Many people that struggle with depression have tried a myriad of ways to manage it:
Some have tried the frequently suggested “boot strap” approach. You know, pick yourself up by the bootstraps and forge ahead. As if willing your way to work or school will cause the depression to just go away.
Now I am not suggesting that moving forward in a determined fashion isn’t a good idea. In fact, I believe that it can help and am a huge proponent of putting your best effort on the table. What I am suggesting is that there might be an overall better way. A way that you may not have not have considered as viable for you (0r your spouse or family member that struggles with depression). What is it?
It involves Healing Outdoors.
It involves making a concerted effort to be outside in Utah’s wondrous outdoors. It involves actually enjoying it.
Understanding that depression is difficult to manage or treat, I provide these 5 hopeful ways to beat depression outdoors.
I recently read an article entitled “Time for a Spring cleaning of the mind” by Jeannette Bessinger.
Because I have never been interested in Spring cleaning my home, I paid close attention to the tips that were given on how to “declutter my emotional space.”
I share these tasks with you along with some ideas of my own, and encourage you to join with me in asking yourself these questions, and reflecting on how you can work towards clearing the emotional junk from your mind.
Mind your own business. Most of us have enough business of our own to tend to. Ask yourself, “If it’s not my business, why am I in it?”
Let go of the need to be right. Ask yourself, Is it more important for me to love and be loved or to be right? Who do you play the right wrong game with? Make a commitment to eliminate the need to play this game with others.
Stop blaming, shaming and complaining. All three behaviors are negative and do not bring joy to your life. Ask yourself, Does my behavior of blaming, shaming and or complaining assist me and others to feel joy and happiness? Continue to remind yourself that these behaviors are toxic and will not improve your relationships and sense of well being.
Stop trying to impress and please everyone. Ask yourself, Will I die if someone disapproves of something that I think, do, or say? Remember you don’t have to do everything and be everything for everyone else. Make a list of 10 things that you can do for yourself and select one to do TODAY. Make yourself a priority. Put yourself on your “To do” list.
Clean up unfinished business. Ask yourself, If not now when will I begin? Pick a task that you have been procrastinating to complete and DO IT TODAY! Eckert Tolle stated, “That which stands in the was IS the way. Beginning is usually the hardest part of the task. Just Begin.
Forgive someone. Ask yourself, Who am I holding a grudge against? Am I being unforgiving as a way to punish them? Remember forgiving others is a gift you give to yourself.
If you’re in the wrong, Make it right. Ask yourself, Have I committed a wrong that I can make right? Follow this admonition,” When you do something wrong, tell the truth, apologize and right the wrong if you possibly can. Owning up means it won’t own you.”
Let go of self limiting beliefs. Ask yourself, Do I believe everything I think? Work towards eliminating the negative self talk you engage in. Use positive affirmations to rid yourself of stinking thinking, such as, I am capable of achieving that which I believe. I am capable of achieving the task at hand.
Let go of perfectionism. Adopt the belief that, “Nothing in life is perfect.” Stop comparing yourself to others and remind yourself that, “It is what it is, and it’s all good.”
Stop mismanaging your emotions. Ask yourself, Am I stuffing my unpleasant feelings down with too much food, or shopping. Remember, that “feelings are like the weather, natural and ever changing.” It is important to take time to acknowledge them, feel them and release them through healthy coping skills.
Only you know which task will be the most beneficial for you to complete. I challenge you to choose a task and begin to work towards clearing the emotional junk from your life. Begin now to “Spruce up your life,” YOU DESERVE IT!
Can you feel it? Slowly but surely spring is coming. The days are longer, the flowers are starting to peek out from the ground, and it is warming up. I always take spring as a time of assessment about myself and where I want the year to go. The majority of people make “new years resolutions.” Usually these include goals about eating better, exercising, and getting out to meet new people and have fun. I don’t know about you, but in January when it is cold and snowy all I want to do is stay inside, and make and eat homemade bread and cookies. Suffice it to say, my new years goals take a backseat very quickly. However, in the spring I am much more motivated to take inventory of where I am and what I can do for the rest of the year to feel good and make my relationships better.
It is common in spring to do “spring cleaning.” We open the doors and air out our homes. We clean out our flowerbeds to make room for plants. Let’s
do the same emotionally. Look at and evaluate how you are doing personally and with your relationships. After your evaluation you can make some commitments to yourself. Doesn’t commitment sound a little more decisive than a goal? For some reason when I say I have committed to someone or something I have a strong desire to follow through. Goals, it seems, can be easily broken.
Here are some of the commitments I have made to myself this spring.
1) In an effort to exercise more I have signed up to run the Big Cottonwood Half Marathon in September. My hope is to match or beat my time from my last half marathon. This motivates me throughout the spring and summer to exercise and prepare well for the race.
2)In an effort to connect more with my husband we have committed to going on two dates a month.
3)I will do one thing just for myself daily. I have three young children and most of my time goes to taking care of them. In an effort to take care of myself I will do something just for myself. This may include reading, working on a project, doing my nails, journaling, or simply sitting quietly and meditating.
Although these may not seem like monumental commitments, I think they will keep me focused and help me feel better throughout the rest of the year. I challenge you to do the same! Look at yourself and your relationships and see what needs some sprucing up. Come up with one to three commitments to make your year great.
The light of springtime often inspires the cleaning out of clutter in your home and yard, and exposes the cobwebs and dust bunnies that have been collecting during the winter months. It’s also a good time to consider cleaning out your emotional space: your thoughts and feelings. Just as it feels good to walk into an organized closet or enjoy a sparkling hardwood floor, emotional spring cleaning can provide a boost and a sense of relief and accomplishment. So, put down your mop and storage bins because I’ve got a different kind of spring cleaning for you. Here’s an emotional spring cleaning checklist to help you get started!