How to Cope With Depression I #AskASoccerPro Show Ep. 050

Welcome to episode 50 of the #AskASoccerPro Show! We discussed a lot of very difficult topics this week, and I’m proud of how our community is brave enough to ask hard questions. We’re getting very deep this week, as we talk about hard subjects like dealing with depression and internet bullies (trolls).

Here is a full list of what we covered in this week’s live episode:

  • DIY: How to Kill an Internet Troll.
  • Is MLS growing too fast?
  • Being the Tortoise
  • Free Agency
  • Do MLS Players make a good salary?
  • Why you MUST invest in your future!
  • Hindsight vs. Foresight
  • Want Confidence? Do the Work.
  • Consistency is key.
  • The Bar of Iron
  • The Value of Experience
  • The 10 Pushup Challenge 
  • Is your ‘why’ big enough?
  • How to Cope with Depression

Make sure to catch the replay if you missed the live. Don’t forget, I go live on Instagram every Thursday at 6 pm PST/ 9 pm EST to answer your questions!

Subscribe To The Podcast! 

How to Cope with Depression

One of our community members, Mario, asked me this week if I’ve ever felt depressed. I have. And to anyone dealing with depression, I hear you. It’s a real thing when you are feeling those negative forces and feeling like things just aren’t going to work out. Feeling depressed is sometimes a part of life, but that doesn't mean you are alone in coping with it.

I think that it’s important to feel those feelings, recognize them, acknowledge them, and accept them. A lot of people spend time denying those feelings and running away from them. For me, I lean into it. I want to feel and accept those difficult emotions so I can better understand myself and become stronger. Understanding myself and why I’m feeling depressed helps me to become clearer on the reasons I want to pursue happiness.

To really truly appreciate something, you have to experience difficulty on the way there. But, being depressed can turn into a downward spiral if we aren’t careful. When we are feeling depressed, we do less of what we love, and when we do less of what we love we tend to feel worse and worse. It’s a dangerous downward cycle.

If we become more self-aware and learn when we are beginning to go down the path toward depression, we can use mental models we have put in place to create stop losses. Now we have a plan in place where we can turn to the people we care about, the things we are confident in, good at, and proud of to help stop us from heading down the dark road of depression.

When I start to get in a dark place, I try to do the little things I am confident in, that I really love doing, to turn myself around. Really, these can be the smallest things. If you feel like you’re in a space where, maybe you just want to curl up in a ball and be alone, isolated for hours or days, as you’re getting those feelings is when your stop losses are going to come into play.

You make yourself a promise, that when you start to feel that way if those emotions are starting to get the best of you, that you’re going to do something small that you know brings you some happiness. It could be watching ten minutes of a show you love or playing your favorite video game.

After 10 minutes, you tell yourself, “okay, I’m going to go do something that is good for me and will benefit me in the long run for just 30 minutes.”

We’re going to use these little things, like our favorite show, as a reward for recognizing and accepting our feelings, but we aren’t going to let them push us into hours of mindless binge-watching or other vices. This is why we put a time limit in place, and then make it a habit to turn to something that will benefit us in the long run.

I’m really happy that people are starting to talk about mental health and that we as a society are acknowledging mental health as a legitimate concern. I’m worried that we aren’t spending enough time as a society helping people learn the self-awareness and mental models to recognize and cope with depression and mental illness.  This is even more severe, because I understand that not everyone has the resources to immediately seek out a psychologist.

I’m really grateful to Mario, again, for asking me this question. If anyone reading this is in distress, I would ask you, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Asking for help is not showing weakness, it is showing strength. You are important to our community and we are here to support you.

How to Kill an Internet Troll

Since we are here fighting back against depression, I want to talk about how to deal with people who bring negativity into your life. So, here is a mini-class on how to stop those internet trolls!

Step one, any time anyone says anything negative to you online, all you have to do is drop that ‘I’m in your head’ emoji, you know the one!

We are taking the negativity and hate and spinning it into positive energy that we can use to lift ourselves up to achieve our goals.

So, any time someone comes at you, just drop them that emoji and wait. One of two things is going to happen. One, they might not know what it means, and that’s just going to confuse them, which may mean they come at you with more hate. So, you’re going to drop that emoji again and again.

Eventually, they are going to get frustrated and ask you what it means. All you have to do is type, ‘I’m in your head. #MSL.’ Once that happens, you win. You are officially registered in their head. Don’t explain anything to them, make them do the research. They’re going to look it up and find out what it means.

If they ever come back, you’re already in their head. You’ve won. MSL baby, that’s how you kill the internet trolls!

The 10 Pushup Challenge

I bet you couldn’t do 10 pushups a day for three years straight without fail.

I could almost guarantee that within 3 weeks you would miss a day. The number of people I’ve talked to, I’ve seen one thing. The mental weakness out here is high.

People will find so many excuses to not do something, its mind-blowing. Even something as simple as 10 pushups a day. 

I challenge you to do 10 pushups a day for 6 months. If you can do 10 pushups every day for 6 months without fail and log them using the Perfect Soccer time management worksheet, I will send you free Perfect Soccer merch.

I may just have created a big problem for myself, but this offer stands now, in the future, whoever reads this or listens to the replay.

If you are someone who can commit to doing something and being consistent with it, even if it is that small, the amount of positive things that are going to happen in your life over that six months are going to be ridiculous.

Once you do six months of pushups and realize you are capable of this, you will realize you are capable of so much more. The problem for most people is that they have never had this experience, the belief that they are capable of more. 

That is what I want for you, and what I want you to want for yourself, to know you are capable of more.

The Value of Experience

Since I am about to officially be a free agent, it’s a good time to talk about player value. Like soccer, I believe that player value is subjective.

If I were a CEO of a company, who had the goal of running a profitable organization based on the acquisition and sale of soccer players, and building a business and culture surrounding that, I would have to quantify what experience is. 

I would take into account, number of teams played for, number of coaches played for, number of teammates, culture and philosophy of the players, number of countries played in, and here in the United States, I would also consider participation in the player’s association. 

The player’s association is a big one, due to the convoluted nature of the rules here in the US. Those who are participating in the player’s association are at a definite advantage to those who are not because they understand the intricacies and nuances of the league, something key to success and longevity.

For instance, 2 of the 4 of the players in the league over 35, Rod Fanni and Chris Wondolowski have been union reps at some point. The staying power of players that become educated on the league and rules is pretty evident from this point.

Final Thoughts

I can’t believe we’re already here, but here’s to 50 more great episodes! Thank you for being here with us, whether this was your first or 50th episode of the #AskASoccerPro Show. We are glad you’re a part of our community.

Join us next time for the live over on Instagram, and make sure to catch all the replays of this and past #AskASoccerPro Shows over on YouTube and on Perfect Soccer Radio.

Until next time,