To Rest or Not To Rest?

Be EasyWhen my brother was about to be put in “time out” as a kid he would face his palms up to my dad and wave them around, saying gently, “Be easy Daddy. Be easy with me.” Judging from the smile on my dad’s face when he tells the story, I think my brother’s pleas worked – Dad melted a bit and went easy on the guilty toddler.

Depressed people are told to be easy on themselves all the time. Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t worry so much. Don’t take on more than you can handle. It’s good advice.

Unfortunately it’s in direct contradiction to the second refrain we’re constantly hearing – that of “contrary action.” Contrary action is the thing you’re supposed to do when you don’t want to get out of bed, don’t want to shower, don’t want to feed yourself or answer your phone. You’re supposed to act contrary to those urges. Fake it until you make it they say. You must not give in to those urges, because they’ll make you more depressed in the long run. Also very good advice.

So… um… which are we supposed to do?

Two Paths

I get that I’m supposed to wash my hair occasionally. But what about sports events? What about things I used to enjoy that I simply don’t anymore? How often can I fake it before it starts making me more miserable? And if being easy on myself means doing very little? Is that ok?

The internal debate is NEVER ENDING because when you’re super depressed, it applies to almost everything.

I don’t have an answer here. I’m looking for suggestions. Am I thinking about it wrong? Do these two types of advice actually complement each other? Is one just bullshit? Help end the ongoing argument in my struggling head-bag. Hit me up at or click through to leave a comment. Thank you!


Top photo from Regan76 on Flickr.

Bottom photo from William Ward on Flickr.

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