Sometimes we find ourselves in a slump. In “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” Holly Golightly talked about the “mean reds.” Other people sometimes get the “blues.” No matter how you frame it when depression creeps in, it takes a toll on your day-to-day life.
Here, it’s important to draw a distinction. Depression and sadness are not the same. Sure, we all feel sad sometimes. Sadness is present when we feel down because things aren’t going our way. It’s a natural feeling. But depression may be to blame when we feel down even when everything is going well.
Remember, depression doesn’t discriminate. No matter your gender, age, ethnicity, geographical location, or income level, none of these factors will render you immune from those devastating feelings that accompany depression. Depression can creep up on anyone.
No matter the causes or effects, there are things that we can do when we find ourselves struggling with depression to lighten our mental load.
One key part of depression is that it takes us out of the present moment. Our minds tend to seesaw between focusing on perceived past failures and worries about the future. But what about today? As it turns out, bringing your focus back to the now is a 100% natural remedy for depression.
Sounds good in theory, right? Sure it does. But how do we practice living in the moment? After all, that takes energy, and depression has the keen ability to leave our energy sapped.
One way to bringing ourselves into the present moment and recover from depression is to do something creative.
Creativity is a toolkit of infinite possibilities when it comes to living with depression. Ever noticed how when you’re totally focused on a creative endeavor, it’s easy to lose track of time? See what I mean? You’re focused. You’re involved. And, you’re totally in the present
But what if I’m not an artist? I’m glad you asked. Everyone is innately creative. Pablo Picasso perhaps said it best: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
Try tapping into your creativity in a way that feels good to you. If cooking is your thing, make your best dish and share your creation with loved ones. Love writing? Start crafting that short story that’s been brewing in your mind. Whether you’ve ever held a paintbrush in your life is no matter. Grab a canvas and some paints and get to work. Or take a seat at a potter’s wheel and see what happens.
How you choose to create doesn’t matter as much as the fact that you’re creating something. Something to bring you back to the now. Something for you to step back from with pride.
Not only is this a great medicine for depression, it’s also nourishment for the soul.