On Depression & Ted Lasso: 3 Quick Fixes For Feel-Good Vibes

So I’ve been kind of depressed. For about, hmm, two months? It’s been hard to write, hence the blog hiatus (but also just regular laziness/busy-ness). Hard to podcast. Sometimes even hard to see people.

When I sense these things coming on, there’s always a slight feeling of dread. I know that my mood, like life, has its ups and downs—most of which I can handle. But I always wonder: how far down does this one go? To a dark pit of despair? Or *just* to a “I don’t feel like doing much except eating ice cream and watching tv” kinda place?  

Having recently emerged from this solo Netflix and (literally) chill period, I wanted to write something about mental health. About how, when you’re feeling like shit, no magical thinking is going to instantly make you feel otherwise, so you just gotta sit back and enjoy the—largely uncomfortable—ride. About how when scary thoughts and feelings come, the best approach is to steady yourself and look them straight in the eye. Stare down your demons. About how feelings can be terrible, and in a hot, sticky, panicked moment, you may feel like you’re actually gonna die, but even the most terrible of feelings will eventually pass. This too shall pass. Deep breathing helps.

And perhaps most importantly, the one I really want to remind myself of, is that you can feel like an absolute pile of garbage and still do an ok job. Just before recording our latest podcast interview, I wasn’t sure if I could do it. This is gonna go badly, I’m not up to it today, what’s the point, etc., ran through my head. But even though I wasn’t my most jocular self and didn’t come up with the most interesting follow-up questions, it went surprisingly well. Depression lies! And actually, you can.

I was planning to say more about this mental health strategy stuff, but then I realised that you probably already know most of it. And that it’d be much more fun for both of us if I write about what’s been giving me life amidst this fog instead.

First up is Ted Lasso. This is not only my favourite tv show of the year, but one of my favourite shows EVER. There is nothing else like it. And Ted Lasso is not only a character—an everyday hero, a role model, but also very human, with flaws and heartbreak and failures—but a VIBE. A big fat open-minded, open-hearted, thoughtful, hopeful vibe.

I rushed through it the first time—kind of inhaled it, much like the tub of Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked that I ate alongside (actually I get 2.5 servings from a pint, which seems perfectly respectable, right?)—so I missed a lot of the rapid-fire jokes and references; the writing is smart and nerdy as well as laugh-out-loud funny. So I watched it again (and I’m not usually someone who likes to re-watch things, honestly) and now, I confess, I’m watching it for a THIRD time, just for kicks. I became so obsessed that I listened to Brene Brown’s podcast interview with Jason Sudeikis and Brendan Hunt as well as the score by singer-songwriter Marcus Mumford (also excellent).

Oh god. Stop me now.

Anyway, don’t read too much about it first. Just get amongst it. I defy you not to love it.

Number two: Kamala Harris’s husband, Doug Emhoff.

No matter what your position on US politics is (though I certainly hope you’re on the side that believes in democracy), Doug Emhoff is the cutest Instagram husband ever—his feed is full of photos of Kamala and captions like this one, posted just before the Vice Presidential debate:

“I’ve got you, and you’ve got this. So proud of you. Love, Dougie. ❤️💯”

I’m not crying, you’re crying!

I don’t know what’s more adorable—this successful man putting his career on hold to wholeheartedly support his wife and her campaign, or their backstory: apparently they met on a blind date, both in their late 40s, and it was love at first sight.

Finally, animal therapy with my friend’s cat helps too. Just slightly compromised by my cat fur allergies and the clothes that my friend lends me—also covered in fur—to save my own clothes from the fur (wow, how many times can I say “fur” in one sentence).

Did you know that there are music playlists for stressed cats on YouTube? I don’t really know if they work. But you put it on, start patting your cat, and before you know it, you’re both transported to a state of bliss. (If you’re sipping a wee bit of whiskey on the side too, all the better).

My favourite three-legged feline.

So let’s recap: depression lies, Ted Lasso alone is worth an Apple TV subscription (or at least a trial), check out Doug Emhoff’s social media for partner goals, and get some cat (or dog, or rabbit—though not for me, I’m WILDLY allergic to rabbits) therapy if you can.

And remember, in the wise but now Disney-cringe words of Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh, “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

x Hana

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