Low Self-Esteem and Depression – Tips to End the Cycle (Part 2)
This is the second article in a series on low self-esteem and depression. These two elements of life create a cycle that can lead to a sense of hopelessness. Even a mild depression can cause feelings of inadequacy, low energy, and a sense of being overwhelmed by small tasks. When our energy is low and we get less done, it can contribute to our sense of self loathing. Through my life I've experienced temporary periods when my energy is low or I feel depressed. This may be due to the weather, hormones, or difficult situations such as the loss of a loved one. I've come to recognize the interplay a low grade depression has on my self-esteem. Here are a few tips that have helped me.
- Hire help when you need it or when you are stuck. Whether you are trying to work through an emotional issue or clean out the garage, it's wise and sometimes necessary to hire professional help. Shortly after my Dad died, I became overwhelmed. I had a successful company and was heavily involved in every aspect of it. Clients called me non-stop. I was hitting bottom. I hired an out-of-work office administrator. For two days she screened my calls, made my meals, and did my laundry. By the third day, I was ready to face the world again. Shortly after this experience, I sold off part of my business so I could have more free time.
2. Simplify your life. Complications can drain our energy. Many people who suffer from low self-esteem and depression need to bolster their energy. Focus on ways to simplify your life. For example, if under-learning is a source of depression, focus your energy on ways to increase your income. You may feel more in control having one full time job, rather than juggling three part time gigs that still can not pay the bills. If clutter rules your life, tackle one area at a time. If time is an issue, sort out what truly important, what you have to do yourself, what you can delegate, and what you can let go of.
3. Consider changes that will improve your life. If you have seasonal effect disorder, consider frequent trips to the desert or even relocation. If you feel like all you ever do is take care of your broken down house, sell it, and move to a condo or apartment.
4. Find a safe circle of friends where you can be yourself and share your feelings. This may be a 12 step meeting, a church or spiritual group, a therapy group, or special friends.
5. Separate feelings from facts. You may feel like your life is not worth much but it is. Every human being is uniquely designed and has gifts and talents to contribute. Kindness, patience, and the ability to teach or listen are gifts. Too often we compare ourselves by our net worth and intellectual achievements. Sometimes the world just needs your smile. A friend may need your hug. A stranger may need your prayers.