Wednesday, November 14, 2007

More Ways to Fight Depression

This is a compilation of additional ideas people have contributed for pulling up out of a sudden bad case of the blues. THANK YOU so much for sending them.

I found the one about singing an improvised opera version of my problems to be a real howl. Irresistibly funny and mood-improving.

This is Part II of the list. And I welcome more ideas. I'll happily post a Part III. Note: exercise is the one most often mentioned.

*Spend some time with a dog, cat, or horse. Or taking care of an animal. Mucking out stalls gets excellent reviews.
*Ask someone who sincerely admires you to say nice things to you.
*Mentally plan a trip.
*Take a trip.
*Stand in the sun for ten minutes.
*Do some tai chi.
*Make small decisions, in order to give yourself a renewed sense of control. (I like that a lot.)
*Have some favorite comfort/perk-up books, (David Sedaris?), or cheering music (Lightnin' Hopkins?) ever ready for these occasions.
*Sit outside. Or walk.
*Wallow in misery for a preset limited time.
*Drink two big glasses of water.
*List ten things you're happy about or that you love.
*Do a Mona Lisa smile, which will kick off some happy chemicals, whether you mean the smile or not. Even holding a pencil in your mouth, crossways, can do that, just by pushing back the lips into a smile-like position.
*Lower your expectations.

I'm feeling much better. I hope things are good with you.

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Lisa Gates said...

Wow, Peggy. Just read all your posts for the past several days. I appreciate the invite to write about being with depression.

I am not a fan of "doing" as a substitute for "being" when it comes to depression. Especially "being with." I think a lot of our garden-variety depressions come from our resistance to what is, resistance to feeling, resistance period.

Forgive the long comment...I had great advice from a mentor when my son was 3. She said when you're in a hurry, trying to rush out the door to work or the like, and your son pitches a tearful fit on the floor about his untied shoelaces, all your admonitions and criticisms and hurries and warnings will take far, far longer than saying, "oh my, those are some powerful feelings. You are sooo sad about those shoelaces. What can I do to help you? It's a bit hard to figure out shoelaces, isn't it?" Five minutes later, not 2 hours later, we are out the door and life is good.

That one little tidbit of "being with" has given me more grist for everyday living than anything I have ever learned in my life. Bar none.

Sit down. Be with. Ask yourself, "What's here? What does my deeper self want me to know?" Slow down, go in, mine for information, be with. Your higher self has an answer.

Doesn't depression most often occur when we live in opposition to our core values? Repeatedly?

Suffering from TMI.


Peggy said...

Hi Lisa, thanks so much for this. It's wise and beautifully put. Not TMI at all.

I just got back from 2 days at a friend's beach house. Three women, two sacks of knitting, and one lapdog. A fine experience of just being.