Everyone has them, the days when they just keep sighing, nothing seems interesting, and they can’t get over themselves. We call them “The Can’t Help Its”. But how does one get over them?
I had one of those days in the weekend. It had been an extremely busy week the previous week. I spent some time at the op shop, I walked, rode a bike, helped with firewood, yet my day on the beach with my son, I just couldn’t get out of my funk. Physically my body was ready to keep going, but mentally, I was exhausted. I guess all the physical activity had outweighed its usefulness.
Having suffered from depression for the best part of four years now, these days can be harder than most, but I have to remember, that it isn’t a downer, it is just a blip on my radar. I just have to remember all the good things that I do.
And it was my Mum that started the conversation, about why we volunteer our time. We both work at op shops (aka opportunity shops / second hand shops / junk shops, whatever they are called in your part of the world), and often we get asked why we volunteer. Mum couldn’t explain why she did, but I could. I do it, because I want to give back to the community I live in. All the money raised from our op shop is used to provide funds for local community groups who apply for help.
It was a real step outside of my comfort zone. A big step out of my comfort zone, but a good one for me. It has given me a sense of pride and sense of self, knowing that what I am doing, albeit a small part, is helping others.
Mum has always talked to me about the grid – a set of 3 x 3 squares, which makes up our lives. Each square has a role that you play in it. Every day, you should do something from each grid, that leads to a sense of accomplishment for the day. It gives you a sense of purpose.
I don’t necessarily follow the grid pattern, but I try to focus on at least one thing that makes me happy each day. Writing makes me happy, as does working at the op shop, or working at my day job. Reading, spending time with my family, and walking / tramping are also things I enjoy doing.
So how did I end up getting out of my funk? I actually ended up having an afternoon nap. Sometimes it isn’t quite so drastic, sometimes its watching a funny video, or spending time doing some kind of physical activity. In fact, once I woke up, had tea, I went out and stacked some of the fire wood that the kids delivered to my place on Friday. It was what I needed to feel that little bit brighter.
So what do you do when you have the “can’t help its”?