"If you don't think your anxiety, depression, sadness and stress impact your physical health, think again. All of these emotions trigger chemical reactions in your body, which can lead to inflammation and a weakened immune system. Learn how to cope, sweet friend. There will always be dark days. " ~Kris Carr
I recently questioned whether I wanted to live in my beautiful home on Cobb. Whether I wanted to live in Lake County. Whether my work as a mindfulness teacher and mindfulness-based coach was working. Whether...uh oh...these questions alone may seem like good inquiries, but when they all started coming together, I recognized a pattern that showed itself after Shyla passed. Depression--a time when I question everything!
My recent work with the California H.O.P.E. team has taught me these can be expected reactions to the disaster of the Valley Fire. Overeating, depression, and, maybe, questioning everything.
Leaving the crisis counseling position was the best choice for my health and well being...
The spring weather usually pulls me out of any lingering sloth from the winter, but as I seek out new places around me in nature to hike with Greta I'm even more saddened at the loss of our forests here in the Cobb/Middletown area.
In Sonoma County recently, on a quintessential spring day, my strong desire for exploration and outdoor connection was revived. Along with that, having a canine companion that needs LOTS of exercise to maintain her balance, is helping me feel pulled back into action. (Maybe I, too, need a huge amount of outdoor exercise to maintain my balance!)
Could this pull also be the result of the Loving Kindness (Metta) meditation challenge I started for the month of April? (See Compassion-based Mindfulness page on Facebook. Like the page to follow the daily posts.) Could a mere 5-10 minutes a day of reciting simple phrases of well wishing for myself turn around this negative spiral of unhealthy eating and painful thoughts?
Could it be that I undertook a detox regiment for two weeks to help cleanse the liver and kidney?
Or, may it be that I have the love and support of a wonderfully caring, emotionally available man that prioritizes our relationship and my well being?
Or, that I've re-engaged with my coach to help me vision, prioritize and execute a plan of action? (Yes, I believe even coaches need coaches!)
I'm also reaching out more to friends for support and a kind listening ear. (This is touted as one of the most important things we can do to strengthen our resiliency. See more in this blog post.)
Upon reflection, there is a lot of self-love and support going on as I find my way to this new normal after the Valley Fire of 2015. Each step I take helps shore up my personal resiliency from this round of depression and may ensure that the next bout may be easier.
I'm curious. What has worked for when you notice depression setting in? What hasn't worked? What would you recommend to a friend that was struggling with depression? I would love to hear from you, as it may help me (and others!) along this twisting and bending journey.