Depression can come on us at any time of the year.
Sometimes, holidays are the worst times for those that feel this down-in-the-dumps fear and worry and things just seem to happen to make us feel gloomy and sad. Note that this feeling happens to all of us at one time or another. How to recognize the feeling and know what to do about it is the purpose of this post.
No one can or should ignore this feeling. It is universal and the blues are very much ingrained in our world. Music and movies are legendary in handling this subject. If the feeling is too overwhelming, then sometimes professional help is the desired action. We will just talk here about the funk of depression, the knotted thinking that nothing is right and it will only get worse. The following things are suggested to help:
▪️Laughing is the best medicine is an old adage, but so true. It is amazing how when you are depressed, just laughing about something and releasing the stress, can make you feel better. If you are having trouble finding something to laugh about, maybe you can find some people to keep close that cheer you up, that you can call when you feel bad, those who you know will let you apply the “strength in numbers” theory. Invite a few good friends over just to talk and have an appetizer and you will see how much better you feel afterwards.
▪️Listening to music is another key to overcoming depression. If you can just relax and let the type of music you love drift over you and enter your senses, you will find that you calm down and feel better. Even as babies in the womb, we respond to music. Maybe you will find you want to get up and dance and there is nothing wrong with that – even without a partner! Just move to the beat and let all your stress flow out of your fingertips and toes.
▪️Do some work and you will find you feel less depressed. There is something about a clean bathroom, living room, or kitchen that gives most women a sense of pride and order and joy. Men sometimes enjoy doing some of the same work and experiencing the same attitudes. The point is you just need to get out and do something that moves your body. Maybe you can shoot hoops in the driveway, ride a bicycle through the neighborhood and say “HI” to a few of your neighbors. There is something to be said for just watching a sunset and realizing how mighty the world is and how we are just one part of it. That sometimes seems to put our troubles more in perspective.
▪️While we are on that thought, why not try prayer when you feel depressed? Try helping out someone less fortunate. Think of hospital patients and know that they most likely have things worse than you. Yet, you see happier children and adults in some of the worst settings in the hospital. Count your blessings. Hug someone or maybe go through some old pictures of happy times with your family.
Doing productive activities will always perk you up. Think positively about your life and the things you have been given and do not dwell on the problems. Take your dog for a walk and relish in the animal’s unending enjoyment at seeing you and being with you. Sometimes simple undemanding love is all we need to overcome the blue feeling.
The last suggestion may sound unusual, but here it is. EAT ICE CREAM! Yes, just swirling that cold stuff around on your tongue and all the different flavors can make you feel good! The idea is to eat something that you totally enjoy and see how hard it is to be depressed when you have your favorite food and are enjoying it. The world just seems a little better!
Of course, all the suggestions given above may not apply to everyone. But give them a try and who knows…maybe they can help just a little. Keep this list handy and the next time you are feeling a little down, find something that triggers the best response to get you to feel happy again. Be aware that when depression creeps in, you need to take action and beat the depression back to the corner where it belongs.
We all have more important things to do in life than feel blue and depressed. Keep this thought in mind and may your life be filled with joy.
Wishing you good mental health
Olivia B. Shepherd (Life Empowerment Mentor)