Depression is a deep and difficult subject. Whatever the cause, it doesn't respond to the advice to 'pull yourself together', often given by those who probably don't have a clue. I realised yesterday, with a little help from my friends, that there are some things I have been doing and which, over the years, have helped me mellow considerably, remain optimistic and become happier. So, while I finish my breakfast and before I scrub my hands and start dealing with metres of fine silk, I thought I would share.
It was Friday 13th yesterday, and although I'm not superstitious, I should have known better than to think things would go to plan. I dashed out in the afternoon to go to the bank, but the journey took longer than anticipated because of lots of traffic, all sensibly taking the rainy, greasy roads at a reasonably slow pace. Having arrived in town, I found the bank's doors locked - they now close an hour earlier than they used to. Then I remembered I was going to do the recycling while I was out, but forgot to put the box in the car. A 22 mile round trip for nothing, I whined later on Facebook. A friend responded 'But you're still smiling. I like that about you.' Actually, I was, because it seemed like I was the butt of some celestial joke, probably designed to teach me not to get distracted, thinking about the moth caterpillars which were stripping another friend's weeping cherry tree when I should have been getting my own butt in gear. Spooky how he knew I was smiling, but his simple statement made me all feel all warm inside. Actually, I still feel all warm inside from it.
So here's the first couple of things:
- Smile. Grit your teeth if you have to, but find something to smile about. Smile at yourself in the mirror. You smile at friends, don't you? Surely you must be your own friend? And ...
- Say something nice to someone (or yourself) to give them a reason to smile.
- Be grateful, for anything or anyone at all.
- Be kind to yourself and give yourself something to look forward to and feel excited about.
Here's my quick list:
- Hot, buttered, white toast
- A nice cup of tea
- The smell of lavender
- Fresh sheets
- Cuddles with my cats
- The warmth from a hot water bottle
- Butterflies and moths