I was having a chat with someone today who told me that she had been feeling a bit depressed lately. Nothing clinical mind you; if you find yourself unable to get out of bed or with suicidal tendencies due to depression, contact a physician. I'm talking about those down days that we all get sometimes, seemingly for no reason.
But there is a reason. Many times, a feeling of being down or mildly depressed can be a message from the body that it is time to rest. The body contains wisdom and it will send us messages that it is time to be doing something different with our lives; mild depression is one of those messages.
If you are feeling mildly depressed, or a bit down, or just unmotivated to do much, consider what your body is trying to tell you:
- Have you been burning the candle at both ends? There is a reason most religions advocate a day of rest. Even the ancients recognized that we all need a period of rest in our lives. If you work seven days a week (self employed people are very good at this!), take a break. Force yourself if you have to. You'll find you are much more productive when you return.
- Get enough sleep. We are a chronically sleep deprived population. In spite of the fact that we need about 8 hours of sleep per day, most people allow themselves 6 or even less. This lowers your immune system and your productivity, as well as reaction times when driving or operating machinery.
- Investigate: have you experienced a loss lately? Even small losses can trigger a need to rest, which is what mild depression feels like. Or perhaps you've recently had a medical procedure? The more invasive, the more your body will need to rest, hence the feelings of mild depression. Anniversaries can also sometimes trigger a feeling of mild depression.
The key, no matter what the cause for feeling down, is to honor it. Take a nap, go spend a half day or an evening at a spa, get a massage or a pedicure, go to a museum and aimlessly wander, go for a walk. And talk about how you are feeling. A simple conversation with a caring person can work wonders!
If you honor the message of a mild depression, you will learn something about yourself and feel better in the process!