No one is Immune from Depression. It’s what you do to handle it…
It’s Saturday morning and I have some work to do but nothing truly pressing so I think I’ll go for a leisurely run, check on the momma goose sitting on her eggs in the nearby parking lot, and do some errands. It’s my time to do my favorite thing I picked up during the height of the pandemic…listen to a podcast. Today I chose The Light Podcast with Michelle Obama. The episode is called The Power of Small and features David Letterman. I had no idea what to expect – such an unlikely pairing – but it worked.
She hated our country, she exposed her arms and they were too muscular, she’s not classy enough and those are the calmest insults said to her and about her! Imagine being on the global screen and reading and hearing people say things like that about you. She was truly at her most vulnerable and it didn’t stop when the Obamas left the White House. Then the pandemic. It was hard enough living in a fishbowl for eight years where every move you made was watched. But now the world was shutting down and she was feeling isolated in her home except for the family walks.
The former First Lady admitted she was depressed and feeling at her lowest. She did the only thing she knew how to do, take up knitting. Whaaattt? Yes you read that correctly. Okay, she also wrote a book, but she taught herself to knit. That’s where the power of small comes in. Take on what fits in your lap and build up to something bigger. She could control what she was knitting. She couldn’t control what people said about her. But she could control what she thought about herself. She could control allowing herself to be vulnerable and to accept that she wanted to be heard and seen, just like she did when she was a young Senator’s wife and started to advocate for healthy children.
No one is immune from feeling depressed. You can learn from others what they do to help themselves get through the really tough times. Some people I spoke to exercise, talk to therapists, eat healthy and even give back to their community. There are no tips and tricks to mental health. Everyone has to figure out what is right for them. Explore different things. Go out and take a walk through nature. Take a run along the Potomac and enjoy its beauty and the skyline of DC (yes we have a skyline that includes monuments, harbors and the Capital). Volunteer with children, adopt a pet.
Remember, you’re not alone even when you think you are. Do what fits in your lap. Take care of yourself and teach yourself how to knit.