Saturday, March 26, 2011

::gloomy gus

I have heard Conan O'Brien say, in many an interview, "I am prone to bouts of gloominess."

Well said, sir.
So am I.

Here are a few strategies I have found helpful to the maintenance of healthy perspective during these dreary seasons:


Think globally.
Visit here, here, or here, or countless other places, to remind yourself that you live on a wounded planet with broken people, where both large-scale catastrophes and redemption are coexisting. You are infinitely important, certainly. And so is everybody else.

Prepare a handwritten note, card, or letter.
Do you know someone else who's grappling with some sort of hardship? Chances are, you do.
You probably know several. Think of how much love and encouragement you can share by simply taking a few moments to write a note, letting them know you're thinking of them, that you care, and perhaps - if you're the praying kind - that you're praying for them.

Collect your feelings in words or visual art.
Write down all the feelings you're having. Don't judge or censor yourself. (Think of it as "verbal vomit," if you like.) If you're visually creative, draw a representation of your pain, or take photos that reflect your emotions. Just being able to express yourself, to pull your feelings out of your body in some way, will help to extract their toxicity.

Take a walk in a nearby cemetery.
Yes, I'm serious. As you pass grave after grave, consider the weight that each body must have carried; how rich every biography must be, how many triumphs and heartaches are collected in each one's soul. Someday, you will join them. Until you do? Celebrate your life.


I am certainly not saying that gloominess isn't sometimes necessary.
It is.
It serves a purpose, just as joy does.

I also understand that there is such a thing as clinical depression, because it has plagued me for more than a decade. Some gloom is so severe that it's impervious to even the most clever strategies.

But if you should find yourself trapped in some garden-variety gloom, wishing to escape a pervasive onslaught of it, those are a few suggestions.

You're welcome. {insert winkyface here}

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