How to create an anti-depression kit.

*Not a replacement for medical advice from a physician.

Here is a guide to creating an anti-depression kit.  I’ve referred to mine in the past as my Depression Box.  What you choose to call yours is your choice.  As this is a guide, your own creativity is encouraged.  I began with a cardboard box and decorated it with stickers.  I added some favorite movies and a Wanda Sykes video.  Her comedy is like a digital Prozac infusion.  I watch it sparingly, so it doesn’t lose its power.  I acquired the stickers from thinkgeek.com and various geek subscription boxes.  I’ll add more over time.  I deliberately left the decoration minimal to allow for future activity.

Amazon has an extensive collection of adult coloring books.  I purchased a version with black backgrounds that make the colors pop.  Another is stylized cuss words and candy.  The Balance book has intricate patterns.  My favorite so far was anthropomorphized unicorns being assholes.  I choose things that amuse me because laughing is my favorite weapon against The Depression Monster.

I invite all to create their own Anti-Depression kit using the things you enjoy.  It’s important to remember coping skills are for coping.  They aren’t a cure.  They’re a distraction.  Activities you enjoy are far more tempting when you’re depressed.  I save a few things I love doing just for when I’m depressed.  I know it’s not easy to do anything when you’re suffering an episode of depression.  It took time for me to consistently follow through with my coping skills, and trust that they would get me through a rough patch.  It takes practice and effort, just like so many things in life.

*Note again this is not a substitute for medical advice from a physician.  This is a coping skill that works for me.  In adapting it to your own arsenal against The Depression Monster, be creative.  If you’re unsure what types of activities you like, experiment and see what works for you.  I’ve recently added a few paint-by-number sets, and I only eat chocolate when I’m depressed.  In doing so, I created a depression-proof enticement.  It certainly doesn’t make me look forward to an episode, but it takes a bit of power away from The Depression Monster.

I invite you to share your own Anti-Depression kits and will add your link to a list so we can all see what others have done, and get new ideas.  Respond to this post with a link to photos or a blog post of your kit to be included.  Here is a link to my little sister’s kit.  She’s so creative!  You should follow her blog, she’s brilliant.  Now go make your own.

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