"How do I motivate myself and get over my lockdown depression?"
Yeah, lockdown sucks.
2020 was tough, and many places are still in lockdown mid-2021.
Humans are not designed to be isolated, and forced to stay indoors, so most of the world has been suffering. It's such a big problem, that both Japan and the U.K. have appointed a "Minister of Loneliness."
But even if you live in one of those countries, don't expect your local MoL to come knocking on your door for tea and okonomiyaki.
Why do I Feel Depressed?
First understand that, unless you have some kind of neurological condition, most of that feeling of depression can be attributed to low serotonin levels. When you understand that, you realize that basic depression is pretty easy to fix.
Just raise your serotonin.
3 Ways to Raise your Serotonin
"So how can I increase my serotonin quickly & naturally?"
These are my three favorite ways. If you have others, use them, and let me know!
#1 - Socialize
This is incredibly important, even for us introverts.
Serotonin is largely a social chemical, and if you’re isolated it drops. Your mammal brain has a job, which is to motivate you to be part of a tribe, and connect with people- because there’s strength in numbers.
You're simply more likely to survive in cooperation with others- and you'll sleep more soundly too, knowing that someone else can alert you when that jaguar comes visiting.
Depression and loneliness are important for this purpose. They are not random punishments, they are your mammal brain saying "something's not right here, go be with people, you idiot."
If you have a choice, choose activities that involve physical contact and closeness, as well as movement and exercise.
- A dance class
- An acroyoga class
- A sports club
- A running club, or walking club, or hiking club
#2 - Exercise
Exercise makes an unbelievably huge difference.
Find what works best for you. Calisthenics, press-ups, crunches, lunges, biking, running, gym, or just a good jog around your neighborhood.
For men in particular, I recommend weight training, with a regular commitment to training your legs. Maximizing your testosterone production will also impact your mood and energy in very positive ways.
#3 - Do Things That Require Courage
This is a personal theory of mine, based on my studies of evolutionary psychology.
Practice courage daily. If something scares you [ but you won’t die ] do it.
If you look at how tribal hierarchies work and what wins an “alpha male” his title in the group, it’s serotonin.
The role of an alpha is to protect the tribe which means - he might be the biggest and strongest - but more importantly he has to be willing to face danger. He’s the most fierce.
Explore this, you’ll find when you feel fear, and do it anyway, you feel pretty great on the other side of that.
I’m pretty sure that a nice hefty kick of serotonin.
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