As Counsellors we are faced with the same flaw as every other being, that is we are human and fallible. What we do is provide a safe environment for people to talk and express their emotions. We listen, we reflect, we paraphrase, we question and we also challenge. Whilst we don’t give advice, one of the things we can do at times is offer perspective, and this is often done around questioning.
One of my favourite questions to ask people is what do they look forward to, before we explore the concept and importance of having things to aim for, things to get excited about, things which can make them smile, even if momentarily. To most of us it can seem like smiling is automatic and it is easy to take it for granted, but keep in mind for some this is a monumental achievement. Now think about what life may be like for somebody where smiling once in a day is an achievement.
It doesn’t have to be a holiday or new car in the long term, it can be something during that day or the following day. The important thing is it has to be something individual to you. For some people it may be an opportunity to continue with a good book they are reading, for others it could be going for a walk, hitting the gym or even watching a program on TV.
The key is to build on these and slowly introduce more things into your daily routine which make you smile. Don’t forget one of the characteristics of depression is to lose interest in activities which ordinarily you would enjoy. So sometimes it’s about building yourself back up.
So whether it’s something at the end of the day, the week, the month or even the year, make sure you have things to look forward to as these things can occupy your mind and help you to locate your normal. We all have moments of reflection where we can feel despondent, but it’s vital we accept that more often than not our day and lives in general will involve doing things which we deem mundane or without pleasure. Therefore it is important we have the opposing things which are exciting and pleasurable to balance things out.
Stay safe friends and thanks for reading