16 May 2019

Everyday Happy

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.


Pointy Little Sticks said...

Some days the best that can be mustered up is "comfortable with the current situation".

Hope today's sunshine brings a little joy.

Vera said...

Good advice. Hoping today's weather is improving everyone's mood!

Bonny said...

Several people in my family also suffer from depression, and recently I've been reading and learning about how to help (if that's even possible), or at least how not to do/say things to make it worse. Moving is right up there at the top and I would argue that simply "do not look at social media" might be helpful. Here's to feeling a basic level of good!

KSD said...

Spot on. <3

Araignee said...

I need to implement #3 right away. I had palpitations last night after looking at Twitter. They are going to find me dead in the bed one morning if I don't get a grip.

Wanderingcatstudio said...

Those are all fantastic methods. I suffer more from anxiety than depression, though as I'm sure you know, those two are very closely linked. Dave deals with both - and for him, staying busy and moving is essential to not dipping too deep into depression.

AsKatKnits said...

These things are good things for everyone - and I am quite convinced that if everyone did these things, the world would be a much nicer place.


kathy b said...

I too battle depression. I have a great psychiatrist and we have a 9 year relationship. He moves on it when I tell him I'm off. I thought I might never experience depression again, when I went for 5 years steady. Then last year hit like a ton of bricks I never saw coming. Again, we worked it out with meds. I know that we can change things up and he doesnt make me wait and wait for changes. I hate to think of him retiring.
I try to help others who are experiencing depression. With boundaries of course. But I try to tell them they have to advocate for themselves or have someone else do so. I am so sad that i have passed this disease to my children. I feel terribly about that.
I love being content. I know we can't always be, but now that I am retired my life is much less complicated. It helps

Nance said...

These are good tips for everyone. Getting moving out in Nature is such a reset for me, always. It's comforting and inspiring at the same time. I like to notice the small things; it makes me feel appreciative.

I'm not part of any social media platforms, but I do unplug for most of the day and definitely after 9 PM (no screens to prevent insomnia). It's much more relaxing.

And like kathy b, I love contentment. I'm not looking for wild happiness and big joy. Just an uncomplicated life whenever possible. So being kind to others--as you mentioned--like being patient and pleasant in checkout lines, might help bring that contentment to others, too.

Jeannie Gray Knits said...

I used to suffer from PMDD. It was so long ago, I couldn't remember the abbreviation and had to look it up. So long ago, we didn't have internet at our house so social media wasn't a problem, but my diet was. I basically replaced social media on your list with eating right. It turned out that my body reacts to processed foods so strongly I consider myself allergic to them. I'd start on that premenstrual hormone slide and start gobbling bags of chips and cookies and cheap chocolate... and my body would react to the chemicals and I'd end up curled up in a ball wanting to harm myself and my family.

I took medication for it for years and still struggled but after watching my mom die a slow, scary death from heart issues, I decided to get healthy, joined a gym and started eating better. At some point in the process I got the crazy notion to cut out all processed foods and poof! I felt great and no longer needed the medication. The change was Amazing!

So... not trying to make light of anyone else's depression, just saying that I think eating healthy foods should be added to the list. They certainly couldn't hurt. :) Hugs!