This is one of the most common pieces of advice to help those with depression who may be stuck in an inactive, guilt-ridden rut. If you are sitting there feeling guilty about enjoying yourself and you often put other’s needs first at the cost of some “me” time then you probably need to find your inner-child and learn to play again. The chances are that with a combination of low mood, apathy, lack of motivation and energy you have forgotten how to enjoy yourself. Putting some fun back into your life can be hard at first but everyone needs and deserves a break. Take a look at your weekly schedule. How many things do you do that you enjoy? What did you used to enjoy doing which you don’t do any more? Why not?
My son’s 5th birthday party was held at a hall in the town near where we lived. A Bouncy castle was part of the deal and whilst I was quite happy keeping a watchful eye on 30 5-year-olds taking turns to bounce away without inhibition secretly I couldn’t wait until they had all gone home so I could go and have a bounce myself.
And so I did.
What great fun it was and I left the party out of breath but feeling elated.
One of my current priorities is to put some fun me-time back in my calendar. It means I have to be organised, and think ahead but I know that I will feel better for it and won’t be so grumpy. Doing things that I enjoy will lift my mood, increase my self-confidence and give me a platform from where I hope to regain the energy and desire to do things I know is lurking underneath this smothering blanket of depression. You don’t have to go rampaging around on Spacehoppers like yours truly, or get the train set out like yours truly, or fill the paddling pool, like yours truly, but you do need to find something that you can do and enjoy freely and without inhibition.
Try watching a group of children play. No inhibition; no sense of danger; lots of laughter ringing out from all directions. How nice to feel that free and how good for the soul is that?
For my UK readers, watch out for the Depression Alliance Picnic in the Park coming to Stratford Upon Avon on Sunday 5 June…..a day by the river for BBQs, games, chilling out and family fun. Everyone is welcome whether a member of DA or not. Contact the Depression Alliance or me for further details. Let’s make it a day to remember and kick off an annual event.
As my psychologist keeps telling me; ” The best cure for depression is how you live your life”
He’s absolutely right. So bring on the fun and games.