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Leaving dark for light

Do you ever notice that, when you go into a funk, it is so hard to do the simple things that will lift you out of it?

Like, you know that you feel better if you exercise, but you can’t make yourself put on your shoes and go for a walk — not even it is to just go down the block. Or, you know that affirmations work and take no time at all, but you can’t make yourself do them. So, you start off feelin’ the blues and slide into a funk and wind up in a full-blown depression. Five pounds later, you wonder what happened.

I think we have to consciously do everything we can to keep from sliding into the darkness. Too often, we wait until it is too late. I had lunch with one of my best friends yesterday and she’s on a real downswing into a depression. Note: she makes her living as a clinical therapist. So, when we started talking about what she needed to do to climb out of it, she couldn’t figure out why she couldn’t take the tiny steps she’d need to take in order to begin feeliing better.

I have had my dark moments. I felt like I was sliding into a black hole several years ago when my mother started showing signs of Alzheimer’s. She couldn’t recognize my father, and I would quiz him about tiny details from our past so she could see he knew things only her husband would know. It didn’t prove that he was her husband to her. She just said, “I wonder how he knows that.” I was devastated and the world turned dark.

But, a friend told me to meet her at Fort DeSoto park at sunset with my kayak. We went three times in one week, and at the end of it, my perspective was in check. I’d come back into the light, and it wasn’t that hard.

The people closest to me know to give me a push when things start getting tough. Someone will usually say, “Go get in your kayak.” And that usually wakes me up.

I think the trick to warding off the blues is to have people around you who give you that kick in the butt you need when you can’t do it for yourself. Know what makes you happy, and have good friends to remind you to tap into it.

free true colors Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books and speaks to corporations and organizations about courages and creative leadership strategies.

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