I generally try to keep this space light and positive, but I’m going to be real for a second here. Lately I’ve been struggling a bit with anxiety and depression. Nothing too severe, but enough to leave me exhausted and… unpleasant.
I don’t know if there’s something in the air (I know a lot of people who have complained of similar feelings) or if maybe it’s the change of seasons. Fall always leaves me with a feeling of dread because I know a long, cold, dead winter is right behind it. I find no beauty in bare branches. I need sunshine and greenery. Signs of life.
I mentioned the effects of my anxiety on my Facebook page not too long ago and one of my friends and readers, Cristina, said that her trick to not being so down on herself was to stamp it out before it even starts.
But how do you do that? I’ve written about changing your perspective and trying to look at things from different angles to realize they’re not always as they seem. But how do you change your perspective when you’re really down and in the thick of it?
It sounds hokey and trite, but it’s so true. If you search really hard, there is always something or someone to feel grateful for. Truly.
When my dad was dying of brain cancer, his coworkers in the State Police banded together to give my brothers and sister and I amazing Christmas presents. It didn’t change the fact that what was happening with our dad sucked. But it definitely made the world seem like less of a dark and terrifying place. There were people who cared and who wanted to make sure we were happy.
Maybe the best way to keep yourself away from that dark place where you see nothing but the negative is to practice gratitude regularly. Constantly seek out the things you have to be grateful for and you can’t help but feel good—or at the very least better.
I wrote a little bit about being thankful and made a list of some of the little things that I’m thankful for over on my friend Jackie’s blog for her guest series, Thankful Today. Check it out and let me know what you’re thankful for.