Mission: Joy

Mission Joy

“Joy does not simply happen to us,” wrote spiritual author Henri Nouwen. “We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” I find choosing joy and trying to experience joy to be among the most difficult tasks when you are depressed. And yet it is critical to try to reconnect with those persons, places, […]

10 Summer Depression Busters

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There are four distinct types of people when it comes to weather and mood, according to a study published in Emotion in 2011. Summer Lovers (better mood with warmer and sunnier weather) Unaffected (weak associations between weather and mood) Summer Haters (worse mood with warmer and sunnier weather) Rain Haters (particularly bad mood on rainy days) Although my mood […]

Why We Need to Keep Playing

why play is important for mental health and depression

In recent months, physical, playful activity has been the only way out of painful ruminations for me, providing a temporary respite from debilitating depression. Its transformative power is surprising to me for its ability to help me manage my emotions. Evolutionary biologist and animal behavioral specialist Marc Bekoff, PhD, once said that “play is training for the unexpected.” And […]

You Can’t Unlearn It

This post is from my archives. I’ve been repeating to myself lately something my therapist said in our session last month: “You can’t unlearn your progress.” Meaning, I can take a few steps backwards in my recovery from depression and anxiety, but that doesn’t erase all the lessons, skills, and wisdom acquired in my past. […]

Why Real Love Is Hard Work

rainbow loom

This post is from my archives. A month into our relationship, my now-husband asked me, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” I didn’t hesitate. “As a nun in a third-world country doing missionary work,” I said. “Interesting.” Somewhere around that time I also told him it would be five years before I slept […]

Mission: Joy

Mission Joy

“Joy does not simply happen to us,” wrote spiritual author Henri Nouwen. “We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” I find choosing joy and trying to experience joy to be among the most difficult tasks when you are depressed. And yet it is critical to try to reconnect with those persons, places, […]

10 Summer Depression Busters

10-Summer-Depression-Busters-RM-1440x810

There are four distinct types of people when it comes to weather and mood, according to a study published in Emotion in 2011. Summer Lovers (better mood with warmer and sunnier weather) Unaffected (weak associations between weather and mood) Summer Haters (worse mood with warmer and sunnier weather) Rain Haters (particularly bad mood on rainy days) Although my mood […]

How Faith Helps Depression

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A substantial amount of research points to the benefits of faith to mitigate symptoms of depression. In one study, for example, researchers at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, found that belief in God was associated with better treatment outcomes. They followed 159 individuals over the course of a year to examine the relationship between a person’s […]

Does Weather Affect Your Mood?

Luciano Lozano/Getty Images

I’m considering building an ark, because it feels as if it’s been raining for 40 days and 40 nights. In one of the wettest, coldest Mays in Maryland’s history, highly sensitive types like myself are having difficulty not getting pulled into a depressive mood that often accompanies bad weather. I am clearly affected by rain — […]

9 Commencement Quotes That Will Inspire You

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It’s that time of year again, when esteemed politicians, bestselling novelists, famous actresses, and luminaries of all kinds address graduating seniors and dole out advice for heading into the real world. I like to read commencement speeches from past years, because I find that much of their wisdom speaks to navigating through the challenges of depression […]