Making vegetarian green bean soup, cook, young woman in a brown shirt, pot, kitchen, Breitenbush Hot Springs, Breitenbush, Oregon, USA

For the last few months, I have been in and out of a funk. Last week, oh so refreshingly, I was all bark and all bite. A big shout out goes to my employees who don’t deserve to be on the receiving end of my mercurial moods but curiously continue to show up day after day!

I was angry, frustrated and really, really annoyed. Scratch that. I was furious, frustrated and really, really annoyed.

Eventually, as the days wore on, that familiar feeling of being thoroughly overwhelmed washed over me. If you were within 50 miles, you would have heard the “whoosh”ing noise my mood made as it plummeted.  I stood by  helplessly as I went from really angry to really depressed.

Depression gets around. It holds hands with “What’s the point?” and it’s in bed with “It’s hopeless.”

Sometimes, I throw pennies on the ground in hopes that it may make someone’s dreams come true. Silly? Probably. Sometimes, I say hello to a stranger and engage in conversation. Out of my comfort zone I wearily climb, in hopes, that it might make someone’s day – and my own.

Sometimes, I do “nice” things for others….I help someone with a heavy door or suitcase. Once, I wrote “Have A Nice Day” on 1o slips of paper and put them under the windshield wipers of 10 cars in my neighborhood.  While I’m sure there were at least a fe  skeptical and suspicious commuters in the bunch, I held out hope that nice days were in abundance.

I know, I know. This is elevating me to near St. Theresa proportions, but during my selflessness-fest,  I most certainly got something for myself.

I happened upon an undeniable truth. When you are helping others, it’s virtually impossible to acknowledge depression.  When conversing with a stranger, you cannot give depression the power it so desperately wants to steal and if only for a few minutes, it’s forced to a back seat or back burner.

There is no feeling like the feeling of giving to another and with that, there is no room for anything else.

I know that trying to give away anything when you feel depleted is no easy task. It can take every last ounce of your  effort. Sometimes, it might take all the energy you have but it pays back ten fold  for in doing something for another person, you are also giving a gift to yourself. The gift of reprieve.
Creative Commons License photo credit: Wonderlane




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    Last reviewed: 7 Nov 2011

APA Reference
Hull, L. (2011). Give A Little, Get A Lot!. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 31, 2015, from



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