With the changing of the seasons, I tend to become more conscious of my own state of mind, particularly with the fading of summer into fall and winter. I’ve lived through enough winters to know my own weakness to cold temperatures and shorter days. This year, I’m combatting my seasonal depression the best way I know how: by forcing myself to think about the good things in this world, and by writing them down.
For the past two months, I’ve been keeping a tiny separate journal. Every day, I write down 1 small thing that I’m grateful for, 1 small piece of positive energy, 1 small silver lining. I do this to force myself to think positively, but also because, in the event that I have a bad day, I have a physical collection of positive things to remind me that I will survive even my darkest days.
For the first few weeks, I would forget to write one down for a few days and then have to catch up, but since then it has become almost a ritual, at least in the mornings when I don’t have work early. I curl up with my coffee and this little yellow notebook and I reflect on the beautiful things I have, the things I’m learning every day, the gifts that life has given me. I have two months of beautiful thoughts saved up now, and in honor of Thanksgiving, I thought I would share a few of them.
There will always be more books in the world, full of wisdom, hope, and comfort–new books to discover and old ones to rediscover.
Some friendships might wilt, but others can be replanted in new soil and grow taller and stronger than ever.
I am no longer afraid of a bend in the road. I will always rise up strong to meet it.
I will overcome all my fears because I am bigger than my ghosts can ever hope to be.
It is perfectly okay to be a very small thing in a very big world. I don’t have to do anything more than that.
Every time I conquer a fear, I get stronger and more confident that I can overcome all my fears.
I am consumed with love, big beautiful real and perfect love. And love is constant.
All I have to do in life is etched permanently in my wrist: write love.
Every single person I work with is like family.
I’ve been off anti-depressants for over a year and I’ve never felt stronger.
I have the feeling that as soon as I start to lose myself, I’m found again.
Each hard day that I fight my way through is further proof that I can survive anything if I’m willing to fight for it.
Finding out that other people I love are also in love is almost as amazing as me being in love.
Being afraid doesn’t make me any less brave; being sad sometimes doesn’t mean I’m not overall doing better than I ever have. It’s all about perspective. Sometimes it’s just hard to see what’s in front of my face.
I’m thankful for a day when I’m forced to be consciously grateful for all things I have. Today I am thankful for this city: for the tough love it gave me so I could learn to love myself, for the people I’ve met, and for the love I would never have found if I hadn’t been crazy enough to move here.
My little experiment in positivity obviously isn’t just about one day, nor will it end with the changing of seasons. I’m not naive enough to assume that my ritual has completely decimated my depression, but it has definitively improved my perspective on things. Being grateful isn’t a cure, but it can be a powerful weapon against negativity. And the best part? It takes so little time that you almost forget you’re even doing it.