At this time of year some people seem to get depressed. For whatever reason. I’m not looking for causes of depression here as much as something that can solve a lot of ‘mental’ issues including depression.
It has been said more recently that the reason for life, the reason we are here, is to help. There is a good test for this. If you look back in your life you will find that any time that you helped some person or some group of people without asking or wanting something for that help, you felt better. This makes for a perfect way to deal with depression.
There are numerous ways to do this – anything from from helping serve food to the poor to helping shovel someone’s sidewalk that is unable to themselves. It could be as simple as going the extra few feet and shoveling your neighbor’s sidewalk when you are doing yours. Personally, I find it more fulfilling to actually DO something than give money. Rake leaves, mow a lawn, take the garbage out for someone that is having difficulty. Offer to watch the kids for a single mom who needs to get some groceries.
Take your kids out and make a family thing of it. Teach them that helping is part of life. Helping or doing something without needing to get something in return. This will set them up for a life that is more likely to be without the need for drugs or counseling.
The best thing to do when someone really wants to repay the favor or pay for the services is to ask them to pay it forward. Tell them that what you want them to do is to go and do something for someone else.
There is a great example of this. A few days ago, some media outlets on the internet were carrying a story of a number of people paying off others layaway plans at K-Mart in the United States. They would be in line and see that someone with a bunch of kids was making a payment for presents or something and they would pay it off for them. Most of the people doing this did it anonymously. One woman whose bill had been paid in this way decided to take some of the money that she saved in this way and pay it toward another person.
Makes for a pretty decent Christmas for all. And I’m pretty sure that the people that gave the money to help got the better end of the bargain. As you start this activity you will find that no sensation or feeling comes anywhere close to that of helping people.
So, I challenge you, are you going to feel depressed and feel sorry for yourself this Christmas or are you going to deal with your depression for real. Instead of buying a present and giving it to someone go and help someone that actually needs it. You will both win.