DELIGHTED: Be delighted not depressed
Recently I saw something on social media saying the government won’t be ready for all the people with Depression once this pandemic is over.
“Isolation, social distancing and extreme changes in daily life are hard now, but the United States also needs to be prepared for what may be an epidemic of clinical depression because of COVID-19,” said a group of clinical psychological scientists at the University of Washington on a website called theconversation.com.
I’m not buying into that way of thinking and neither should you. This is just allowing us to feel sorry for ourselves because someone is saying it’s ok. I won’t let this time change me; it won’t steal my joy.
Don’t get de-pressed, get de-lighted. Depressed is down, delighted is up. I love the word delighted because it has “light” in it. No matter how bad it gets there is always a light to be found– but it’s up to us to find it.
There’s always something to be delighted about.
I got a sweet note from a friend who recently lost her mother and then she read my book, Choose Happy; Finding Contentment in Any Situation.
“I just wanted to say thanks for the book! I have read it and I have a totally different outlook now! I was depressed and angry at my mom’s death and being able to read Choose Happy and be stuck at home for two months has given me a new outlook!”
It meant everything that she sent me that note because it goes to show we really can be in control of our life. Yes, I know I was watching the Garth Brooks / Trisha Yearwood concert and I may or may not have shed a few when he played The Dance. I miss my family, I can’t help it– and I know you miss yours too. When I feel sad or mad about something I definitely honor those feelings but then I find a way to choose happy.
Look closely to who is telling us we will be depressed and it’s either the media who wants us to keep tuning in (for more bad news) or the “psychological scientist” who could benefit from our depression.
I’m the first to know that clinical depression is real– I lost a loved one to bipolar– and if you are feeling suicidal, please get help. (National Suicide Prevention Line 1-800-273-8255.)
I am not diminishing serious mental situations, I am saying more times than not we can save ourselves and we don’t have to buy into others telling us how we should feel. Even if you felt like crying (or did) three times today that’s ok but don’t let it get you down all day. Go find something to delight in.
There are so many times when we go through the storms of our life and we are just down because of our circumstances, we may feel depressed but we don’t have Depression.
Sometimes we have a legitimate reason to feel down in the dumps. Sometimes it even goes on for a while until something comes along and “kicks us in the pants” to wake us up. I mention in my book that I was feeling down after my dad passed away. So there I was: poor me. But then the gift of a book set me on a better path.
As I started reading it, I found myself feeling better. It’s so much better to feel happy rather than sad. It’s so much more fun to have energy rather than being lethargic on the couch.
Everyone has a dark day– or even a dark period of time– but we have a light in our heart that we can call on. So look for “de light!”
When I was a kid, on a particularly down day (like a boy standing me up for a date, or me not making the pom pom squad) and I was sitting in a chair moping– my Pop would say to me, “You’ve got nowhere to go but up, kid.” It’s true, we tend to dramatize situations and think we are as low as we can go, but think about it– when you hit the bottom there’s no place to go but up. And that’s great news. You are headed to a delightful place!
We’ve never experienced anything like this pandemic, and I thought about that while watching Garth and Trisha singing to an empty Grand Ole Opry building.
While it is awful, if it wasn’t the pandemic I would not have been enjoying the music with my husband– he’s a baseball writer so once March hits he is at the ballpark (or watching it on TV) every night until at least September. Of course I wish we weren’t on lock-down, but there are a lot of blessings in this situation and one is being able to spend more time with family and friends– either those you live with or on a video call.
What are some of the things you are doing that you would not be normally doing? Are you doing a lot of cleaning? I’ll bet you are finding fun old pictures to look at.
Are you re-arranging? I’ll bet your house will look great once this is over.
What are some things you could be doing? I have been trying to stretch myself and try new things during this time. I’m not known for my cooking but during this quarantine time I’ve tried a few new recipes and found out it is fun.
I’m lighting my candle and praying and reading positive things. The media and anyone else is not going to bring me down. We don’t have to be pitiful. We can be powerful.
My favorite line from that Cher movie, “Moonstruck” is where she yells “Snap out of it!”
You feeling sorry for yourself? Snap out of it!
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” — John 1:5
“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” –Buddha
Is this a day you need someone to give you a kick in the pants? Well, consider yourself kicked.
Here are some ideas sure to lift your spirits:
- Go to You Tube and search for some of your old favorite songs. People my age, here are a few that get you going: Sooner or Later by the Grassroots, Build Me Up Buttercup by the Foundation, Time Love and Tenderness by Michael Bolton. You know the songs that make your soul happy. Turn them on and SING! The louder the better.
- Take a walk outside and play “I Never Noticed That Before”– it’s a game I played with my kids and now I play it with my grandkids. Look for things you never noticed. “I never noticed there was a crack in the street right there.” “I never noticed how beautiful that bush was.” “I never noticed how loud the birds are.”
- Speaking of the birds, aren’t they singing loudly these days? Why is that? It’s because there aren’t as many cars and people out so it’s more quiet. We can actually hear the birds and what a lovely sound they make. Why didn’t we notice it before? We were busy getting all our “important” things done. Now that we have time, I’m finding that googling the sound a bird makes IS important.
- Read Choose Happy. If you can’t afford it but feel it could really help you please let me give it to you for free. You can reach me through the contact page.
One Last Thought
As we got through life we have to learn to make our own decisions and don’t let others influence us. I am going to continue sheltering in place until I’m sure it’s safe to go out in public and I’m going to choose to be happy. If I see others going out, I’m not going to be influenced by their decisions, if I choose not to.
I’m going to figure out more fun things to do at home. I’m going to make daily schedules that include taking the time to play a game, take a walk, read a book, clean out a drawer, work in the garden. Think up some fun things that you can do.
If you feel like writing to me– I’d be delighted.
Photo credit, beach photo: Elise Keller Oyape