31 mayo 2008

Remedy for funks

Daily doses:

~ Sweat. Exhaust the body. (Run, bike, walk, manual labor, etc.) Go farther, longer.
~ Produce stuff: Something that you can look at or feel upon completion. Cut the lawn, garden, plant flowers, tan, run [produces endorphins], paint, do art, &c.
~ Get out of the house EARLY. Walls tend to depress. Get into large spaces, nature preferred.
~ Be around people/ kids. And not ones that you can be depressed around, either- ones around which you HAVE to control your emotions.
~ Don’t be around people that get on your nerves. Give yourself a break. You’re dust, not a masochist.
~ Do nice things for others. Think about your victim, plan the act, execute service or gift. Surprise somebody.
~ Minimize talking (especially about your or anybody’s emotions. Who cares?!)
~ Listen to good music loudly. Stuff where people sing with their diaphragm and bang drums with good will helps. Try South African stuff for soul. Reggae makes you [me] inordinately happy. Likewise those beautiful, beautiful Brazilians. Indulge. Find new delicacies.
~ Surround yourself with beauty. Art, photos, flowers, candles, music, nature, kids. Don’t do penance by being in ugly places. Leave or beautify.
~ Study missions, read about martyrs. Perspective.
~ Read children’s books. The Horse and His Boy, Holes, The Princess Bride, Gary Soto, Rudyard Kipling &c. Abstain from Orwell, Bradbury, Sartre, Hemingway, et. al.
~ Take risks (not involving your life.) Go new places, try new foods, splurge.

Pain killers:
Everybody needs a little Nyquil every now and then (but don’t get into the habit of it, capice?)

~ If your prayer time itself causes you to despair, cut it short. Be as concise and honest as possible. Summarize your feelings; don’t describe. Humble yourself, but don’t grovel. Instead of a large, emotive dose early in the morning, space “bite sized” times of prayer/ meditation throughout the day. Spend more time in gratitude than confession.
~ Go shopping. Don’t buy something you’ll regret later or spend a scandalous amount, but go buy something nice for yourself or others. Goodwill, bookstores, garage sales, and amazon.com are good. (Walmart has demons, so try to avoid.)
~ Watch a worthy movie. I could almost dismiss the whole medium, but i suppose there are times when musing needs to be suspended. Seldom, but still times. Singin’ in the Rain, the Sound of Music, A Raisin in the Sun, Remember the Titans, Humphrey Bogart, Life is Beautiful, the Emperor’s New Groove, etc. (I really don’t have a lot of recommendations…)

**NOTE: Need i mention: the above is not divinely inspired. I’m lacking that lately. If depression comes from guilt, repent (confess, seek grace, and very deliberately find ways to stop sinning), and the funk should go away. If that doesn’t work and you’re not purposefully avoiding/defying God or in sin, perhaps the above can help…

Depression (i have no idea about clinical. i've spent almost the majority of my life as an adolescent. i'm talking feelings.) generally accompanies lack of meaning / meaningful activity. Not being around unbelievers (or, in different circumstances, lacking communion with enjoyable saints) - or being around them only superficially- lends itself to depression. Not "seeing" the Kingdom come is a sure way to get down as well.

i dunno what to do when the worst of the funk is the utter lack of energy. that's why i mentioned the music. that helps. creating "appointments" that you can't get out of helps to...

i dunno. we all want to live meaningful, eternally-relevant, active, relating lives. who knows why that's so difficult sometimes...

i do know that community is inestimable in combatting suspicions of meaninglessness. "You do not have to drown in your own autonomy. _________ is good. _________ is bad. God is real. The Bible is true. Let's sing. I have a testimony..."

God's community provide the alternative to despair, the plausibility of meaning. When isolated, one might find that her feelings of angst and convictions of meaning are not fighting an evenly matched battle. Feelings, for instance, can make you cry, a sucker punch if there ever was one. And for those who can form their community with just them and God, mis respetos, but that's not exactly what God Himself had in mind....



Blogger Patrick said...

guilty: i'm reading some orwell at the moment. homage to catalonia. i did, however, read some dr. seuss to my kids the other day. oh, the places you'll go.

sábado, 07 junio, 2008  

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