Over time I have learned that when I feel a depression on the horizon, it is critical for me to assess my situation, see what factors might be contributing to it, figure out whether I'm engaged in the appropriate wellness activities, and set a schedule for moving forward. It is also important that I seek help if I need it.
As my regular readers know, my annual depressions have a seasonal element. And each day I am feeling the days getting shorter, and I am noticing signs of depression. I counter balance this in number of ways.
1. I reduce my stress level to the minimum. This year I had to cancel a conference I was going to participate in, and while I feel bad about that, I can live with it.
Then, I sat down at my desk and listed the other projects I'm involved in. I love my Botany class, and I'm committed to completing it. I have two gardening pro bono projects, both of which I'm committed to. I'm helping someone who's got a vision for a Wellness Center, and I'm going to participate in that project as well. I'm supposed to write a gardening article, but I'll pursue that at a later date. I've been taking a digital photo class, but I've decided not to participate in a group photography show.
2. I outline all the component parts of each project. When I'm depressed, my organizational ability suffers. So...I've decided to sit down this week, and figure out every element of every project and organize it in a notebook.
3. I need to exercise more, and come up with a plan for doing that. I know that exercise is more effective than antidepressants. And while I walk my dog Jack twice a day, I need to participate in some additional activities.
A few weeks ago I said that I was going to jump rope, but I can't seem to make myself do it. I've decided that I really need to try a yoga class. I've talked about doing this forever, but I haven't done it. There's a yoga studio ten minutes away and I'm going to try out a class early next week. I'm also going to check out a local swimming pool, and find out when the exercise classes meet.
(to be continued)