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Doing What Makes You Happy When You Have Depression

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When you have depression, doing what makes you feel happy often feels like a chore.

On some subconscious level, you want to do it but you’ve lost interest in it. It’s just not the same, not as it once was. Yet you find yourself trying to fight against the current and break free, so you force yourself to pick up on your hobbies but your heart is just not into it. It’s disheartening and you wonder why it’s become this way.

Today, while listening to the rain beat against the roof and debating if I should put on something warmer to wear, I thought, “Today is a good day for tea.”

I used to collect mugs of all shapes and sizes, always in awe of their beauty. Not much better, I would stock up on all these exciting flavors of tea to try. It’s something I haven’t done nor thought about in a long time. I didn’t force it or put much thought into it, I just grabbed a mug and tea bag and make my tea.

Everything about it made me happy — the warmth of the mug, dipping the bag in the hot water, the taste of the tea, my silly cat trying to drink it. All these little things that used to bring me so much joy came back to me. I smiled as I snapped a picture of my cat, Lilith, trying to drink my tea. I pondered what was different today. What made this feel less of a chore? More enjoyable?

I didn’t force myself. Instead of making it a chore, like thinking something as tedious as drinking tea or coloring is something that I have to do to get better, I just did it. Do more of what makes you happy and don’t make it a chore.

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Originally published: June 5, 2017
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