Playing Games.

Playing games is a valuable enterprise to help in all aspects of mental health and can help you recover from depression.

You'll have to listen to the talk to know why there are pictures of baby animals here.  :-)
A Ted talk by Jane McGonigal.  This highlights a way to use a game to experience post traumatic growth.  That's one phrase you don't ever hear.    Go, watch this Ted Talk.  Do what she says and then, just for fun,
visit Deep Fun by Bernie DeKoven and find a game to play with someone  that will enhance your relationships and enhance your very life.  Play is so important.

Something I hadn't considered, anger.

This article on Psychology Today  has a some of the same things we've talked about on this blog to help with depression, including being active, reaching out to others, watching funny TV shows and laughing, but it also addresses something I had not heard of or thought about, repressed anger.  Now that I think about it though, I remember Dr. Sydney Freedman on M*A*S*H saying "Anger turned inward is depression; anger turned sideways is Hawkeye."  
This article encourages you to spend some time thinking about what you could be angry about and how you should acknowledge and try to accept your angry feelings.  I think, based on the research I have been doing for this blog, that the best ways to acknowledge and accept them, outside of your therapist's office (if you are like me and can't afford a therapist right now) is to write them down.  According to the article we read last week, it seems like it would  be a good exercise to write down everything you could be angry about as quickly as you can.  Get it out.  Then wad it up and throw it away.  I think you (and I) will feel better.

Let's give it a try.

Great article.

I found a great article this morning on Dose.  It has 50 ways to Happier, Healthier and More Successful.    Some of them we have talked about before and some of them I have implemented in my life in the past year.  I do think that they help and they are reasonable things and they can't hurt, so why not?

They mention journaling, which is reported to be as good as anti-depressants.  I was on anti-depressants for several years and they caused me to have side effects that I don't ever want to have again, so I am in the process of trying to kick them for good.  Journaling has no side effects that I know of, unless it would be a tired hand or paper shortages.  I personally think that the act of writing things out by hand is therapeutic, rather than typing them, but if you want to try typing them, by all means, try it.  Report back here and let us know if it helps fight the darkness.

Another one that I try is a modified cold shower.  I just turn the cold on at the end, rinse my hair,

which makes it shinier (bonus) and hopefully, benefit from a better mood.

I also make my bed each day, or really, my husband does it.  My reading this article for the first time, coincided with our family getting a new dog who likes to chew his chewies on our bed (messy!) so when I started making the bed, it gave us the bonus of not having his chewy mess on the sheets.  I do have to wash the bedspread more frequently than I used to but it's better on than the sheets.   This caught on and now my husband does it every morning before work.  It does make me happy to walk into the bedroom and see the bed made up and looking pretty.

This particular article has a LOT more stuff and you definitely should go read it.  My favorite it is to make one audacious request per week.  Hey, you never know what might happen!!!

Keep on fighting the blues!  It's winnable!

14 Mood Lifting Tricks from Prevention.

Prevention magazine has an article on things that you can do right now to feel better and boost your mood.  Some of them, we have looked at before, such as writing things down and taking a walk, but they have expanded on these a little.  When talkign about writing, they say you should quickly make a list of good things about the person or the situation that is getting you down.  Here's a quote:

"Turn your thoughts into a race—it can lift the blues in minutes, says Princeton University psychologist Emily Pronin, PhD. For example, when your mother-in-law is driving you crazy, give yourself 30 seconds to make a list of all the ways she's been helpful to you in the past—you'll feel better fast. (If nothing nice comes to mind, quickly jot down other ways she bugs you; speed thinking negative thoughts can still improve your mood, Pronin found.) Researchers believe that rapid thinking may release feel-good brain chemicals—or it could just be a helpful distraction. "

And there are some things I've never heard of on this list. 

For example, they recommend looking at pictures as something that will give your mood an 11% mood boost.  I had not heard of that as a mood booster, thought it makes sense.  I might want to stay away from this one during periods of grieving but it might help you to look at happy pictures of times past.

Another one they mention that I had not heard before is chopping vegetables.  Interesting.  Presumably, not onions.  :-)  

Go read the article.  Prevention.  

My hope is that you and I will internalize these lessons and learn to use these coping skills so that our winter blues or all the time blues or clinical depression will be a thing of the past.  Hang in there.