We are all experiencing some degree of fear and worry during this time. Of course we are! The world is feeling very uncertain and loved ones are at risk! But we can do a lot to help ourselves and the people around us stay calm and centered, even while we do what needs to be done.
We can be brave and we can be gracious. We can be kind.We can be strong.
Here are some resources to help:
Ten Percent Happier: Dan Harris, correspondant for ABC News, panic attack survivor and author has created a wealth of help through free articles,podcasts, an app and Youtube videos. He interviews the most influential meditation leaders, gurus and just down right smart people of our time. He provides free guided meditations from all sorts of teachers and styles. Go to this site: www.tenpercent.com to get all the latest ways to connect with Ten Percent Happier. It's awesome!!
Dr. Jud Brewer, doctor, scientist, author, and creator of apps like Eat Right Now to control cravings, Unwinding Anxiety and others is offering many free resources for learning how to use Mindfulness to help with anxiety and difficult habits during this time: https://drjud.com/coronavirus-anxiety/
John Moe, podcaster and author has created the The Hilarious World of Depression podcast filled with funny and helpful information, interviews and more on how to cope with mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. Check it out: https://www.hilariousworld.org. Update: this podcast has been changed to DepreshMode with John Moe. Still great! Www.maximum fun.org.
Jack Kornfield, beloved teacher, monk, podcaster and author has so many resources for helping us become more centered and calm and gracious! He is offering a free online class on Mindfulness as well as free weekly teachings on his Heart Wisdom podcast. He has many books in print and through audible and most can be found free of charge in the library. I can't say enough about all his wonderful teachings! Check him out here: https://jackkornfield.com
Dan Griffin, author, speaker and podcaster, says this in his article about men and depression: "Men today are awash in intense conflicting messages about what it means to be a man. And, they are finding that the things that they once took for granted as the rewards for following The Man Rules–the right job, financial security, sex, marriage, family–are not as easily guaranteed as they’d been taught."
In this episode of his podcast, The Man Rules, Dan interviews Dr. Terry Real, expert on men and relationships, author of several books including
I Don't Want to Talk About It, a revealing book about men and depression.
It's no surprise to hear that men are drawn to anger as a way to deal with depression. Typically men are socialized and possibly genetically predisposed to want to take action when they feel strong emotions. So when the underpinnings of depression come along--sadness, shame, fear--men often turn to anger or contempt, which fuels action and also feel much better in the brain. The problem, of course, is that anger and contempt are not very helpful in relationships and often end up isolating men from the people they love--which causes more depression!
This interview and Terry Real's book explain how this difficult pattern came to be, the impact on relationships and men's lives in general, as well as how to heal. Definitely worth the time to listen to and read about!
Here's the PODCAST--Episode 104.
Are you feeling sad, irritable, or extra tired right now? Have you noticed that you feel this way every time Fall rolls around and the leaves start to drift onto the lawn and days start to get shorter? You may have Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. Remember that all psychological conditions occur on a continuum and are changeable. You may have just a little bit of feeling down, or you may find it impossible to get out of bed! However it hits you, if it does, there are some things you can do to make yourself feel better.
First of all, educate yourself about SAD. It's a real condition, caused by an impact on our circadian rhythms due to the change in sunlight (something similar can occur for shift workers who are always awake during the dark and sleeping during the daylight hours). We are animals, naturally attuned to the seasons that we live in. There's nothing surprising about having some feelings of depression in the Fall. Our bodies are gearing down for the Winter, expecting to spend a lot of time sleeping and conserving energy. Except we aren't cave-men and cave-women any more and we still have to get up and go about our lives! (Thanks, lightbulbs!)
Secondly, keep moving! Schedule exercise into your day and get support for doing it. Get a buddy who will help encourage you to do it. Reward yourself. Research has proven that exercise is right up there with medication in terms of helping depression. It doesn't have to be a marathon. A half hour walk will do it. So, walk to the coffee shop and reward yourself with a nice cup of coffee (caffeine helps too).
Third, get a little extra sunshine. There are two really good tools for this. One is a light box that you look directly into for about 15 minutes a day. Another is a sunlight simulation alarm that is creates an artificial sunrise in your bedroom when it is time to wake up. It's particularly helpful for people who have to get up before the natural light comes in the window. I have both of these and they are worth the money! Or, maybe a trip to a tropical island?
Fourth, go see a therapist. Of course you knew that was coming! (smile)
Finally, get medication if you need it. You can take it for a short period of time to get through the season change. Other great options are homeopathy (my favorite) or naturopathic solutions.
Hang On. Everything changes. Enjoy what you can out of this time of year: the beautiful colors, the crisp leaves underfoot, breaking out those warm sweaters and boots. And enjoy those Saturday mornings when you can snuggle in your warm bed a little longer.
(photo by Alycia Hendrickson)
When I was growing up, most people believed that PMS was "all in our heads". Now, of course, we understand that it is biologically founded, but also that it can be managed. Postpartum depression has recently undergone the same process: after years of being dismissed as another hysterical women's issue, we now know that it has a biological and psychological basis. This book, by a local author and hypnotherapist, will give you great ideas for how to deal with depression (all those raging hormones and life changes!) after having a baby. I had the pleasure of being a client of Laura's several years ago, getting some deep relaxation treatment through hypnosis. She is intelligent, understanding and compassionate! Check out her website on postpartum depression here: http://www.postpartum-living.com.