Kelsey: Staving Off Depression When Life is Depressing

I should begin with: if you’re overwhelmed, if life is too much, please reach out for help to the 24hr suicide hotline 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Life is not easy right now for anyone, except maybe Jeff Bezos and the other billionaires, but besides them I think for the rest of us life is depressing at the moment.  I have had bouts of depression in the past but not quite like this one. Mostly, I’m kind of angry that I’m depressed because it doesn’t feel like it is my fault. How am I supposed to not be depressed while acknowledging the reality of the world? Well, I just thought I’d share what I have been doing to prevent myself from melting into a puddle of nothingness every day.
First I acknowledge that I must be informed about the world around me and I cannot ignore what is happening (yah know -pandemic, recession, racism, sexism, homophobia, air quality, fires…I could go on), yet I cannot allow emergency updates, news stories, and violent videos to permeate my entire day. They have a place in my day but I don’t allow them the entire day. Next, this is lame I know, I drink water. Yeah, it sounds so easy, but I’ve learned if I’m anxious or depressed I’m probably also dehydrated. I also force myself to do things that I know I have enjoyed in the past even if I don’t think they will bring me joy, even if they sound more like a chore I still do them. Examples of these are: baking galettes, watering my garden and house plants, playing my ukulele, rewatching for the thousandth time ‘Avatar: The Last Air Bender’ or ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer ‘ (but also trying to make sure I’m not binge watching because that does not bring me joy). Lastly, but most importantly, are exercise and getting acupuncture. These last two are definitely the most difficult for me to do, but also I know I will feel like a completely new being when I finish them. No matter how much apathy or anxiety I am feeling in the moment I know acupuncture and exercise will cause physical changes in my body and hormones to make me feel better about life. The key is to not wait for motivation. Motivation is a flakey unreliable friend who will cancel on you 9 times out of 10! I have to make a schedule and a commitment to do them, and I honor this commitment with myself because it is a subconscious reminder that I love myself and I believe in my future.
Bonus material:
Your acupuncturist as characters on Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Sarah – Buffy, Evelyn- Anya, Beth – Willow, Kate – Tara, Jeff – Oz, Ruben – Giles, Kelsey -Xander

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