Depressed? Yep, we hear that.
Situational Depression – We are feeling it now
Many of us have been experiencing some form of depression* in recent weeks. I’ve had conversations with several fellow Dems, mostly women, about feelings of sadness, lethargy, and malaise accompanied by comments like, “I have to force myself to get out of bed” or “I can’t watch the news without feeling anxious.”, or "I can't sleep."
Those of us who are involved in political life, who follow it closely, and strongly support liberal causes have been hit especially hard by these feelings in a building wave that has been creeping up on our psyche since Jan of 2017.
Here in the Carolinas, anxiety has been compounded by recent weather events which were unpredictable and out of our control. The Kavanaugh debacle seems to have been the last straw for many of us.
Situational depression can stretch into clinical depression if it’s not dealt with. If you are still hanging in there, the best remedy for mild, situational depression is action. This action can take different forms.
1. Physical activity- Regular exercise that gets your heart rate up or makes you sweat causes good chemical reactions in your brain that help fight the bad ones produced by stress.
2. Distancing- Get yourself away from the stressor regularly and do something you enjoy. Spend an hour or a day working in your garden, going fishing, bake a cake, go dancing, paint a picture, anything that gives you pleasure while NOT watching or listening to the news or talking politics or world events with anyone other than a counselor. Focus on your hobby; give your brain a break.
3. Correction- take action to remove the stressor, to change what’s bothering you. In the current situation, that means volunteering to work to make political and social change. Candidates and local parties need help now to get the vote out. Phone calls, door-to-door, putting up signs are some of the ways to make a difference. Feeling you’ve “done something” will help you sleep while motivating you to get up on the morning.
If this activity doesn't help or if you feel you just can't even try and if these feelings are truly debilitating, seek counseling to help get you through it.
*Depression can be very serious. We are not providing medical advice. Seek a mental health professional's assistance if you are experiencing persistent symptoms.