Tag Archive | space hopper

No elephants at our picnic!

The topic of  depression can often be the ultimate “elephant in the room“. When depression is mentioned or revealed people often react by looking at their feet, up at the ceiling, anywhere but looking you in the eye and instead resort to shuffling their feet in embarrassment and fear of what to say in response. A rampaging elephant on heat in the room would be more welcome.

Whilst the reaction I have received over the last 12 months to my admission that I have depression has been nothing but supportive and positive, I recognise the “elephant” syndrome from previous experiences.

So how joyous was it yesterday to meet up with fellow Depression Alliance members, depression sufferers, friends, Samaritan volunteers and representatives from MIND for a picnic and to be able to talk openly and honestly about our personal experiences of depression with our “tribe”. It was fantastic and we should do it more often.

If only we can get more people to talk about depression, accept it as an illness like any other, realise that those who get depression are usually the nicest people around and the most dedicated to their work, and that one day we will surely be part of the  majority not the minority so be nice to us NOW! we will have done a good job by educating those who are lucky enough not to have the Black Dog sitting on their shoulder.

In the meantime, picnics like this, social gatherings arranged for like-minded people and their families are the perfect way to embrace this illness and get real support from those who understand.

Picnic now! It’s fun, therapeutic, an opportunity to soak up the rays and boost those Vitamin D levels and to eat healthy summer salads and fruit. If you do what we did and play rounders and indulge in Space Hopper racing, you can also get some exercise too and boost the much-needed endorphines!

What’s stopping you? Picnic this weekend and you will feel better for it!


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Depression Awareness Week- Rediscover your inner-child

Play more.

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.


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