Acknowledging the People You Notice the Least Could be the Most Important Thing You Can Do to Boost Your Mood TodayBy Gary Roe
Many of us struggle with depression and sadness. For some, this comes and goes with life situations and circumstances. For others, depression is a cloud that seems to follow us wherever we go.
I believe there are four keys to dealing well with depression, no matter how it manifests itself:
- Processing emotions well
- Practicing good self-care
- Managing relationships in healthy ways
- Taking depression breaks
Most people have heard of the first three. When I mention "depression breaks," however, I tend to get furrowed brows and tilted heads.
Life is tough. Sad things happen. And, sometimes, depression can pay us a visit. That’s when we could use some fresh air. We need depression breaks.
And the best ones I've found come in the form of the people we usually take for granted.
These so-called “invisible people” are everywhere—they are all around us. They fly under the radar. They usually escape our notice. But they are the unsung heroes of our day-to-day. Cashiers, food-service workers, and janitorial staff. Landscapers, construction workers, and sanitation truck drivers. Supermarket shoppers, grocery stockers, and deli workers. Bus drivers, mass transit employees, and customer-service personnel. We blow past many of these people every day and hardly even know they're there.
These often-invisible people have names. They have friends and families they love and care about. They have hearts—and heartaches. They tussle with worry, fear, emotional pain, and guilt.
And yes, chances are they battle depression, too.
You can make a real difference in the lives of often-invisible people while providing some relief for yourself.
Try my three-step “depression break” method and discover the rewards for yourself.
Step One: See
Make the choice to take a break. Breathe deeply. Set your mind to deliberately notice the people you encounter.
Observe them. Note their faces, eyes, and body postures. Notice what they're wearing and what they're doing (without judging). This forces you out of your own head and eases you into