When I'm feeling depressed, I try and think of accomplishments--big and small. Just one a day will suffice. Since I've had a rapid cycling depression for months, this exercise currently requires fairly low standards and a high level of creativity. But last night, I came up with a big winner: kickball. Yes, kickball. When I was in elementary school, I was probably the best, if not one of the best, kickball players in my class.
As a sort of a baby boomer visualization exercise, I lay on top of my bed, closed my eyes, and visualized the blacktop diamond at my elementary school. As I remembered my childhood friends with whom I used to play, I felt a smile beginning to form...the first one in days. As I visualized what it felt like to stand at the plate looking for holes in the outfield as I waited for the pitcher to release the ball, I felt a small surge of happiness.
As I saw myself standing at the plate and waiting for the ball to come towards me, I could feel a slight increase in my heart rate. When I visualized my left foot solidly connecting with the ball, and kicking it so hard and high that it sailed through the air beyond our diamond, I unintentionally clinched my fist with pride. Finally, as I saw myself running so fast around the bases that I felt like I was flying, I was jubilant--if only for a moment.
When I opened my eyes, I sighed deeply, and felt like part of the darkness was lifting. Moreover, for the first time in weeks, I came up with a plan of action. I decided that if this depressive episode doesn't end within one week, I'm going to return to my elementary school, which is only five blocks away, and see if I can find a "pick-up" game of kickball. While I'm not sure that beating ten-year-old kids will make me feel better, it certainly couldn't make me feel worse.
P.S. I just read that kickball is a popular retro sport. So, perhaps I can join a team of adults.