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6 Reasons Creating Content Will Fight Depression

6 Reasons Creating Content Will Fight Depression

I’m sad pretty much all of the time. Even though my articles seem positive, and they do reflect my own desire to be more positive, sadness tends to be my number one emotion in any given day. If you’re reading this, that’s probably the case for you too. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I think the reasons as to why we should try to fight it are obvious. In my own struggles I have found that the thing that makes me able to carry on through the storm has always been my constant content generation. While this might not be the key for you, I think its certainly worth a shot and it could very well help you out of the pit.

6. It Restructures Your Day

This is a key aspect to fighting depression – having structure in your day and having something you work for every day. I find that at the end of the day being able to say “I did this thing” is absolutely crucial. If you have a pre-determined thing to do every day then you know that you are going to be able to build onto something that previously existed. As you go about your day you know that you have one explicit thing you have to do and this helps to give you something to concentrate your day around. Being able to concentrate around something like that is crucial to defeating depression.

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5. It Makes You An Interesting Person

This is one of those things that doesn’t really make sense until you are living it, but think about it, most of the most interesting people from history were those who were doing stuff every day and creating a body of work. If you’re doing something similar then you are by default going to become more interesting. The act of creating content often requires research and introspection. This is important because it can help establish a sense of self and help you understand why you are valuable. Once you start getting into the hundreds or even thousands of pieces of content it’s incredibly rewarding to go back and look at all the people you’ve met and things you’ve learned from your work.

4. It Gives You Purpose

This is perhaps the most obvious one on this list but it’s crucial. When you’re depressed it’s easy to not want to get out of bed in the morning, but if you know that you’ve got to create content then you have a reason to move. Even if your content is just three hundred words a day there is suddenly a motivation to get your day going and start exploring yourself. With depression we often ask if anything matters, in this case the content matters because it is giving us a reason to keep going and build towards something. Hell, even if you aren’t building towards something it’s good to be creating content because again, it provides momentum to your day – which makes sense because…

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3. Suddenly There Is A Goal

When I was at my most depressed moments I felt like I had no goal in life. Yet as I started to produce massive amounts of content I felt vindicated because suddenly there was a goal. I wanted to write better content which I hoped would consequently get on bigger and bigger sites and get my work in front of more people. It wasn’t a grandiose scheme – it was just something I had to make me not kill myself. Did I envision making money off of it? Not really. Did I envision it taking over my life like it has? Never. It simply gave me something to do and gave me drive in a time in my life when I had no friends and few real hobbies. If you have a goal in your life then you already know where you’re going – and as long as you keep moving forward it’s hard for the depression to take over.

2. It Can Spark A Passion

When I started writing about heavy metal when I was fourteen I just thought it would be a fun thing to do with my buddy Dan, I didn’t think that I would become a professional writer and band manager. Yet here I am. Producing content became my passion and then it became my life, and it can be the same way for you too. It’s not an easy thing to do at first and it can require a lot of work and dedication but it allows you to discover new things about yourself, and let me guarantee you, when you have a passion giving your whole life direction it’s hard to wallow in depression. Now, I definitely still have days where I feel sad and need affection and wish my roommate would let us get a cat (Fucking Chad) but I think that ever since I allowed content creation to dictate my life I have been a much happier person.

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1. It Can Lead To So Much More

Like I mentioned in the last post – creating content is just the beginning. It can build towards a career. For some of the sites that I write for, this one included, when people see that you’re a regular contributor they start to get a sense that you’re the real deal and turn around and offer you work. Creating content you’re passionate about not only gets you doing exciting stuff it also gets other people excited about what you’re doing. You’re allowing yourself to be a part of a better tomorrow and prove that you are your own master and capable of bringing your work and that of those around you to a new level. More importantly you are contributing to the human story and rising above the forces of depression to become your very own force to be reckoned with.

Featured photo credit: Jan Tik via flickr.com

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Last Updated on October 16, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

Why you can’t sleep through the night

The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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Stress

If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

Exposure to blue light before sleep time

We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

Eating close to bedtime

Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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Medical conditions

In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

The vicious sleep cycle

The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

You get a bad night’s sleep
–> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
–> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
–> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

    Sleep better form now on

    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

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