are your responsibilities or what you should do.
Depression can hit you from out of the blue. It can make no sense. Often it is brought on by stress, but you usually cannot link it to a specific event or situation in your life.
Depression is the most common mental health issue across the world. It affects more than 264 million people. Depression is a serious, debilitating mental health condition. It does not only impact you but your friends and family as well as your employer.
A diagnosis of depression is when it persists for more than two weeks and negatively affects many areas of your life. You can feel hopeless, apathetic, sad and continually relive past failures. You may even have thoughts about self-harm or suicide. You can think of yourself as lazy but this can be far from the truth.
The symptoms of mild depression include:
- Anxiety for no real reason.
- Losing interest in the things you enjoy.
- Feeling empty and sad.
- Changes in your eating habits and weight gain or loss.
- Feelings of hopelessness.
- Feelings of irritability and frustration without explanation. Your tolerance levels are low.
- Sleeplessness or oversleeping.
- Loss of energy and fatigue.
- Guilty feelings and low self-esteem.
Severe depression symptoms include:
- Unexplained pain such as headaches, muscle and joint pain.
- Constant thoughts of suicide and death and self-harming.
- Difficulty making decisions.
- Trouble with your memory or trying to think.
- Obsessive behaviour such as gambling, drug abuse and taking part in dangerous sports.
- Nothing gives you pleasure and you do not feel content.
- Complete loss of interest in everyday life.
- Loss of libido.
- Unable to deal with emotional situations rationally.
Laziness is a choice you make because you may feel like not doing something. It usually passes quickly and may only be restricted to a few activities such as housework. When you are lazy you do not have the symptoms of someone with depression. And it is perfectly normal to have lazy days. But if it gets in the way of your everyday life, you may want to understand why you feel so lazy all the time. Is it simply because the task does not interest you? Do you fear something? Or is it the amount of effort involved? You cannot wave a magic wand to stop feeling lazy when it constantly affects your life. Understand it and make a decision to do something about it.
Skills to help you cope with depression
Here are some coping skills you can do every day to help you cope with the symptoms of depression. Even though you will not feel motivated to do any of them, this is normal. Start by pushing yourself to try at least one each day and you will soon find the motivation to do more.
Schedule something you enjoy
There is no point waiting until you are in the mood to do something you enjoy. Instead schedule something you enjoy for at least 30 minutes each day. It does not matter what it is as long as it gives you pleasure. For example, mentor someone who needs to learn your skills, watch a Ted Talk on something that inspires you, plan a trip to the beach or go for a coffee with friends. Something to look forward to can also lift your mood.
Remember to complete this activity with the right attitude. Practice gratitude. Even keep a gratitude journal. Write in it what went right or wrong every day. Being grateful for what you have does not make your problems any less significant.
Set achievable goals
Set achievable goals that give you a sense of accomplishment. You may feel guilty if you set goals that you do not achieve so it needs to be realistic. An achievable goal is:
- Realistic for you to achieve, not for someone else.
- Controllable and does not depend on others.
- Easy to manage, not overwhelming.
- Simple to measure. You know whether something is done or not.
When something goes wrong or there is a roadblock to reaching your goal, ask yourself what you can learn from the situation instead of beating yourself up. And avoid comparing yourself to others. We often make the mistake of comparing our own weaknesses against others’ strengths. It is not accurate and you are being unfair to yourself.
Spend time people who support you
Spend time with people who make you feel better about yourself. Avoid those who bring you down and are negative. It is great to spend time with yourself but you need balance. Isolating yourself away from friends and family will help your depression linger.
Stay in the moment
Staying in the moment is about mindfulness. Mindfulness is a practice that is good for so many reasons. It helps you to appreciate your world without judging yourself. It helps you appreciate the present moment. Download my powerful Mindfulness Audio Program. It will have you drifting into a peaceful place where your problems disappear because you feel so relaxed and content.
Get regular sleep
Regular sleep is important for your mental health. You need balance. Staying up late one night and sleeping until midday the next day is a great way to feed your depression. And, remember, do not try to solve all your problems while you drift off to sleep. It will chase any chance of sleeping away. Having a regular sleep routine will make you feel better. It will also help you cope with the challenges everyday life can throw at you.
Eat well and exercise
Eating a balanced diet and exercising moderately each day will help how you feel. It will lift your mood so you feel better about yourself. Try to avoid junk food and alcohol as it can bring you down.
Regular moderate exercise has many benefits. It clears your head and the added benefit is it can help you lose weight. Try exercising for 30 minutes a day to help alter how you feel.
Change your negative self-talk
When depressed, do you find yourself constantly talking to yourself negatively? “I am useless. Everything always goes wrong. Nobody loves me.” Sound familiar? You can get stuck in your negative self-talk. Make a conscious effort to recognise when you do this so you can change how you talk to yourself. Think of a time where people showed you unconditional love or when things worked out or your past achievements. Instead of putting yourself down when you feel depressed, make an effort to remember the positive times.
List all your good qualities
Feeling depressed can mean you can only see your negative qualities and feel self-hatred. What are your good qualities? It will be super easy to list all your negative qualities. Doing this only justifies the self-hatred.
Instead of listing your negative qualities, try making a list of all your good qualities. It will be tough to start with because of your negative mindset. Here is a list to start you off:
- I am reliable.
- I am kind.
- I care about others.
- I am a survivor.
- I am a loving parent.
- I am considerate of others.
- I am unique.
The idea is to exchange all the negative things you think about yourself with those on your list of positive qualities.
Visualise something that made you happy
Often depression means you continually revisit the dark times in your life. The memory of this brings all those dark feelings washing over you again and again. Try to recognise when you start going back to a time that caused you pain and trauma. Instead visualise something that made you happy. A time where your parents told you they were proud of you, when you gave birth to your children or a time when you had an amazing achievement that made you feel strong and empowered. Describe the details of this positive time out loud. It will counter the doom and gloom with a positive memory.
Make the effort
Making the effort to use coping skills to deal with symptoms of depression helps you feel better, if only for a little while. Of course you are likely not to feel like trying these things, but it is worthwhile practicing positive coping skills. It is an important part of treating depression. If you do not try to cope, your depression will start to feel like a toxic friend. Even though it can be difficult to recover from depression, every little thing you can do to bring positivity into your life again helps.
It is possible to recover from depression. And it is imperative you seek help.
We are here to help
When depression hits you, it can be hard to overcome especially when you struggle with mental health issues. Dealing with depression makes cheering yourself up tough. Even when you have support, you may feel people do not really understand or it is not enough. And even if you are taking medication, sometimes you need something more. If you are struggling, consider reaching out. When you are not coping, contact us to find out how we can help get your life back on track. But, if you reach crisis point, call us immediately. We are here to support you through a crisis and can help you quickly deal with things better.
We can work with you over the phone, via Skype or in our Spas. Book in today for my Emotional Empowerment Program. I have an introductory offer for just $79 so you can start taking back control of your life. We can support and help you cope with the challenges of dealing with depression. With our help, you can soon reduce the effects of depression and look forward to a future filled with happiness and joy.
Let me help stop the effects of mental health issues
My Emotional Empowerment Program has helped many people like you deal with all types of mental health challenges for more than a decade. We can help you move through and deal with stress, depression and anxiety which can be the root cause of mental health issues. I can help you replace these with happiness, peace and contentment in weeks not years so you can see a positive future. Listen to what David has to say about my program after only a few sessions.