I’d had a pretty tough couple of weeks, months in reality. I’m as resilient as the next woman and also a coach so should know about talking my talk. However, I was curious as to why I was feeling so down. Having suffered years of depression I knew the signs and thankfully recognise the signs, that’s the difference of experience I think. For me the signs are tiredness, insomnia, need for alcohol, not wanting to meet up with friends or be in crowds. I knew all this and knew that I needed to tread carefully. And yet knowing all this I was still paralysed and couldn’t actually do the things I know usually help move me forwards. I was battling my own private war of overwhelm and ignoring the signs masterfully. I had too much to do to succumb to depression…………it would pass.
I met up with one of my dearest friends, my soul mate recently, she nailed it instantly. ‘What are you reading at the moment?’ she asked, ‘what sewing have you got on the go at the moment?’ NOTHING was my horrified reply. THIS was the problem and I’d completely missed it. I did have a pile of books by the side of my bed but was reading nothing. I was collapsing exhausted into bed (having been gently nudged by my daughter to get off the sofa and sleep in bed). The only books I was reading where work related books. What I needed was light and escapist or something inspiring. She went straight to her bookshelf and pulled off two perfect examples of what I needed to bring a little joy and lightness back into my life – ‘Red carpets and other banana skins’ by the fabulous Rupert Everett and ‘A tale of two gardens’ by Elspeth Thompson who wrote the column Urban Gardener in The Sunday Telegraph. One to inspire and one to make me laugh.
I needed to find something joyful to do, something daily that brings a little happiness into my life. We all have something and it usually involves being creative in some way. It is not frivolous to indulge in these activities that bring joy, they are essential. The half hour spent reading or knitting or writing poetry or planning our herb garden or walking in the park with our camera is worth its weight in gold when we think of the impact it has on our mind and our mood.
How much more energy will we have to write that proposal or clean the kitchen when we are in good spirit?