Do you ever have days when you feel a bit unsettled? Like a heavy weight is weighing on you? When its hard to focus upon the task at hand?
I think that most of us experience these feelings on occasion. Some experience these feelings more often and more intensely. For them it is clinical depression, true suffering and my heart goes out to all who suffer in this way.
I’ve never experienced depression. But I have experienced days when I’m out of sorts, unsettled, not happy. It’s days like these that give me compassion towards those with depression because I cannot imagine the suffering that would accompany feeling worse, and for a longer period of time.
For those of us who are not clinically depressed but experience the occasional day(s) of feeling down or stressed, we have various means of coping. Following are my non-professional, but experiential means.
- Hunker down and wait for it to go away. This is not always the best option…
- Eat! This is a common reaction for many (others react with loss of appetite). For me, it is so easy to “feed my feelings.” Unfortunately we tend to feed our feelings with unhealthy “comfort” food (research proves this…which I’ll share at a future date). The problem with this approach is that unhealthy comfort food is that the after effects of such eating can lead to more feelings of despair. Not a good coping mechanism!
- Talk or visit with others. This is actually helpful even if it is difficult to do for those of us who are introverts. Prayer works here!
- Get outside. Go someplace nice. Beautiful surroundings help. I’m thankful I live near the coast and can go to the beach to experience some restorative beauty.
- Exercise. And last my favorite coping mechanism. Before running, I ate my feelings…literally eating and eating and eating. Now I run and pray while I run. There is no better feeling than a long run where the heaviness seems to lift more and more with each mile.
What about you? How do you cope with the occasional feeling down?
Today I am personally thankful for: life in all its good and bad; the opportunity to run this afternoon; for living in California.