Don’t you hate it when people ask you if you are depressed when you’re not?  And then you think to yourself, Am I supposed to be, since you just put the idea in my head?  Explain to others that it’s helpful for them to ask, How are you feeling?

Depression, in my opinion, is a scary emotion.  It can be devastating and debilitating.  My 14-year-old niece developed some problems with peers and was carving her skin with a paperclip. People hurt themselves for different reasons.  Some do it to gain attention, while others do it because it’s easier to feel physical pain than emotional pain; I’m sure there are other reasons as well.  However, spending hours in the emergency room, without any electronics, made my niece realize that she never wants to do that again. After that, her mom took her to see a psychiatrist who suggested medication with counseling.  As soon as her situation with peers resolved itself, she felt better and came off the medication.

One of the best things for me to do, to stay emotionally healthy, is exercise.  Half of you probably just rolled your eyes at me.  Yes, I said exercise!  I’m talking about doing a spin class on a stationary bike or some other group training class.  When I am with an instructor and the class is 45 min long, I don’t give up when it gets hard.  If I have to take a couple of seconds to rest, I still try to finish the exercise.  You will know it’s working, as difficult as it is, when you find yourself going back for more.  During the day, I feel good, no, I feel amazing, more times than not.

If you have injuries, try to find a gym that can accommodate you.  The gym that I attend will demonstrate low impact and high impact moves.  They also have a senior program.  If you can’t afford a gym, find a partner and set some goals before you set out.  If the goals appear too easy you can always adjust them.  I wouldn’t make my goals too high because failing may trigger depression, and then you’re back where you started.