“Rain, rain, go away, come again another day.” We’ve all heard the saying. Some of us have likely even used it. Even me, who absolutely loves the rain, I’ve even used it on occasion when rain threatened to spoil some bit of fun I had planned. Why do I love the rain? Because it is refreshing. Because it causes everyone to retreat indoors like the introvert I am. And because it is peaceful. It is even better with a thunderstorm, but I digress. My point is not that I love the rain, but rather that this phrase is so common that all of us likely recognize it, despite the notion of being able to change the weather with a simple phrase being completely and utterly absurd. It is more practical to buy a good rain coat, get a decent umbrella, and make sure your shoes are waterproof. Check, check, and check (after all you can’t love the rain if you aren’t prepared for it).
This same notion, wishing something away, is equally ridiculous when it comes to mental illness. As much as I wish that I didn’t have depression or anxiety, wishing won’t make it so. We can’t change the weather, and we can’t change the way our brains handle serotonin. There is no cure for depression.
Yet just like buying quality rain gear, there are things you can do to prepare for the rain of depression. Investing in a good therapist, in medication, practicing meditation, practicing forgiveness (both for yourself and others), exercising, eating right, maintaining a proper sleep schedule are all things that can help manage mental illness, and there are probably so many more things out there unique to each of us who struggles. For example, in a bringing it all full circle sort of way, one of mine is rain.
As a kid, and still as an adult, I love sitting at a window watching a storm. It is calming, allowing my mind to focus on a tempest going on outside, distracting me from the tempest within. The familiar pitter-patter of rain drops creates familiar white noise that I can listen to without having to think about it. If I am ambitious, I might even lace up my sneakers and go out into the world to run in the rain, letting the drops wash me of my troubles, at least for the duration of the run. This is less common now given my love-hate relationship with exercising though.
And what about you, what are some of the unique things you do to handle your mental illnesses? I would love to hear them. Feel free to drop me a line through the contact page or leave a comment below.
And as always, thanks for reading.