Depression can move in on a person quickly or creep in like a fog. It can be a visceral experience, like a blow to the gut or a heavy burden suddenly pressing down on one’s shoulders.
It can affect one’s experience of the world: if it’s sunny outside, somehow it seems dull and cold; if it’s gray, the gray gets heavier.
Have you ever been depressed? How do you stand against it; how do you push back the gray veil? How do you cope with depression and even work to break out of it?
First, it’s important to know the difference between “the winter blues,” an occasional down day, a week when you’re just feeling off, and longer-lasting, biologically based depression.
“Depression is a ‘whole body’ illness, involving your thoughts, mood and
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Imagine yourself free from your troubles, like an eagle flying across a valley in the high mountains, not hunting, not searching, but just enjoying the freedom, grace, and power of flight. Putting your thoughts in writing helps, too. Write down the things that are bothering you, then write down what you might do to change your situation, even things you might dismiss as silly; sometimes the silly things end up being the best ideas. Journal; let it all out on paper. Write your woes onto index cards and push them away, symbolically distancing yourself from them. Use your imagination to plan what you’d like your life to be in five years. I don’t mean the imagination that’s going to take you down the road to becoming a homeless bag lady with a never-ending bad hair day. Try to be hopeful, and write down all the baby steps you can think of to reach your goal.
Play is also a good way to reset your thoughts. Play with your dog or your cat or your child. Get down on the floor and be silly. Pretend you are a monster that gives only kisses. Take yourself out of yourself for a little while.
Another effective tool against the battle against depression is work: physical labor