Thanksgiving is a tough time for many people—especially for anyone who has Bipolar Disorder or depression. Just remembering the ghosts of my own Thanksgiving pasts can give me chills and a bad feeling. Even though my Thanksgivings have been better lately, I know that I am lucky because not everyone will be feeling the same way.
If you can’t be with family on Thanksgiving, and are honestly feeling that you really don’t have much to be thankful for, don’t let the holiday get you down. You can try to take my advice HERE or the advice of Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk found HERE to keep you busy. (My theory is that the busier you are, the harder it is to remember you are depressed. Unfortunately, like most of my theories and hypothesis, it doesn’t always hold true.)
Here are some more coping strategies for dealing with depression in the dark days of the winter.
1. Bake something. This can be a cake, cookies, or muffins. If you have the ingredients—which should be staples in most homes—bake it from scratch. If the result is less than tasty, don’t share it with anyone, but if it’s good, share your treat and use it as an excuse to meet friends, neighbors, family, and any other people in your near vicinity.
2. Write. Write a journal, a poem, a blog entry, a Facebook note, a list of your worst or best moments, a letter to your long-lost friend, or a story. DON’T judge the quality of your work when you are feeling depressed—wait until you feel better to look at it. Remember that writing is part of a process.
3. Paint. Either the walls of your place or a picture. I am not an artist, but find mixing colors up and dabbing in paint can be extremely cathartic for me. Again, DON’T judge the quality of your work. Do it for the enjoyment
4. Make something. Maybe you are crafty, maybe not. It doesn’t matter. There are so many crafty projects that do not take the skills of a rocket scientist to do. Ideas to consider: scrapbook, candles, paper, collages, decorated boxes, cards, movies, and more.
5. Listen to music. Try to find new songs that suit your mood and old songs to wake up your soul to who you really are. DON’T try to follow in the footsteps of any artists or performers who ended their lives. Remember that you are stronger than you think you are.
Photo Credit: Flckr User Control the Web. (DO check out this Flckr page if you have time--truthfully inspirational.)