I’ve been trying to take better care of my mental health lately. After years of suffering from depression and anxiety, I’ve finally had enough. Of course, some days are better than others; every day is different. I can’t control what happens, but I can control how I react to it. Easing my anxiety with breathing exercises has helped during those occasions when my stomach shoots up into my throat and time seems to stop. Those moments have been few and far between since I’ve started to listen to my mind and body. I slow down and breathe.
Depression is another beast entirely. For me, getting up and out, going outside and taking a walk, soothes my melancholy mind when I’m able to find a scrap of energy. Some days are only suited for curling myself into a blanket burrito and watching crappy movies. There’s no way to avoid it. It needs to happen.
I’ve noticed for the past couple of months that as the day progresses my mood slopes downward. I’ve also noticed my disposition sours when I watch the news for a long period of time, when the weather is particularly crummy, or for no reason at all. When the day ends, I find myself in a funk. I can’t shake it.
One night I felt really out of it, dejected and lacking focus, and I didn’t know what to do. Without really thinking about it, I just started listing in my head anything and everything I liked or brought me joy. Without conscious thought, I silently catalogued my interests over and over again. I can’t explain it, but I instantly felt better. So, I kept doing it. Day after day, any time I felt unease or sadness slipping in, I itemized the people, places and things that made me happy. This new diversion may not last, but right now I’ve found something that works for me. A little pixie dust goes a long way.