Thursday, February 16, 2012

February Blues

The DSMA Blog Carnival this month is about what can we do to help stop depression from hitting our community during the winter months.

February can be a depressing month. Right now it is 40 degrees and drizzling in Chicago. When I took the dog out, I remembered the last time I was depressed. It felt like it was cold and drizzling inside my spirit.

Cheer up. It’s not that bad. Look on the bright side. You’ve got to pull yourself together. I’ve heard all of these cliches and more. None of them help. Depression isn’t an attitude problem. For me it is an alarm sounding, letting me know I need to seek refuge from internal rain.

I seek refuge by tuning in to my five senses. Depression makes me feel disconnected and lost inside. Paying attention to my physical senses helps me remember I’m alive. I give myself permission to indulge in sights, music, tastes, textures and smells I enjoy. When I do this I pay attention to what I am experiencing, rather than the whirling thoughts in my head. Slowing myself down puts them on pause, for a little while anyway.

When I feel depressed I try to remember to do things I enjoy, like playing music, writing or reading. Sometimes just listening to the right song can help me find some inner peace. One of the most important things I do is talk to people, either in person or online. Talking helps me feel less isolated and lonely. 

Being outside when the weather permits lifts my mood and can sometimes stop me from feeling depressed. Today I discovered winter reveals treasures that leaves and grass normally hide. This afternoon I found a nest in a low bush. Looking at it, how perfectly balanced it was and the delicate way the bird wove the nest, filled me with wonder. Paying attention to wonder can stop me from getting too depressed. That bird’s nest was a joy benchmark for me. A quiet bit of beauty that lit up an otherwise gray day.

“This post is my February entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival.  If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at"

1 comment:

  1. Great advice. Pampering ourselves a little and focusing on things we enjoy is a wonderful way to cope when things get tough. Thanks for participating in the blog carnival!



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