Is It Depression Or Lack Of Inspiration?
Depression has some pretty distinctive symptoms, many of which are centered around feeling down, fatigue, and a loss of motivation. Depression also instills a sense of hopelessness, pessimistic feelings, and a loss of interest in activities that you once enjoyed. You may even feel anxious and empty, and your energy level might plummet.
If you’re suffering from depression, see your doctor for treatment. Counseling and medication both fight depression, either alone or in a combined treatment plan.
However, if you have some of these symptoms but don’t feel that they cross over into depression territory, it could be a lack of inspiration. Feeling that you’re caught in the same old dull routine, without any creative sparks, can mimic depression and mire you down in malaise. Fight a lack of inspiration by sparking your creativity in the following ways that address address your symptoms and renew your passion for life:
Find your passion
Feelings of pessimism and hopelessness crop up easily when you don’t have a passion in life. We all have something that means a lot to us, but it often gets lost in the shuffle of daily responsibilities. Think back to what you wanted to be or do when you grew up. Now that you’re grown, did you manage to achieve it? It not, is that old passion still there, waiting to be rekindled? For example, maybe you always wanted to be a teacher, but you ended up working in an unrelated field. It may not be practical to change careers, but you could spend some time tutoring or mentoring at-risk youth. When you do something you love, you’ll find that it ups your energy reserves and gives you motivation, quelling your unpleasant symptoms.
Spark your creativity
Creativity often gets suppressed when you don’t have room for it in everyday life. If you have a job or daily routine that shifts you into autopilot, find ways to nurture your creativity and give it an outlet. Drawing, painting, and writing are three simple ways to tap into your inner muse. Find a quiet place, turn on your favorite music, and put a pen or brush to paper or unleash your thoughts on the keyboard. If you want to take things a step further, sign up for music or dance lessons or try something else new. It’s even better if your chosen activity poses a challenge. That gives you motivation and replaces hopelessness with happiness at your accomplishments.
Don’t judge yourself
We’re often our own worst critics, and if your inner judge is too harsh, it shuts down inspiration and brings down your mood. Creativity needs to flow freely, without judgement. Think about all the silly things you said and thought as a child. Kids don’t censor themselves, but adults learn to watch their thoughts and works so they don’t seem foolish. That’s appropriate in certain environments, but you also need times to unleash your inner child and express yourself without fear of being shot down by internal judgment.
The National Institute on Aging says that staying active and continually exploring and learning new things helps your mind stay healthy throughout your life. Even if you’re depressed, doing activities that support inspiration helps to fight it and improves your thinking abilities, as well as supporting good physical health. If you’re feeling bogged down, seek out inspiration before you head to the doctor. You might just need a boost of creative thought to get back on the right track.