Some good friends, a couple, came by for a visit last week. What a wonderful time we had visiting and catching up. We spent some time in reminiscing about the good old days. Exploring, hiking, swimming, even getting into trouble. Getting into trouble was the easy part. Seems that being a preacher’s kid, expectations were always higher, leaving me some what vulnerable to punishment, some of which I am sure would be considered illegal in today’s society. In fact, I was always guilty until proven innocent. Feeling sorry for me yet?
Back to the subject at hand. My friend has had his own challenges with stress and depression over the years. What impresses me is that he is able to recognize the triggers that have the potential to push him into that dark abyss. I asked him what he felt caused his depression. He answered with words that have stuck with me. “I get depressed when I feel obligated to give when I have nothing left to give.” When I replayed that conversation later, I thought how true that is in my own world. I am sure many of you will be able to relate as well.
We live in a society that is fast paced and ever changing. We hear more and more about “burn out”. We give till we have nothing left to give. Our emotional gas tanks are empty. And yet the demands on us keep coming. How can we cope? How do we avoid slipping into that dark abyss? How do we get out from the dark cloud hanging over us? How do we find balance in a topsy turvy world? Let me give you some ideas.
Klinic Community Health has some good ideas on a website at www.de-stress.ca . They refer to music, nature, humor and others, as tools to help one deal with the anxieties of life. Take the time to play, to laugh, and most of all to talk. Something as simple as chatting with the person filling you gas tank (yeah, yeah I know, most stations are self serve) or the person bagging your groceries, will help in lifting your spirits. Chatting with a professional can help you get on the path to recovery. I am again reminded of the wall hanging in my office which says: “The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon but that we wait so long to begin it”. Taking it step by step, we can move towards a life with brighter mornings, days filled with music and laughter, and sunsets that will confirm inner peace and the promise of another good day. Make it a good one.