• Otto Blac

My 11-Piece Depression Utility Kit

Getting out of bed in the morning is so aggravating I will hide from sleep by staying awake all night.

About a year ago, I started to treat mornings like a polar bear swim: as soon as I'm out of bed, I dive into a cold pool of actions before I can chicken out and snooze. Since our brains are typically most productive during the first 2-3 hours of being awake, . Anyone else having a hard time getting out of bed--and out of your way? This is for you.

(Not paid to write this. I try products and review through my own research. Thanks babe)

1. 100 Day Notepad / Bullet Journal

Did you know you can relieve anxiety by tracking tasks? Studies have also shown that you are 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to achieve a written down goal as opposed to goals never recorded. Goals become more realistic to us when broken down into parts. Seeds planted on paper grow from the page and can yield colorful, unpredictable ideas or solutions. Use daily micro-journaling to account for how you spend time as you aim for progress (not perfection). If you want to craft a bigger, more customizable playbook for yourself, try Bullet Journaling

2. Adult Coloring Book

The satisfying feeling of coloring allows thoughts to flow more, incubate, or arise. It's also possible to create the sensation of joy using specific imagery and color. You may also enjoy sudoku books, crossword puzzles, or a classic game of Tetris. The takeaway here is to try to remove oneself from the FoMo, click-bait, and dopamine triggers of social media. Like my posts. 

3. Shower Notepad

When was the last time you left a great idea in the shower? Taking a nice warm shower can release dopamine. As you enter relaxation, new ideas seem to rise with the steam around you. My shower notepad has anything from forgotten song lyrics to punchlines, shopping lists, and precisely worded apologies. No more ideas down the drain!

4. Genius Joy capsules/ Lion's Mane/ Nootropics

I've tried Genius Joy capsules, Mood Booster, and lion's mane mushrooms to enhance my mood and focus in addition to my antidepressants. I noticed improved concentration or perhaps mental endurance on a combination of two. Still, the one I'll probably stick with is lion's mane because I have terrible short term memory. Nootropics are popular for aiding cognitive functions and improving memory. Several nootropic blends and remedies on the market like Genius Brand have stellar reviews and make supplements for other neurological areas. Read four and three-star reviews for actual critics. It's never too soon to start taking care of your brain's health.

5. Raw Greens Superfood Powder

Depressed folks might end up eating pasta or cereal or ramen, or other delicious carbs for too many days in a row because it's easy and effortless. I like to plug in missing nutrition with Naturelo Raw Superfoods Powder. Try the unsweetened powder, which can mix with almost any beverage. Just remember to mix well. One container is a 30 day supply. One scoop will deliver a blast of antioxidants, immune support, digestive enzymes, and probiotics. Your poops won't regret it. Vegan friendly!

6. Neuro Mints

Probably my favorite item on the entire list. Neuro Mints are a tasty, nootropic energizing vegan mint that works 15x faster than coffee. Pop one or two before you hit the snooze or right after waking up. Your mind will be abuzz and ready for action before you can wipe the sleep from your eyes. Fantastic for pulling all-nighters, or staying alert while driving.

7. Jamie Oliver 5 Ingredients Cookbook

When you finally work up the motivation to cook, you want something delicious but without much hassle. Cooking can boost our overall mood and sense of well-being. Make it easy by grabbing Jamie Oliver's 5 Ingredients Cookbook with recipes for every diet. What I love about the 5 Ingredients Cookbook is the variety of meals are sooo easy to make. Impress people in your life with a gourmet-style meal made easy. Find most ingredients at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Asian markets, or wherever you like to shop.

8. Boost Shakes / Pre-Packaged Shakes

If you struggle to make a meal in the morning, try a pre-made shake to ease your stomach jitters. Shakes make a good primer before a late breakfast or before heading into lunch. Remember that breakfast can shake off that hangry feeling and helps our bodies maintain metabolism throughout the day.

9. Personal Blender

Investing $30 to $40 in a personal blender has been a breakfast game-changer. I like to combine frozen fruits with oatmeal, nuts, greek yogurt, milk or juice, and a few good pinches of baby spinach. I'm confident you can come up with a unique smoothie creation. Pack as much nutritious and energy into one beverage, with little to clean when finished.

10. Mel Robbins: 5 Second Rule (audiobook)

Mel Robbins will remind you of cool moms who you involuntarily open up to about personal endeavors at poolside BBQs. Mel's book, 5 Second Rule, taps into the science of why our thoughts are always at war with our feelings and what we can do about it. She breaks down an assortment of sciences to help demystify the enemy within to regain control of your thoughts. Mel Robbins is the real deal, who also survives anxiety, and ADD. I highly recommend the audiobook because you can hear Mel's enthusiasm for mental health science and survival of the day-to-day. Seriously. Prepare yourself for a whirlwind of aha! moments.

11. Sun Lamp / Therapy Lamp

With so many of us stuck inside, our happiness chemical, Vitamin D depletes. We usually receive Vitamin D from limited sun exposure. However, you can still catch similar nutritional benefits of the sun without harmful UV waves. Therapy lamps boost mood levels and may help regulate our circadian rhythm. This type of light is perfect for people who experience Seasonal Affective Disorder, are trapped in dark spaces, or need an energy lift while stuck at the desk. Lamps come in different sizes and price ranges, so you can find which one best suits your (quarantined) lifestyle.

Strung together, here's what my day might look like:

Wake up, pop Neuromints, hop in the shower--maybe my dreams brewed fresh thoughts for the notepad. Next, I'm making a smoothie with Raw Greens Superfood powder or a-chugging a pre-made shake with a lion's mane or nootropics. At my desk with my therapy lamp on, I write or ideate in one of two notebooks. By dinner, I've already scouted a meal from my 5 Ingredient Cookbook. I cook and listen to Mel Robbins. After eating, I may keep the audiobook playing while I doodle, color, or cleanup.  

I learned I may not be a morning person, but I can fake it, bribe my way through it, and push myself to places of growth and productivity.

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