Tag Archives: friendship

Laughter Yoga Session

Doing Defies Depression hosted a free laughter yoga session in Mount Waverley, Victoria, on 31 January 2015.

Our instructor, Natalie, volunteered her time, which was greatly appreciated. Another friend, Lucy, helped me out with logistics on the day. (You can see us in the picture: from left to right – me, Catie; Natalie; Lucy.)

The event was really well attended, both in numbers and in the range of people represented. We had everyone from teenagers to an elderly woman participating using her walking frame! People from all sorts of ethnic backgrounds were represented, too.

Another thing I loved was the way people hung around afterwards to talk to us, and to each other. The beautiful Anzac biscuits Lucy cooked for us might have had something to do with that ūüôā

These one-off events are a way for Doing Defies Depression to reach a broader audience, and are “newsworthy” – this workshop made the front page of the local paper. We have further events planned: a talk on “Food, Mood and Depression” on 15 April (tickets available here if you’re in the Melbourne region), and events in Perth, Adelaide and Forster (NSW) later this year. These events help publicize our bread-and-butter work, which are short courses on living well with depression.

Have you tried laughter yoga, or a laughter club? What did you think?


Filed under Personal, Up

Belly Laughs and Bitching

Boy, has this week been an emotional roller-coaster! I was happy to notice that I had been able to distinguish my “stuff” from someone else’s “stuff”; then I was lured into a low mood by that bullying, before realizing that this up/down state of affairs showed that I was in transition from a former, less adaptive way of dealing with stressors to a newer, more healthy one.

This week I’ve been fortunate¬†to hold a range of conversations. My therapist helped me to put these events in their proper context; my confidants comforted me by pouring scorn on the source of the hurt, and my sister not only provided further context but also made me laugh and laugh and laugh, until my sides hurt.

While I am, as always, grateful to my therapist for his wise counsel, I must admit the other two types of conversation provided a more instant gratification! Belly laughs and bitching, the latest DB prescription for when life places a bastard in your path.

May your path be clear of bastards; but if one should appear, may their influence disappear in a cloud of muscle spasms and four letter words.



Filed under Living Well With Depression

Young Men, Study, and the Vagaries of Work

Another busy week has drawn to a close and Saturday morning is here. How I love Saturday morning! A bit of extra sleep, unstructured time, and Рon a really great Saturday morning Рa long chat with my friend S, who lives interstate. 

Topics on the table this morning included the foibles of young men, whether I should take a trimester off study, and the vagaries of working life. 

Young men: ah, they have a special type of energy! Which can be a good thing, or … (and I’ll leave that sentence hanging). S has some interesting young men in her life. I am eternally grateful that my two stepsons are just delightful.¬†

The question of study is a difficult one for me, right now. I love studying, and I generally enjoy it, but I am starting a new business venture. Given that my Lebensbedingungen*¬†constrains the amount of energy I can output each day, I have to decide whether I can allocate sufficient time and energy to my studies to do¬†them justice¬†at this time. Ironically, the subject I would be letting go is “Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship”, which given that I am engaged in being¬†innovative, creative and entrepreneurial, makes the decision even harder!¬†

Which brings us to the vagaries of working life. You know, work would be just fine if you didn’t have to work with idiots or for despots. I’m trying to set up my life so I work for myself again. Whether that means I’ll be working for an idiot or despot, I can’t objectively comment upon; however, I do feel fortunate to have this opportunity, and hope it comes off. I know and love a few teachers who are dedicated to their profession and boy, do they put up with a lot! Teachers cop it from all angles: from above, below, and – if they’re particularly unfortunate – from their colleagues, too.¬†

Well, that’s my Saturday morning to date. The sun is shining; I might take some reading out and gather some Vitamin D.

I hope your weekend starts as well as mine has! 


* German for “living conditions”. Don’t you just love German vocabulary? They have a wonderful word for everything! My living conditions include ongoing major depressive disorder, which limits the amount of energy I have available each day, and my general “oomph”. It’s frustrating, but I’m learning to work around it.¬†


Filed under Uncategorized

Gratitude List

Wow, what a week it’s been! As I type this on Friday morning Australian time, I’m looking back on a week of physical health and ill-health, hope and disappointment, boredom, procrastination and discipline, loneliness and the unexpected joy of new connections as well as the ongoing support of friends and loved ones … phew. And there’s still today to go!¬†

Clearly, now is a good time to write a gratitude list. In this moment, I am grateful:

  • to the business mentor I met with yesterday, who was able to offer me ideas beyond my imagining
  • for Strepfen throat lozenges, which really do help with inflamed and painful sore throats (not a paid advertisement, I assure you!)
  • to the staff at my credit union, who although they scared me with the amount of information about me and my bank transactions they were able to pull up in moments, were able to provide sound financial advice and help over the phone
  • for the fact that today is a less busy “rest-ish” day (it’s not quite a rest day, but almost!)
  • and, of course and always, for food in the pantry, tea in the pot and drinkable water from the taps.

Using the word advisedly, I am indeed lucky to have been born an Australian, and to be surrounded by wonderful people.

I’m grateful!

thanks heart


Filed under Up

A Decluttering Success Story!

I have a wonderful friend, K, who has been encouraging me to declutter my life. She is very skilled in this area and everything she says makes perfect sense. But …

… my mind is fully occupied with other things, like surviving; it’s a BIG job; it’s changing long-held patterns; it’s – well, it’s a bunch of excuses is what it is.

Yesterday, though, I did successfully declutter something: my “Blogs I Follow” list! Now I have pared it down to the blogs I’ve discovered I really want to read. I can stop typing the names of my favourite ¬†blogs into the browser window from memory and use the WordPress reader as it should be used – to keep up with my desired reading, instead of it being jam-packed with other reading as well.

I made a quite severe cut – 90% of the blogs went – and was still concerned that I may need to prune harder, but I left the laptop off overnight and woke up to a very manageable reading list this morning.

How do I feel about this? Absolutely-bloody-fantastic. OK, it just took half an hour of hitting little “x”s, but it has made my life more streamlined, more efficient, and it’s a task I conceived of, carried out and completed, all in one session. That feels great, too!

I may not quite be up to clearing out the spare room (again) but when the time comes, I know I am capable of mustering the right mental mindset to get the job done.

Are you a natural declutterer, or like me, does stuff accumulate? If you’re like me, how do you cope with this in your daily life? I’d love to hear from you!

Jul to Dec 2010 002

This is how I feel: my Reader has been transformed from its wild, natural, organic self into a more useful form!



Filed under Out