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Thursday, 6 June 2013

Positive Activities to Lift Your Sagging Mood

So yesterday we were talking about all this "PollyAnna" type crap....I mean stuff :) and how there is actually scientific research now to back up the fact that it really does improve the chemical reaction in the brain. I got a whole lotta feed back last night via posts here and facebook and email and google...(I forgot how many social media things I was hooked into). Everyone was basically saying "Yah, that all well and good but what specifically should we try." Well, in my humble opinion, not knowing you inside and out I would suggest making a list of the things that you did when you were the happiest in your life. It reminds me of a line in the Veggie Tales Movie the The Pirates that Don't Do Anything, where the gourd is faced with being eaten by cheese doodles and reflecting upon his life he says it was not a very good life, but there was that one day in 1976 between the hours of...blah blah blah....You get the point right.  Even if you have struggled with anxiety and depression your whole life, there have been moments, even short flashes, where you experience joy.  What were you doing.  If those moment were childbirth or marriage I am not going to suggest that you go there again but what was it about that moment that brought you the joy.  For me my most joyful events have been steeped in family life.  That however has become a catch 22 for me because it reinforces my fears of "what if I lose them". So looking outside of my family I had to inventory what brought me happiness.  I have always loved being creative. I have had a major hang up in the last few years because every tool I picked up and every piece of paper reminded me of my friend that had been with me when it was purchased. When I reached for my embellishments there were the flowers I used to decorate the display for my dad's funeral and when I opened my picture files to start scrapbooking a layout, there were the pictures from my son's baptism, my best friend beaming as she held her godson, or pictures of my dad as a child, and his wedding pictures all harsh reminders of what I had lost. Step by step I cleared through it all. Perhaps not as quickly as my husband may have liked, and I found a place for all those things. I separated the memories from the stuff so that I could return to the things that brought me happiness.  I still get misty sometimes I won't lie, but being able to spend some time every day creating something makes all the difference to my level of anxiety and depression.  Like I said, I would not suppose that I know where you are in your journey but I did find a few general ideas to kick start your positive activity list:

Develop a wellness toolbox

Come up with a list of things that you can do for a quick mood boost. Include any strategies, activities, or skills that have helped in the past. The more “tools” for coping with depression, the better. Try and implement a few of these ideas each day, even if you’re feeling good.
  • Spend some time in nature
  • List what you like about yourself
  • Read a good book
  • Watch a funny movie or TV show
  • Take a long, hot bath
  • Take care of a few small tasks
  • Play with a pet
  • Write in your journal
  • Listen to music
  • Do something spontaneous
Help Guide:
Go read this article for more ideas on positive activities


Looking at the list above I was reminded of one of my group therapy sessions where the occupational therapist said she suggests everyone of her patients watch at least 30 mins of comedy every day.  That is the kind of therapy I can get behind! That and anything involving more sleepy time. SIGN ME UP! Of course her advice of 20 minutes of vigorous exercise daily fell on deaf ears. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Feel free to contact me if you ever just need to chat. You know I am not going to be out anywhere :)