It is Christmas Eve, a day that, for me at least, has always been full of anticipation of what is to come tomorrow. And anticipation can be a gift in and of itself when it comes to managing a mental illness like depression.
Having something that you are looking forward to can negate negative feelings about the present or the past, and can make a present depression more bearable. One of my worst depressions was eased, in part, by having someone I cared about and hadn’t seen in awhile reach out and plan a visit. Knowing that I was going to see this person helped pull me out of the darkness, even though there visit was still several weeks away.
Now, I have a gratitude app, which gives me specific prompts to journal about, one of which asks what I am looking forward to, which forces me, even if I am in the midst of a depressive episode, to think about the future and think about something positive that I am anticipating, even if it is something small like a sports game with one of my favorite teams.
And if there is a year for using anticipation as a gift to overcome dark times, it is 2020. COVID has sadly forced so many cancellations and has left so many of us anticipating days when we can gather safely again, days when we can see loved ones, share a meal with friends, go the ballgames in person, and put the isolation so many of us have struggled with this past year behind us.
So from me to you, I wish you a happy day of anticipation, and hope that anticipating brighter days to come helps lift your spirits today.