"When I'm feeling blue, all I've got to do, is take a look at you." Actually, these lyrics are from A Groovy Kind of Love written by Phil Collins in 1988. In my case, when I'm feeling blue, all I need to do, is engage in any or all of my top 10 wellness activities.
1. Badminton. This is my newest activity. The fact is that aerobic activity is great for healing depression. But it's also fun for me to be taking a class at a local community college so I can play with 18-20-year-olds. I'm getting better each time, and it feels great that I've reclaimed my athleticism.
2. Sunshine. While there are lots of books discussing the benefit of light therapy, the moment I feel a little under the weather, I go outdoors, and stay there for awhile. If I'm in the mood, I take a walk. In the old days when I was very depressed, I would just shuffle to the yard and sit in a chair for ten minutes with my face facing the sun. If I felt a bit better, I weeded. There's sort of a Zen-like quality to mindless weeding. If I had a lot of energy, I did home improvement projects.
3. Playing a musical instrument. These days, I am playing the accordion, electric guitar, Autoharp, recorder, and harmonica. While the word "playing" may be somewhat of a misnomer, the fact is that even when I just strum the Autoharp, blow in and out on the harmonica, and do scales on the accordion, I feel so much better. But, since playing instruments is truly a delight, I actually try to spend an hour a day playing an instrument and singing songs as well. There have been numerous studies showing the value of music therapy.
4. Gardening. Again, horticultural therapy has been found to truly help people feel better. Maybe George Bernard Shaw was right when he wrote, "The best place to seek God is in a garden. You for dig for him there." Or perhaps it's just a connection to nature that is so soothing. But, even if I just spend 15 minutes watering flowers, it makes me smile.
5. Blogging. We all know the value of writing to heal. I believe that blogging to heal is equally important. First of all, it's just a wonderful sense of accomplishment to post five days a week. Second, it allows me to share information with people who might find it helpful. It also enables me to connect with people through writing rather than talking. And I feel that sharing information on bipolarity as well as wellness activities is highly beneficial.
Tomorrow, I'll list five more of my top wellness activities.