February 26th, 2014
Feeling depressed, lonely, and hopeless are not unusual emotional experiences for many of us. Yet it is something we rarely talk about in public or with our friends. We read books – often in the solitude of our homes – which can be helpful. But books connect us in a different way then discussion. In an effort to destigmatize this part of life, I asked my personal Facebook friends for their thoughts on how they cope when they find themselves in difficult emotional states. Here’s the second installment of their lovely responses.
One friend offered some uncommon advice, going against the Washington, DC work ideal of staying busy: I get through by remembering that the bad/low time ends eventually, trying to sleep more (i.e. just let myself be exhausted and not try to push myself through, which is what society is often saying I should do), seeking support from friends/loved ones, get things done first thing in the day when I usually have energy even when in a depression.
Another friend shares with honesty: As unusual as it may sound, I embrace my loneliness, depression, anxiety. Try not to “fight” it, because that makes it worse (for me, at least). So I keep perspective and remind myself it’s normal to feel this way at times. This helps me not to focus on it as much. Physical activity helps a lot, too. I walk my dog, no matter how much I don’t feel like it. Within 10 minutes, I feel better. One thing I do that DOESN’T help is withdraw. Misery may love company, but I tend to stay away from people when I’m sad. I figure that not many want to be around me when I’m like that. It’s counter productive, yes.
Another friend copes this way: I try to focus on my loved ones. My kids, my friends, my cats even. It helps me to remember that I am needed and will find a way to be ok, eventually, because that can be hard to remember in the moment. And hugs/snuggles (even with the cats) does wonders for making me feel better.
And some final, fun-filled advice in this installment: Dance party for 1 in my living room- music very very loud.
If you’re looking for a therapist or counselor in Dupont Circle, Washington, DC, feel free to contact Mike Giordano, LICSW at 202-460-6384 or Mike.Giordano.MSW@gmail.com. `