Photos in this post by Brynna Bryant.
We all go through periods of depression.
It is through these lows that we are able to experience deep personal growth, and an understanding of what it means to be happy, healthy and at peace with life.
If you're experiencing a low right now -- whether it's a bad day, a lengthy depressed mood, or an extended period of time that you've been depressed-- please know that you're not alone.
I encourage you to reach out for as much support as you can. Talk to your friends. Don't carry the weight alone. The more you talk to people about depression, the more you tend to find that it is a common part of the human experience.
I want you to know something else, too. It may not feel like it right now, but you are loved. You are enough. You're going to be OK.
These things might feel like the farthest thing from the truth, but you know what? Now is a good time to doubt these untrue things your mind is telling you. Maybe even take a few moments to write down the negative thoughts that are coming up for you, and take a moment to see how ridiculous they may be.
I know during my experiences of the lowest lows, I tell myself some pretty hurtful things that aren't true.
Another thing I highly encourage you to do is to figure out what makes you feel better, and don't procrastinate doing whatever that is.
If going for a walk with your dog tends to help you release stress, go do that. If a funny TV show helps you smile for 30 minutes, watch one. Roll out your yoga mat and do five minutes of asana at the end of your long day -- or even during your lunch break!
If you feel stuck, do something proactive to help get un-stuck.
You know yourself best. You know what little things make you feel better. Quit putting them off and go do at least one of those things, and just see how you feel.
I know from experience that it's easy to play the victim and keep suffering, even when I am aware of what steps will help me feel better.
Just today, for example, I was feeling emotional and was stuck in a cycle of self-pitying and resenting others around me who were having fun. Finally, after hours of putting myself through this suffering, I got off the couch and rolled out my yoga mat and did a couple sun salutations. I let my breath be therapeutic; deep inhales and heavy exhales. At the end of just five minutes on my mat, I felt a little bit better.
I wasn't in a fantastic mood afterward, but I felt a noticeable difference from before I had practiced yoga.
This was because I took initiative -- I asked myself, what would make me feel better right now? I knew that yoga was the answer, and I didn't procrastinate any more. I got up and did a little bit of yoga, and it worked.
I know you have something in your life too that's a fail-safe, sure-fire, simple way to feel better. It doesn't have to be yoga. It might be going for a drive and cranking the radio and singing. It might be eating a healthy meal and treating yourself to a glass of wine and a piece of chocolate afterward (all things in moderation, rigtht?!). It might be asking your friend or neighbor or kid for a hug, and really letting yourself be hugged.
Whatever it is, go do it.
Namaste, dear ones.
PS As always, I'm just one email away if you want to reach me (aliveinthefire at gmail dot com). :)