The bone-chilling cold we experience this time of year is contagious, it seems. I’m afraid I’ve caught some of its bitterness. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that my personal life has been on such shaky, unsure ground. When I’m secure in love and life, the temperature could drop below zero and I’d still be warm and rosy as a radiator; happy to be inside cooking soup for my sweetie and catching up on my reading. But at the moment I feel like all my goodwill and inspiration and empathy have seized up like a frozen stream. There’s no desire to cook or write or sing. No motivation to show love to anyone or anything. I feel like love, in general, is kind of a lost cause.
This mid-winter funk is usually only shaken by spending some time focusing on myself, so that’s just what I’m going to do. For the past four years I’ve put myself second (at most) and the results are pretty evident. My time-tested steps for breaking out of a minor depression are:
- Exercise – There’s no better mood elevator in the world than a good old fashioned work out. If you can’t get a work out the old fashioned way (*wink wink*) then you had better lace up those sneakers and get a’walkin’ (or a’runnin’ or a’yoga’n’ or whatever workout you can stand.)
- Forced creativity – It might sound like an oxymoron, but it works for me. Sometimes my best creations come when I’ve set some parameters for myself, whether it’s to sit down and write a story or a song or just to do some vocal warm-ups and improvisation. It’s like a self-assignment and you always get full marks. (ha.)
- Eat more fruits and vegetables - No, I’m not really trying to diet but the vitamins and nutrients in fruits and veggies always make me feel better, inside and out. A salad and an apple is as good as an anti-depressant, in my book. Well, OK, maybe not as good, but a great natural alternative. If after a week of veg-loading I’m still feeling peckish, I’ll invest in some St. John’s Wort and melatonin.