Take note, then take action.
Dr. Lee Williams, a marriage and family therapist and professor at the University of San Diego, developed a list of seven crucial components that could help alleviate depression. These seven components, also known as the seven p’s, not only provide a guide for how to reduce depression, but for how to live a balanced life. These seven p’s give us additional accountability for cultivating relationships, implementing our own self-care, and being a positive influence to ourselves, then others.
People are at the top of this list. There may be times when we have too much people time, and others where we have not spent enough time with others. Find your balance. We need relationships to sustain us, give us energy, and feel connected. This is why many of us choose to share our life with someone. People can encourage, us, though they can also negatively affect us. Thus, it is important that we choose wisely, the people we connect with on a regular basis. Use people to lift you up, and in the same token, don’t forget to do for others.
We often feel purposeful when we do for others what they can’t do for themselves, or with what might take them longer to do. Volunteering is both the best medication to help brighten our own day, but also an intentional means of caring for people around us. We may feel purposeful helping someone with an assignment, taking someone to the store to buy groceries, baking them their favorite food, praying for them, or listening to them. Many of us feel purposeful at work because we are influencing an organization, or a group of people in productive ways. With whatever talents we have, we can influence. And with those talents, we should use.
Planned activities can comprise a set list we have of what we want to achieve for the day, from waking up in the morning, doing the laundry, or setting aside time to complete a work assignment. Having a schedule we can follow gives us structure, preventing us from feeling unproductive, or lazy. Laying out the tasks of the day can also promote better time management skills.
Although we may work hard everyday at a job, school, or with kids at home, it is important that we have some time to do something we love, something pleasurable. Many people might not have time for hobbies, but it is so important to schedule this time in. If not scheduled, it may be overlooked, or forgotten. When we don’t take time to enjoy our pleasures, we may miss out on the joys of life. This also helps us manage stress, and maintain sanity in the really busy life moments. What do you like to do? How can you schedule that in? If it’s scheduled, but you frequently miss it, how can you honor that for yourself? Consider this, seriously.
Physical activity, which can be as simple as walking, not only decreases stress, but it fills our body with natural medicinal remedies that keep us feeling good. It increases our well-being, maintains a higher metabolism, re-energizes us, and slows the aging process down. If anything, this is the best, most underutilized anti-depressant. We need this, regularly. But remember, it needs to be something we enjoy! Don’t do something you hate. You won’t stick with it. Better yet, find someone to do it with you. Then, you have stories to share, and extra accountability.
We can be drained by a lot of negative. I don’t know that many of us need help complaining or thinking of negative things. We do need extra training to think more realistically in a positive way. Positive thinking can take time to master, but when we dedicate a few minutes to review the good things in the day, or “stop” those interrupting self-evaluations or critiques, it can short-circuit the negative emotions and behaviors that take a lot of time and wasted energy. Sometimes we need other people to help us practice this, reminding us of the good things we say and do. When we get “stuck in our heads”, it is time we recruit some help. Our mental health will thank us for reaching out to others in the long-run, even if it is initially hard to do.
We take “prescriptions” everyday when we eat, drink, take vitamins, and other prescribed medicines properly. How are you taking care of your body? Are you eating well? Drinking lots of water? Taking a multivitamin (or two)? What we fill our body with affects our actions, feelings, and thoughts. It affects how we feel about others, and how we go about our day. Pay attention to this.
We should practice these seven p’s in a way that works best for us. We can only know how well we feel, or don’t feel based on the self-care we give or neglect to give to ourselves. Treat yourself to these seven p’s daily. Record your progress using the likert scale identified in the video. Monitor what happens. Enjoy.
Idea/Concept: Dr. Nicolle Mayo
Videography: Andrew Moore
Video Editing: Andrew Moore
Writing: Dr. Nicolle Mayo
Anchor: Dr. Nicolle Mayo
Produced by Vogt Media
Funded by Pop’s Culture Shoppe, Arcadia Theatre