I was speaking with a friend recently about beating out this awful late winter depression.That sinking feeling that comes from days on end spent cooped up inside, the endless rain, the time spent alone. I was telling her how I deal with it, and honestly, it’s so simple but she was surprised I’d never talked about it before, so, here we are.
As an introvert, I honestly do love time spent alone, but it can get to be a lot. When overwhelm strikes and you’re on your own all day, getting out of your own head seems impossible. There are so many ways to combat this, but my absolute favourite is going on a photo walk. I leave my phone at home, wrap up warm from the wind, rain, or whatever dismal weather England is plagued with on that day, and head out with just my keys and my camera. I don’t necessarily walk far, but I walk mindfully, and that really is the key here. I think about each step I take, focus on my breath, list in my head the things I can hear, see, feel, smell.
And then, once my mind feels calmer and clearer, I pull out my camera. Something special happens when you start looking for magic through the viewfinder of a camera. Beautiful things exist in every mundane moment, and without the distractions of phones, music, a sense of urgency, it’s much easier to find and appreciate these.
I took all these photos on my road, less than five minutes from my house. You really don’t need to walk far to find something beautiful and clear your mind. I always find doing this really leaves me feeling calmer, clearer headed and reinspired too! It’s simple, it doesn’t have to take long, but it really works.
Other things that help with the overwhelm:
- Taking a small notepad and a pen on the walk, finding a bench to perch on for a while, and doing a brain dump. A great way to clear cluttered thoughts and refocus.
- Taking your diary and a notebook to sit in a coffee shop, phone free. Make a list of everything bothering you, everything you need to do, and create a plan of attack to fix it!
- Getting out of your house and going to the gym, or getting on your yoga mat to stretch it out.
- Read a magazine, answer a journaling prompt, or do some other kind of productive procrastination.
- Clean! Cleaning the house always helps clear my mind and I can usually then sit back down and focus.
How do you deal with overwhelm?