Sometimes the simplest things in life are some of the best. Here are a few of my favourite simple things:
- guinea pig kisses
- watching the guinea pigs sleeping
- the combination of chocolate and peanut butter
- cozy blankets
- soaps from Lush
- toasty slippers
- the simple beauty of nature
- focaccia bread and balsamic vinegar
- baguette and brie
- the feeling of sun on my face
- birdsong at dawn
- the feeling of sand beneath my toes
- the sound of waves crashing against the beach
- the sound of leaves rustling in the breeze
What are some of your faves?
The simplest things in life are free
And while we’re at it, let’s toss in another list, of simple things in life that are free.
- Reading (the local library is my go-to for books, and I love that my library has ebooks that can be checked out)
- Watching nature
- Thinking about the mysteries of the universe
- Listening to things like raindrops falling, the wind blowing through the trees
- Walks in the sunshine
- Singing along to your favourite songs
- Love (cue J.Lo song My Love Don’t Cost a Thing, but don’t cue the video because I find it annoying)
My own little piece of paradise
I have a page in my bullet journal devoted to what my own little piece of heaven would look like. Here’s what it would include:
- sunny and warm with a gentle breeze
- an ocean beach with waves crashing against the shore
- a grassy meadow teeming with guinea pigs and other cute critters, as well as four-leaf clovers and wildflowers
- yummy food that was magically good for both body and soul (i.e. cheeseburger is the new salad)
- only kind people, and not a lot of them
- no pressure or obligations
- no trauma reminders
- people I love
- no future to worry about, only the present
- good mental health
Thing I miss because of depression
There’s a lot that illness has taken away from me. Here are a few things that I miss:
- Planning and getting excited about where my next travel destination might be
- Enjoying spending time with close friends
- Being interested in going to theatre performances
- Having fun getting ready to go out somewhere nice
- Wanting to do road trips with friends
- Feeling positive about my work
- Enjoy social time with coworkers
- Caring about how I look – not in a self-critical way, but having fun with clothes, accessories, and makeup
- Feeling hopeful about the future
- Feeling happy
- Enjoying local seasonal events
- Feeling like there were lots of options open to me and I was in control
- Being interested in book clubbing and writers festivals
I would be capable of doing the action-based items on this list, but it’s the capacity for interest/enjoyment that’s gone. And I’ve found that trying to do things anyway but not enjoying them tends to just make me feel worse, as it emphasizes the contrast.
Things I enjoyed (pre-anhedonia)
One of the depression symptoms that’s had a big impact on my life is anhedonia (the inability to experience pleasure). I used to enjoy doing various things, but now they just don’t interest me and seem like just a vague memory. Summer is a time of year that tends to be strongly associated with pleasure, but it also tends to remind me of what’s just not there in my head/heart right now.
Some of the things I used to enjoy:
- Going to the theatre, especially musical theatre and outdoor theatre like the local Shakespeare on the beach productions.
- The local Fringe Festival.
- Dance performances like ballet
- Going to the symphony
- Going out for food/drinks on sunny patios
- Eating out in general
- Wine festivals
- Writers festivals
- Weekend getaways
- Playing beer league softball
- Being part of a book club
- Wandering around shopping and eating at the funky public market
Travel: places ticked off my bucket list
Travelling has always been a major passion of mine. Unfortunately depression makes it rather hard to feel passionate about much of anything, but in an attempt to get myself a bit more excited about my upcoming trip to Italy I thought I’d do a post covering the places I’ve managed to tick off my travel bucket list thus far.
- United States
- Austria – my friend and I wanted to visit Mozart’s grave, but after walking there in the pouring rain the cemetery gate was locked
- Czech Republic
- England – I didn’t get outside of London, and will definitely need to go back
- France – one of my all-time favourites
- Germany – only visited Munich, so this is another country to return to
- Romania – Where else can you dance the night away at the Dracula Disco?
- Russia – I was depressed during this trip, so didn’t really get to enjoy it. In selfies I took my face is gaunt because I had lost so much weight due to illness. (there are photos here)
- Switzerland – the organization nut in me loved that all of the clocks were synchronized and trains arrived on time to the minute
- India – I enjoyed it despite having raging diarrhea much of the time I was there
- Japan – I visit here on a school exchange trip when I was 14. The flight was hideous because back in the day people used to be able to smoke in planes.
- Kyrgyzstan – This is where I got to camp in a yurt (2 yurts, to be exact).
- Uzbekistan (you can read about this trip in How Do You Say Antidepressant in Uzbek?)
- Vietnam – As a solo white female traveller, I really stood out and acted like a magnet for chatty locals.
South America and Caribbean
- Argentina – Alas I was too sick (thanks to Bolivia) to enjoy the famous steaks
- Brazil – One hotel my mom and I stayed in had a porn channel on the tv and mirrors at various angles around the bed. Classy all the way.
- Egypt – There was so much sexual harassment from yucky Egyptian men
- Kenya (you can see photos here)
The COVID-19/Mental Health Coping Toolkit page has a wide range of resources to support better mental health and wellbeing.