The girl that is normally chipper and cheery, has suddenly turned inward and withdrawn from all conversation. She is irritable, skittish and lacking confidence. Looking in her eyes is enough to make her tears well-up. She cries when she's alone, and it takes everything to gather the will to face the world and dance.
This is a description of me. Yes, lately, I've been feeling the effects of depression.
Affected primarily by the long winter, lack of vitamin-D-rich sunlight and digestive issues, I have little to keep my mood and energy up. There is nothing more frustrating than knowing I have everything in the world to be happy about, but there is a proverbial blockage to the flow of feeling alive.
I have tried to be strong and fight through. Sadly for me and those around me (and, I apologize if you have been exposed to my emotional terrorism in the form or irritability or icy cold shoulder), I let it all get the best of me. After some thoughtful conversations with family over the long-weekend, I have given myself no more time to wallow and feel this way. It is time for action. It is time to work on a manageable course of action to improve my overall well-being.
Of course it is easier said than done, because we all know that depression, be it mild or severe, does not just get better with a single encouragement to "cheer up". Broken arms and sprained fingers don't magically heal when we say: "it's not that bad, come on!"... So, why is it expected that when our mind and spirits are aching that words of encouragement and pep talks will suddenly change it all? At least these conversations are a starting point for acknowledging the hurt and coming up with roadmap of sorts to navigate towards feeling better.
So many Canadians are affected by SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and various types of depression. I have had my experience over the years with feelings of depression and doctors pushing medication (which perhaps is a story for another occasion) to cope. Since the allopathic traditions of treating depression does not suit me, this journey of self-work to reestablishing a more steady sentiment of contentment, joy and motivation for the every-day will take dedication to:
- positive thinking
- whole food
Positive Thinking I've decided to begin each day with affirmations. Affirmations are positive thoughts that spin a potential deficiency in one's world, into an abundance. It is critical to shape the positive in an affirmation, rather than framing it in a negative way. For example, say: "money comes and goes" in place of: "I don't have enough money". You see, the money is an abundance of sorts as opposed to a shortcoming or deficiency.
This morning, I sat up and before my feet touched the ground I reflected on meaningful affirmations. I kept it simple and direct. I slowly repeated the following affirmations in my mind:
- My health is abundant.
- My digestion is functioning.
- I am strong.
After these words danced around in my mind, I felt a surge of positivity and optimism - the exact tonic I needed to begin my day.
Whether or not you may be depressed, positive affirmations are effective tools in making your day and thoughts more efficient. Please share some of your affirmations with me!
Stay tuned for posts on: gratitude, movement, whole foods, healing and self-love. In the meantime, check out this current-favourite of mine for some feel-good vibes.
Be good to you.
*Please note: If you are depressed and on medication, I am not suggesting that you cease your prescribed doses and recite affirmations and other practices in lieu. Please consult your medical practitioner about alternative methods of coping with sadness.