Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fight off the Blues

As I wrote about yesterday, some days are harder than others. On days like that, being positive seems impossible, or at least much harder than usual. I know by now what things pep me up when I'm down, but it's one thing to know the cure is there and another to go for it. So writing all these things down provides a way to grab all the happy I can at once. Hopefully, this post can serve a similar purpose for you.

Being creative is always a good start. Working on a craft focuses energy and results (often, if not always) in a feeling of productivity and accomplishment. It provides a way to get out all that negative energy in a constructive way. I usually write, as a way of understanding my thoughts and talking myself through them. The blog Write Out of Depression is no longer active, but provides wonderful prompts to get the words and happiness flowing.

Humor is another helpful thing. Even if you aren't feeling it, seek out something to laugh over, and it will reach your mind more readily. It's kind of black humor, but try out some of these depression jokes - or just enjoy the main picture, and how the lady looks like she'd rather murder someone than laugh. Or like she has murdered someone. Another one of my favorites is the insanity test, judging your mental health with a picture and a sound clip. Whose Line is it Anway had some great moments, especially with this Greatest Hits segment. And the Muppets always win.

Music helps me, too. I have a perpetual playlist on the iPod featuring songs that always make me feel better when I'm down. Even if I'm not really in the mood to get happy, forcing myself to listen to that playlist helps. Make yourself a happy music mix. Here are a few songs from mine (links will take you to the YouTube videos):

Bad Bad World - Guster
Here Comes the Sun - The Beatles
Month of May - Arcade Fire

You can use online lists (like this one and this one) to start your own playlist.

Sometimes the thing that helps me most is knowing that others are fighting depression, too. Jenny the Bloggess writes about her struggles with depression, and so does Allie of Hyperbole and a Half. It can be hard to read about others who are having such a hard time, but it can be heartening too, to know you're not alone and that many people struggle every day with such problems.

These are, of course, short-term fixes. If you're looking for a long-term one, like counseling, this website can help you find a good therapist in the Madison area. NetworkTherapy.com is another good site for this kind of help. If you're in a really bad place and need someone to talk to, you can call the Hope Line, 1-800-SUICIDE. Their website provides many other ways of finding help, too.

Here's hoping happiness reigns in your life every day, at least for a little while.

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