Sunday, April 27, 2014

3 Ways Mother Nature Helped Give Me a Hand Up and Out of Depression

The face of depression has an infinite number of sides. Its expressions may even seem, at times to be smiling right back at you. But, when it settles in for an extended stay, often times, depression can become a way of life. This is where I found myself, a seemingly endless, 6 months ago. 

Depression runs in my family. We talk about it frequently and we all have a pretty good idea of what it looks like when it manifests in us. I have battled it a few times in my early 20's and spent many sleepless nights trying to drug it away, drink it away, and even submitting to it completely. I wear my battle scars as badges and am proud of what I overcame and who I am today as a result of it, which is why I was blind-sided in late January when I woke up and found myself peeking through a haze which I (later) discovered I had been sitting in for going on two months.

Everyone has their own set of reasons and their own triggers and it is important to mention, their own CHOICE to allow those reasons and triggers to carry you to that dark place. In the end, no single reason or trigger is worthy of taking your joy and power away, but I'll be damned if I didn't have some pretty great justifications. A miscarriage, two failed insemination attempts, all of the crazy hormones that come along with said attempts, not being able to get pregnant; all of them, my reasons. And I allowed all of them to affect me, my husband, our daughter, my family and my friends, whether they actually realized it or not.

Waking up to depression is only the first step. Then, there are the subsequent steps that you have to remain hyper aware of every single waking second until you reach the colossal steps which you then must arduously climb upward and finally out. I am happy to say, I am finally out and I am sharing with you, for whatever it is worth, the most precious moments that, even while I was still in the dark, helped me to climb every single one of those massive steps, up and out and back in to the beautiful world of my life.

Feel the Warmth of the Sun

This first one just takes one step. That first crucial step. Just get out. Get up, get out and feel the warmth of the sun on your face. That's it. It may seem so simple and maybe even silly, but it can be the turning point for many. That one baby step forward has the potential to propel you towards a reawakening which in turn can lead you to a path of healing. The first step is the hardest. I know. Just do it. Seriously. Trust me.


Listen to Soft Sounds of the Creek

The simple act of sitting and listening to the sounds around you has a wonderfully calming effect. It allows you the time to see the immense beauty that is constantly surrounding you. For me, personally, there is nothing in the world that is more calming than sitting creek-side, listening to the trickle of the water passing by, imagining where it has come from and pondering what other wonders it will see on its journey. A perfect metaphor for our lives, just like all of us, moments are fleeting and nothing stays the same forever, we float by the hard times, the good times and everything in between and we are always the navigators of our course. Oh! And while you're at it, smell the roses and the honeysuckle and the evergreen and feel roughness of the the dirt and the softness of a smooth rock and watch the bees buzzing by and the ants trek across the terrain and...everything else! Just be still and soak all of its wonder in to your soul.


Seeing the Bigger Picture Instills Hope

We are big fans of  volunteering in our family. We have witnessed first hand how Giving Back, Gives Right Back to YOU. Try donating your time and your services to paying it forward and it will come back to you a thousand fold. Putting yourself in the service of those who need help is one of the best ways to not only give a smile to someone else, but it will, most-assuredly put a smile on your face! When we place ourselves in a situation where we have the ability to empathize with others and realize a bigger picture of the world around us it helps keep us grounded in reality and is a great way to keep our own problems in perspective. 


So, go out in to your community and give a helping hand! Plant a tree, pick up trash, get dirty, find a way to reconnect with Mother Nature and all of its inhabitants and you will immediately feel her loving arms wrap around you like a warm, comforting blanket. I know it worked for me!

9 comments:

  1. Mother nature can be so kind in so many ways, once we see the softer side. Thank you for this! I don't suffer from depression, these are all things that help me to be a better version of myself ...

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  2. This is so amazing. I had a friend who suffered from a depression that came on hard during winter months and it was so awesome to see how the weather changes could impact her. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences...

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  3. I'm so pleased that you have come out the other side and are enjoying the amazing simple things that mother nature provides. That is a gorgeous photo of you and your daughter and I hope that I will be seeing many more outdoor family fun to come. Thanks for linking up and sharing with Country Kids.

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  4. ah yes...I struggle with this often...and I literally have to kick my butt out the door to go for a walk....!! it always helps...constant battle for me....thank you Jen for being honest!!!!

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  5. I have been in since January as well. I told my husband that I dont know how to recover from it. I dont want to go to the doctors cuz I am scared that it will affect me in some legal ways. What I did was I started taking going out like you .. nothing major just the park & the promenade and I started taking photos. I am not healed but it gets me thorugh the day #countrykids

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  6. Oh my! This is so beautiful! I'm sorry to hear of all that you went through leading you to those depressive moments. I can empathize with loss. We just loss our baby and didn't realize it until I was 20 weeks along. It was painful. I stayed away from blogging for about a month and still don't like to have excessive convos about pregnancy and newborns, but being in nature definitely helped me! I also continued on as much as I can. I cooked, cleaned and was still a wife and mom. When I had moments, I talked to my hubby. We got through the tough moments together. Thanks so much for sharing this awesome post with us. I'm sure someone really needed to hear and see this :)

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  7. Reading this you had my mind in the sun, listening to the creek and looking at the big picture. Great advice and inspiration. Thanks for opening yourself up to being vulnerable and sharing your story. Glad you are out of the depression and finding joy in all these things.

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  8. I commend you for sharing your story. Having the sun shine on you is truly beneficial scientifically. Vitamin D does wondrous things for the mind, body and spirit. Now that we don't spend a lot of our time outdoors, we are more prone to depression. I've had several bouts of depression myself and all of these have helped me greatly. Thank you for sharing with Countdown in Style.

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  9. Beautiful words. Such insight. Thank your sharing your experience & inspiration.

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