On Second Thought…
The first time I had a Depressive episode was Labor Day of the year I turned 13.
I was out to dinner with my dad. He asked me how my day went and I burst into tears. Concerned he asked me what was wrong but all I could do was answer “I don’t know” while I hyperventilated. Every Autumn since, I’ve had to fight the demon that is Depression.
It’s that time of year again.
I am entering Fall with my usual trepidation and taking the necessary precautions to ensure good mental health: eating healthy, getting enough but not too much sleep, keeping active, staying in a routine, and being diligent about taking my medications including a Vitamin D supplement.
One of my favorite ways to stay active is bike riding.
This summer has been especially beautiful for it filled with many days of warm sunshine. Last week I was out for a ride when on the path in front of me the wind blew and a shower of crisp dry leaves floated to the ground.
My heart sank. I felt sadness so acutely and tears came to my eyes. A semi-famous sports player recently Tweeted something to the effect that Depression isn’t real and that such crybabies need to suck it up. I wish that someone with beliefs like his could feel what it is like to be in my body at such a moment when I “leak tears” for no rational reason or am overcome with forceful emotions.
After crying in the woods over fallen leaves, I asked some friends for their wisdom about Autumn blues.
They gave me three things to do.
- Utilize essential oils/fragrances
- Clean my home with a pleasant vision of using each space in the colder weather adding blankets and pillows
- Decorate my home for the season with encouragement to make a special visit Hobby Lobby.
The biggest takeaway from my friends: Don’t psych yourself out over Fall; psych yourself up for it!!!
So I’ve started to Fall clean and am happy to report I am making steady progress.
I went out and bought a beautiful jar filled with cinnamon scented potpourri, some artificial Fall foliage, a handful of knick knacks, and a special pillow burnt orange embossed with leaves with “Thankful” on it. In every room, I’ve placed at least one item that cheers me: a trio of orange daisies in a tiny orange vase wrapped in burlap and tied with a straw bow, miniature wooden squirrels holding sunflowers, garlands of golden warm burgundy leaves. My husband and I both have noticed how much more relaxed we feel embracing the Autumn slow-down in our decorated surroundings.
In addition to cleaning, I’ve also started a Favorite Things List to help psych myself up for Autumn.
My original list was rather limited, as you may have guessed, not even large enough for a “top 5 things”. For this reason instead of making routine small talk about the weather I’ve been asking “What do you like best about Autumn?” and adopting the nuggets I glean that ring true for me.
“Things I like about Autumn 🍂 Fall”
- Pumpkin bread
- Marching bands
- Thursdays (when new movies are released)
- Movie weather
- Hot chocolate
- Monarch butterflies
- Wild flowers
- Neapolitan tree leaves (green, red, orange, yellow)
- Crisp scent of fall
- Sound of leaves under my feet
- Soft PJs
- Fuzzy socks