The Fight Against “Light Gray” Depression

If you think that things are hopeless… If you think, “What am I going to do today?” If there are things that are just bringing you down into the mud and won’t let you go… This post is for you.

When I was about 6 years old, I think that was the first time I got depressed. I was sad and just couldn’t cheer up for the longest time. Since then, I’ve needed to find outlets to let my creativity and energy out.

Depression is like a poison. You need to drain it out of your body or find some sort of antidote to nullify it. If you just let it sit there, it’s gonna take over your body and destroy it.

My antidote is writing and exercise. I always know that even if I’m not in a good mood, when I go for a run, I’ll feel better. The trick is working up to the run… When you feel so low, sometimes you don’t want to run. Maybe it’s raining (I do live in Vancouver) — who’d wanna run in the rain, right? Weirdos. But… you’ve gotta do it. Otherwise, you’ve done harm to your body and your future, moreso by not running and just letting depression do its thing.

First of all, depression is just (in my case) another word for feeling trapped and hopeless. Not knowing what the solution is and just procrastinating on taking action.

Now I don’t know what a lot of things mean, how to do them, but I do know myself. I know that if I write — which is my alternative activity, and a path to mastery, that I’ll feel amazing.

So here’s how I muster up the courage to write my way through depression, step-by-step:

  1. Recognize when I’m feeling down — this step is easy. You feel it. When a song plays that made me happy yesterday isn’t hitting, it’s a sign. When I don’t wanna get out of bed, it’s a sign. When the walls cave in on me and I can’t even talk to the people I care about about it, it’s a big sign. If you don’t recognize it, you’re killing your chances of getting out of it in the first place.
  2. Explore — I explore what possibilities would solve it for me. Whether it’s a run, a walk outside, playing a bit of basketball, talking to someone, writing, whatever. I know that activity will pull me out of the light gray depression that’s holding me down. (This step is largely physical).
  3. Accomplishment — when you start to do something small, for me in this case it’s writing, you’ll start to feel a sense of accomplishment. That sense of accomplishment is the first step in eliminating the light gray depression from your body altogether. In the first two steps, you might just be going through the motions. Here, you’re actually feeling better overall. (This step is largely mental and emotional).
  4. Sunshine — after feeling a sense of accomplishment, your thoughts start to shift altogether. You feel good, you feel like you’re winning, and like you’ve got more to do. It gives you a sense of purpose and like there’s some sunlight shining down on you. The world seems brighter, more cheerful, a little more friendly. The only thing that changed is your perspective. This is when it all comes together.
  5. Smile — to cement it, you smile and change your physical body even more, rooting yourself into this happy moment. I like to smile because it’s the strongest sign that I’m happy. You wanna walk like you’re happy, talk like you’re happy, sing and sit like you’re happy. You can do this right off the bat to make a change, but if you’re in a shitty mood, you’re not gonna wanna do it right away. That’s why I left it for last.

Now… do I do this 5-step method exactly all the time? Nope. Should I? Maybe. Arguably yes, but I think often that life is a little more fluid than that. Just applying a method blindly doesn’t always work. You need to do what you think is right for yourself, and that takes trust.

If you have no other way, then these 5 steps are great. If you feel in yourself that there’s something else you need to do in order to change your mood, do that.

People want there to be “one” solution. Is Facebook better for marketing than Instagram? Is vegan healthier than keto? Is Xbox better than Playstation, or vice versa — or do PC gamers rule them all?

The world isn’t “The One Thing” by Gary Keller. There isn’t always one thing. I do agree with the book, however, that your focus should be on one thing at a time. But there’s never one solution… That’s why the book is so ingenious. Because everybody wants there to be ONE thing.

Really, there can be multiple things that exist and work simultaneously. Who knows why? It just happens like that.

If you liked this post, and if you think it could help someone you know, then like and share this post.

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions and tell me — what way did YOU overcome light gray depression?

Kris Roxas,