I’m going to go out on a limb and say it might be tough to be an expat with depression. Although I am clearly still in the honeymoon stages of this adventure, I woke up today feeling well, kinda like this.
I’m not alarmed really. This sort of thing happens, less often these days than in the past so I’m just grateful for all the days I do wanna get outta bed.
But on these days I really like to just seek out what makes me comfortable. Meaning tacos, good books and maybe if I’m feeling up to it, a walk next to the ocean. However, being that I’m nowhere near the ocean that’s out. And there might be a place that sells books in English here, but I’m just too unmotivated to get out and find it. And since there isn’t a taqueria in sight, it means I’ve got to make tacos.
So perhaps I shouldn’t say it’s tough for expats with depression. Perhaps I should just say it might be difficult for me to deal with my depression here. Comfort has always been my go-to on hard days, and I went ahead and threw that out the window with our move.
Thankfully, Rob Brezsny lightened up my day by suggesting this:
“You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestation of your own blessings,” says author Elizabeth Gilbert. I recommend that you experiment with this subversive idea, Aries. Just for a week, see what happens if you devote yourself to making yourself feel really good. I mean risk going to extremes as you pursue happiness with focused zeal. Try this: Draw up a list of experiences that you know will give you intense pleasure, and indulge in them all without apology. And please don’t fret about the possible consequences of getting crazed with joy. Be assured that the cosmos is providing you with more slack than usual.
That got me thinking. What is it that makes me feel really good? What do I just love? What gives me intense pleasure?
Riding roller coasters. I found out I live 30 minutes from the most awesome theme park, Europa Park. And I also discovered that the U.S. ain’t got shit on Germany when it comes to roller coasters. Smooth. Fast. Intense. I’m thinking about getting an annual pass.
Eating chocolate. There is no shortage of the good stuff here. I’m enjoying some right now.
European candy. Particularly Swedish candy. Although it’s not as amazing, German candy comes in a close second. Zucker hoch!
Riding my bicycle. I had to ship it over the ocean so it’s gonna be a few more weeks, but man is Freiburg a bicycle heaven! Bike lanes everywhere. Bicycle traffic abounds. There are probably more bikes than cars here.
Traveling. Well, I think I got that pretty well under control. In the past few weeks I’ve added one new state (Connecticut) and three new countries (Switzerland, Germany and France) to my list. I’ve got plans to get England and maybe Turkey under my belt before the year’s out.
Anything with the hubby. It could be just as simple as watching a movie or as intense as dragging our luggage across an ocean, I just love spending time with this man!
Hiking. We just got our permanent place and it’s about two blocks from hiking and biking trails in the Black Forest. Maybe I’ll even get into some trail running!
Running. A relatively new love, I’m planning on running a 10.6k in October, so I better step it up!
Rhubarb sparkling juice. Yep, it sounds weird but it tastes fricking amazing. Prost!
Satiating my curiosity. It seems like there’s always a locked door stopping me in the States, but since I’ve been here I’ve found some pretty cool things because no one stops you from going places that perhaps you shouldn’t be.
Striking a pose. I used to love modeling for the camera but haven’t been doing much of that in the past few years. Maybe it’s time for my close up.
Reading. Reading. Reading. This one is tough for me right now. I’m doing a violence fast for my August 30 Day Challenge, so the only English book in the house (Flags of Our Fathers) is off limits. I don’t like reading on my phone or computer, but I’m thinking I might have to. OR I could use it as an excuse to get my ass to the Freiburg Public Library. They’ve got to have the classics in English at least? Or maybe I’ll start reading kids books in German. One of my favorite authors writes in German after all.
Listening to podcasts and knitting. These are the best together. I used to put wine in the mix with these two, so I’ve kinda laid off for awhile. It might be time to resurrect this hobby. And perhaps I can get into audio books too. That could solve my reading problem.
I’m pretty sure I could come up with a few more but those are good for now. I already feel a little better … it probably had a little something to do with the chocolate and candy I just ate. But just listing that stuff helped to lift my spirits. It was almost as good as some fresh guacomole.
What do you absolutely love to do? What gives you great pleasure? I wanna know what’s on your list. Tell me in the comments.
Tags: bikes, candy, change, chocolate, depression, expatriate depression, hiking, life, list, living in a new country, missing mexican food in germany, modeling, pleasure, reading, rhubarb sparkling juice, running, things i love, travel