When was the last time you did something that you felt truly passionate about? I asked my therapy clients this question last week and most answers I got were along the lines of, “Before I was depressed.” When struggling with depression, a very common side effect (and symptom of depression) is lack of interest in things that used to make you happy. Often in therapy, a therapist will encourage you to make time for your hobbies/interests, but when you’re feeling so low, it’s difficult to even identify what your hobbies and interests are anymore.
One of my clients told me that she felt she didn’t have anything that she was passionate about anymore. She often reported feeling numb, hollow, and sluggish, so it wasn’t much of a surprise that she stated this. However, with the help of other therapy group members, she was able to identify things that she thoroughly enjoyed before she was depressed. She identified interest in fashion/making clothes, knitting, sketching, and making music. When we helped her identify these interests, her entire aura just lit up. She became very excited for the near future because she wanted to go home and work on sketching some clothing ideas. It wasn’t just an interest for her, but an actual passion of hers. She still had these passions, but they were buried deep down underneath all of the doubt, uncertainty, fear, and shame.
When was the last time you did something that you felt truly passionate about? Oftentimes, we rearrange priorities due to our responsibilities and push aside our passions for the sake of making it day to day. If you feel uncertain of what your passions are, give yourself time to reflect on when you felt happy, proud, and at peace. What were you doing to give yourself that feeling? I honestly had to think for a bit for my own answer to this question. My passion is making therapy a positive experience for all of my kiddos, which involves me spending extra time redecorating my group room, finding calming Spotify playlists to have in the background during therapy, and buying fidget toys and other supplies as needed for them to feel safe and comfortable. ✨🌻 I didn’t even realize how passionate I felt about this until I reflected on how excited I got when my Amazon orders started to arrive and I got to work early just to set up different things in our group room. I was able to reflect that I feel passionate about making others happy, especially when they’re needing it the most. But sometimes, we have to take a step back to see the whole picture and identify these passions. Make sure you’re giving yourself time to do the things that make you feel good about life. I know it’s a cliche therapy thing to say, “Use healthy coping skills”, so I won’t use that exact wording, BUT identify your passions and then find ways to fit those little bursts of happiness and joy in your life, because in the long run, they may save you.