16 May 2019
I haven't done a Three on Thursday post for a bit, so I thought this would be the day/week.
I suffer from depression. I have been that way for as long as I can remember, and like any other person with this condition, it's an ebb and flow type of thing, regardless of drug assistance, talk therapy, or other methods. And there are times when I just have to wait until I feel better to feel better - meaning that no kind of positive thinking, or vision boarding (OK, I don't do that anyway), or other things that get suggested to me by others who might mean well but have no real clue, will help.
OK, slight digression, but it's for a reason. I've been thinking lately about things that always help to improve my mood when I am not in the depths. There are plenty of days when I can feel better by doing and concentrating on small things, so I thought I would share three of them here.
1. Move. My preferred thing to do is to take a walk or a bicycle ride. But if you don't enjoy that, or if you will not/cannot deal with the weather, do something that makes you move your body. Do your workout, or simply stand up, touch your toes, and swing your arms. Find a way to move from one room to another. Sometimes I'll realize that I'm starting to dip because I have just been sitting in one place mulling over how I'm not doing anything.
2. Be nice to someone. This can mean just saying "Thank you" or "Hello" to someone if they hold a door for you, or smile at you. It can mean playing with your cat or dog (which also gets you moving) or your kid should you be of the parenting kind. This also means being nice to yourself. Sometimes I'll take a bubble bath, or give myself a manicure, or even treat myself to a chocolate bar, and that can work too.
3. Do not look at social media after 8:00 p.m. Actually, this is a rule I made for myself a few months after the 2016 election. Granted, I don't spend a ton of time on social media anyway, but I have found by not even thinking about it after 8:00 p.m. (chosen arbitrarily on my part, related to nothing specific) means that I enjoy my evening and do not get my brain into a swirl of worry/anger/frustration/irritation - well, you get it - and do not have as much trouble falling asleep as a result.
Like I said, there are times when none of my ideas help, but a lot of the time, they do. I would suggest that even if you do not suffer from depression, you still consciously devise some little habits or practices that can just add to your feeling of contentment. No one is deliriously happy all of the time (frankly I would find that exhausting), but we should all be lucky enough to feel a basic level of good most of the time, in my opinion.