Disclaimer: I’m listening to a playlist on shuffle that only includes Hamilton and Hamilton Mix Tape while writing this post. Take from that what you will :0)
I’m so glad I’ve chosen to take up blogging again because being able to write/talk about how I’m doing is pretty important for my sanity.
So, late summer/early Autumn ended up being a pretty tough time for me. I was depressed, stressed and not productive. Sadly, the latter was the most frustrating for me. I love getting things done (I even read a pretty crazy (admittedly awesome) book about it). Luckily, I’m on the other side of the experience and as per usual, I learned a lot from it:
- When I’m not doing well, it’s more productive for me to tune into my emotions rather than listen to my thoughts. From my experience, my emotions contain more important information than my thoughts. For example, if my emotions are dimmed down and I’ve stopped enjoying the things I love (musical theatre, singing in general, close relationships, reading novels, dancing…D&D – there I’m out of the role-play closet!) for a period of 2 weeks or longer, I know I’m probably depressed.
- I’m better off continuing to do the things I love even though it’s somewhat frustrating knowing I’m not enjoying those things as much. The other option is completely detaching from my hobbies and loved ones, which from experience, leaves me much, much worse off. For example, there are times when I’m depressed and stay at home worrying that if I see my friends or go to my voice lesson, I’ll just be a burden. If instead, I spend twice or instead three times as long getting ready because my head is foggy and go outside, first off, I’m so proud of myself for leaving the house. Then, when I actually go for that drink with my close friend and it turns out they really fucking care about me and want to know when things aren’t alright, I realize how amazing my friends are. It makes me want to go out more and be there for them and THAT’S when the depression begins (even if ever so slightly) to lift.
Finally, getting back in touch with my body (ideally, in a creative way) turns out to be a greeeeeeat way for me to get better at tuning into my emotions. Specifically, singing (show tunes…well, Hamilton) and yoga. This past month, after chatting with my lovely theatre, yoga teacher-in-training friend, Ellen (who, btw, just started an AMAZING BLOG), I decided to take on Yoga with Adriene’s 30 Days of Yoga challenge and I just completed day 27 this morning! At the moment, I’m not great at sticking with anything that is not my PhD, so sticking with a challenge like this is a big deal for me. The main reason I stuck with it was that I noticed the benefits very quickly and knew deep down that I needed to stick with it.
Because of my depression (and probably other, more general reasons as well), there are seasons in my life (love that phrase) when I have a LOT of trouble getting out of bed. Doing Adriene’s videos (almost…I’m only human) every morning became a useful tool for convincing myself to get up in the morning. I would feel crappy and tell myself, “Don’t worry, Molly, you don’t have to start doing work yet. You get to do something for yourself, first! And you might even get some nice warm coffee afterwards.” Then, even better, I started feeling ready to start my day after my practice (and losing a bit of weight I put on this summer). The best thing about doing 30 days of yoga was that I began listening to my body again; my emotions were no longer a weird mystery to me – I was in-tune with them again. Also, I’ve started responding more quickly to what my body needs. Like last night, I needed to pack but I had a tough, busy day and was invited to see Moana…and I accepted the invitation IMMEDIATELY. Partially for Lin, but mostly for me :0)
Speaking of packing…I gotta go do that!