in talking to a couple different friends recently, I’ve come to this revelation. the revelation is:
the best path out of depression is self-care.
sorry, i don’t have it in me to do a 25 word post. i’ll expound further.
i think we all understand the idea of self-care. self-care are the things we do to take care of ourselves. I also believe that people with depression universally have some self-care struggles that act as a resistance to their recovery.
opportunities of self-care are many. some examples, in no particular order,would be hiking, biking, walking, running, swimming, sewing, gardening, hunting, fishing, crafting, painting, photography, gaming, therapy, meds, pets, racing, supporting, being supported, reading, writing, friends, family, dancing, going out on a date, your spouse, sleep, sex, back packing, camping, boating, bird watching, national parks, going for a drive, stamping, making cards, coffee shops, ice cream parlors, being, doing, being present in the moment, giving of yourself, movies, youtube, blogging, music, poetry, a night out on the town, volunteering, sitting, relaxing, sports either playing or watching, golfing, playing bocce, playing crochet, playing tiddly-winks, playing board games, off-roading, play card, learning to use stress as an indicator not a point for fear, cross-country skiing, down hill skiing, snow boarding, snow mobiling, tubing, rafting, kayaking canoeing, singing, tooting a horn, playing guitar, mandolin or banjo, massage, woodworking recognizing self-care…
by no means is this a comprehensive list. feel free to add more in the comment field, if you like.
if the thought of having to do all of these stresses you out, forget about it. self-care is about what’s right for you. if something doesn’t turn your crank that’s fine. now back to the primary theme.
every act of self-care I take from my therapy on tuesday’s to the bowl of ice cream I just ate (maybe/maybe not) is a sign that I have value and i am worthy. these are ways that i can take care of myself and in the process, generate some more positive feelings about myself.
the last listed act of self-care has particular importance, recognizing your self-care. when’s then last time you got up, got out of bed, took a shower, had breakfast, read a couple of chapters of a book, called a friend, texted another, mowed the lawn, walked the dogs, made dinner and spend some time with your spouse only to say,”i didn’t do any self-care today.” i find myself doing that on an all to regular basis. these show examples of me not recognizing my self-care.
sometimes this recognition can be like a damn. by not recognizing the acts of self-care, no matter how small, it holds back the recognition of other, more important acts of self-care. the recognition of your self-care can be the beginning of a trickle that will break the dam. this could be the beginning of recognizing even more current acts and future opportunities of self-care.
depression, no doubt, can be life changing. recovering from depression can potentially be as life changing. acts of self-care will likely play an important part of your journey. the challenge will be to find ways to practice self-care. if you haven’t zeroed in on acts of self-care that appears to work for you, do not despair. stand back, take a deep breath, and recognize the acts of self-care that you are currently doing. if you’re breathing, acts of self-care abound. recognize them and a snowflake will become a snowball and beyond.