What does love and depression have to do with each other? A lot! Not only can a perceived lack of love lead to depression, but love can also be the cure!
When you're depressed, it's as if life loses all its colour. The sun is still shining, but you don't feel the warmth of it on your skin. Flowers are still blooming, but your eyes only see darkness. Birds are still singing in the trees, but your ears only hear the deafening silence of sadness.
There are many causes of depression but it seems to me that lack of love is one of the biggest.
Depression doesn't only steal your joy, it also steals your love of self, of others and the world. It is as if your whole focus shrinks to include only the suffering of the moment. Self care goes out the window, as does a show of care for others and the planet. There is just not enough energy, motivation or drive to do anything but the basics to survive.
So how do you bring the love back into your life when everything seems meaningless? Here are a few thoughts...
Managing depression requires a holistic approach. You can't just wake up one morning and decide you're going to 'snap out of it'! However, you can take small steps to give yourself the best possible chance to benefit from treatment.
I believe healing starts with self love. When you love yourself unconditionally, despite your low moods and feelings of despair, you pave the way for transcendence. Self love means that you forgive yourself, that you let go of the hurts of the past, the guilt, the resistance to what you cannot change. It means that you accept yourself and embrace your imperfections, because the truth is you really are good enough!
When you love yourself, you put self-care at the top of your to-do list. You move your body more, eat healthier, and get some sunshine. You listen to uplifting music, get a new haircut and do a gratitude meditation to start each day. You follow doctor's orders and get counselling if you need it and build a support network. You do this, not because you want to, but because Wise Mind tells you that it's do or die. And slowly, but surely, as you honour the wisdom that comes from within, you start to feel a little lighter.
Love your Neighbour:
Another way to transcend the debilitating symptoms of depression is to consciously take the focus off yourself and shine the light of love on others.
When depressed, you may not ever be in a loving mood, but the more you share your care, your attention, your talents with others, the more joy you will start to feel. It may only be glimpses of happiness in a sea of sadness, but it's a beginning.
Start small. Do something unexpectedly nice for the person who is closest to you - your partner, your child, a parent or your best friend. It may be as simple as writing a love note or a letter of gratitude. Hand them a flower. Light a candle. Smile. Your gift to them will turn into a gift of healing for yourself.
Love the Planet:
The planet is our home. It looks after us whether we acknowledge it or not. You don't have to save a rainforest to make a difference. An attitude of mindfulness and gratitude will do.
So there you have it... a few things to consider on your journey to recovery. I wish you the very best!
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Mia Rose :)