My last blog post was a bit of a downer, so this morning I am going to try to turn that around. I tend to be a glass half-empty person, so when the news bombards me with one bad thing after another, it is all too easy to succumb to depression. When I fall into that unhappy state, I find it difficult to even move, though I know movement is what I crave most. Some of the remedies available to cure my depression have disappeared with the self-quarantining and social distancing brought about by COVID-19, but if I catch myself in time, I can exercise, stretch, watch an uplifting video on YouTube, or read…anything to snap my mind away from darkness.
If I don’t catch myself in time, I can still pull myself out of the hole with even a very simple movement. A micro-movement. This is a trick that is talked about in self-help circles. When the big jobs seem too big, break them down into manageable chunks. When the road seems too overgrown to be passable, just take one step at a time. (I think of the great song “Put One Foot in Front of the Other” from the holiday special Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.)
NOTE: If you suffer from depression, even just little bit, even just once in a while, do this: Find the number of a helpline and program it into your phone. Write it on a notepad to keep by your bed, by your chair, wherever you think you might need it. Do this now so it will be there and handy and waiting for you if you ever need it.
So here are a few micro-movements that can get me moving when I sink into a funk. Corny? Simplistic? Yes, that’s the point. They have to be so easy that I have no excuse to not do them.
- Life my arms
- Stretch my legs
- Go get a glass of water
- Make a funny face
Again: If you are in a seriously bad spot, seek help.
If you are not depressed, but just need a way to feel less hopeless and helpless in the world, try one or more of these:
- Make a phone call
- Write an old-fashioned pen on paper letter
- Go online not to argue but to spread some joy. Say “hello” to someone. Like someone’s cute puppy picture. Compliment somebody.
- If you can afford it, donate to a good charity or buy a creator’s artwork or craft.
Corny? Simplistic? Easy? Yup. But I’ll try to follow this advice next time I’m blue, and I hope you will too.