Last time I wrote about the voice in my head. I will write more about dealing with that another time. Today I want to write about the importance of happy places.
Everyone has happy places. They are important for everyone, but they are extra important in managing depression and anxiety. These are not necessarily literal places, they can be places (mental or physical), or activities, or a state (like having painted nails or wearing makeup).
One of the problems with depression and anxiety is that your emotional tank is empty. Maybe that’s thanks to the voice in your head wearing you down, or the chemicals in your brain being imbalanced, or some combination of those things making you so tired and antisocial that you can’t do all the daily activities that you didn’t even realise brought you satisfaction, and a sense of achievement.
When you are combatting depression and anxiety you need to figure out what your happy places are and go there daily. You need to force some happy into your emotional tank, even if it feels pointless.
When I was at my worst I used to take a little walk around my neighbourhood and swing on the swings at the park. It was something small, but it had fresh air, sunshine, walking, and a bit of fun.
One summer I drew Zentangles constantly. It was meditative, and skill-developing.
These are my happy places. What are yours?