I recently watched a video on the YouTube channel, Dad University, about “Dad Depression and How To Get Out Of It.” Needless to say, I was searching for something to help me through a hard time – really, I’ve been dealing with depression and anxiety for most of my life, but it recently started becoming hard to deal with. I am nervous sharing this publicly and especially worried about what employers might think, but I believe that this is the first step to me becoming a better and stronger version of myself.
Anyway, for context, here’s the video, by producer of Dad University, Jason Kreidman:
Most of the advice on there, I already knew and practiced. It’s pretty basic stuff, really: own your depression, stop complaining, don’t be a victim, consume positive content, eat better, consume less alcohol, exercise, etc.
- Owning Your Depression – I definitely own my depression. I have been pretty open about it in the past and have been dealing with it off and on since I was 12-years old.
- Stop Complaining – I am definitely guilty of complaining, but am aware of it and actively working on it – I’ve decided to start pinching myself, every time I start to complain, in hopes of performing a sort of self-behavioral therapy on myself.
- Don’t Be A Victim – As a father, I don’t have the ability to play the victim. I have too many people depending on me, both personally and professionally, to ever play a victim. I have always just accepted the cards that were dealt to me and have been equally aware of what privilege I have.
- Eat Better / Consume Less Alcohol – I don’t eat that bad in terms of quality of food, but I do over-consume because of my depression, so my weight is definitely an issue. As for alcohol, I haven’t been a regular drinker since my late 20’s, so drinking is a non-issue.
- Start Exercising – I started an exercise program in January at Orange Theory Fitness, but injured myself after 8 sessions – injury has been a trend for the past few years, unfortunately. I am now working on a new workout: Ring Fit Adventure, so hoping that gets me out of this trend.
- Consume Positive Content – As for the content I consume, I tried detoxing from social media for a month, but due to the nature of my work (local TV news station), I am forced to consume a lot of negative content. I try my best to detox on the weekends by shutting my phone off and leaving it at my bedside for most of the time off. When I do consume content, it’s generally something that is teaching me or talking about history.
The Key Takeaway: Start A Gratitude Journal
So, even though I’m not perfect in all these areas, I am at least working on it. The one big takeaway I found in the video was something that I have never done: a gratitude journal. A gratitude journal is essentially just the simple practice of writing down what you are grateful for, on a daily basis. There is tons of research supporting the physical and mental benefits of keeping a gratitude journal: better sleep, fewer symptoms of illness, and more happiness among adults and kids alike.
Going forward, I will be using the time I have in the morning (or afternoons, when I do a quick shift turn at work) to write a few things I’m grateful for, all here on this blog. My ‘digital gratitude journal’ will not be braggadocio, but rather, just an effort by myself to stay focused on the positive and share positive with the world.