I went through a month of depression without knowing how or why I got into that state. The one thing I do know is how I got out of it. I very consciously made an effort to do several things that make me feel good. .

Here are some of the ways in which I pulled myself out of depression.

a) I got organized. What can I say? I like organization. I did some major cleaning and reshuffling in my studio. I found all of the Miller moths that hid behind the furniture and book shelves in order to die. Boy did that feel good. Clothes that I never wear went to Goodwill. The garage is clean.

b) I got back into the daily habit of walking that I had let slip. You don’t have to take my word on how much this helps. Scientists have done all kinds of studies on the benefits of exercise for good emotional health. My neighbor and I hold each other accountable to get out there and walk each morning and that helps tremendously.

c) Lists, lists, lists of all kinds. I work well with lists and I know not everyone does, but they help me prioritize and stay on track and that in itself helps me feel better. Checking things off is a great feeling.

d) I started looking for a new way to volunteer, something that really fits me and in so doing I found several things that don’t suit me well at all. The process of writing them down was beneficial though. I realized how much I already volunteer for my community and that makes me feel good.

e) I accepted an invitation to do something with a friend that I really didn’t want to do. She insisted. That day opened an incredible door for me and I am exploring a new adventure that has me really excited. Don’t be afraid to try new things (healthy things). Go along when a good friend you know well says to you, “Let’s go!”

My methods won’t work to get everyone out of their depression, but some of these, along with your own, can help. Ask yourself questions. What makes you feel good? Eating healthy and getting exercise DO make a difference in mental and emotional health. Routines and being busy are good tools for getting on track. Praise yourself for the things you already do. If you want to feel good, make someone else feel good. Spread your smile around. Its contagious.

About Barbara K Tyner

A graduate of UCCS with a degree in English Lit., Barbara writes Children's Literature as well as mainstream fiction. Her popular children's series, The Badger Books, is co-authored with Barbara's daughter, Laura. Her first novel, "Wait Here, Wait There" deals with grief and Alzheimer's. Her second novel, Rhyaden, a middle grade fantasy released Nov. 2018. Gardening, exploring National Parks, Kayaking, hiking, and snow-shoeing top her list of favorite hobbies.
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