I've got a lot to do this week, and so I've decided to republish a post I wrote more than a year ago. Hope you enjoy it!
A few months ago, when I could feel a depression coming on, I knew that all I needed to feel better was to be able to go to a Wellness Center. I didn't feel like being alone but I couldn't go out and have to engage other people.
Why is it that there are an abundance of Cancer Centers throughout the country and nothing for us? The place I envisioned was a Richard Neutra- type house with different healers in different rooms and all of the rooms overlooking a swimming pool and hot tub. If I wanted to, I could just lie on a chaise lounge and listen to relaxing music, participate in a mindfulness meditation taught by someone connected to Jon Kabat-Zinn, take a Yoga class, get a massage, or take a woodworking class if I felt better.
Recently I've been researching cancer centers to see what resources they have. You wouldn't relieve how great the classes are. There's painting, writing to heal, tai chi, qui gong, and knitting (it's evidently relaxing). There are places where the support groups take hikes together or go swimming. There's a place in Santa Barbara, CA where they provide free 10-week exercise classes at a local YMCA.
Obviously, when you feel lousy, you don't want talk to anyone and you certainly don't feel like participating in energetic exercise classes. But it might not be so bad to be with other people if you didn't have to talk. When my son was little and I took him to the park, he did what they called "parallel play." It just meant that he sat and played by himself while the kid next to him also played by himself. That's not a bad idea for people who feel depressed. How great it would be if you could go and do an activity you like--and have people around--but you could remain silent because everyone realizes you don't feel like talking.
P.S. The graphic is the Hoffman House.