Depression in the Times of “Colic Social Media, games & apps”

(with faculty & leader-students at Santa Barbara CC, fall, 2018)

No question that Xicano/as/x, Latinx/Latinos/as

with consciousness, conscientación are suffering

from anxiety, depression and PTSD.

Among our older population, we are re-living

pre-Civil Rights times.

Younger generation have in front of them the

ongoing onslaught of having rights as POC,

Latino/a/x, LGBTQ, working class, anyone

marginalized, not white AND privileged–

systematically removed.

Some daily practices may be useful:

  1.  Stay off-line as much as you can. Practice checking in but not living on social media.
  2. Instead of games and Netflix–turn to books, literature–fiction, memoir, poetry. The process of reading allows your mind to slow down and absorb, reflect.
  3. We hear it all the time but AT LEAST fifteen minutes of deliberate exercise daily helps.  Btw, exercise includes doing chores.  Clean your room, your house, backyard, hang up your laundry instead of throwing it in a dryer–you get the idea.  But exercise can become a habit just like it’s a habit to turn on your apps and social media first thing each morning.  Making time for the gym is cool but not necessary. Walks, easy yoga (follow a video), wading in nearest water.  All these recommendations are my practices.  So I practice what I preach.
  4. While we have it–take advantage of Vitamin D provided by the sun.  (Make sure you are not out without sufficient protection.). When I’ve been working hard writing, it is helpful for me to take a brief walk in the sunshine to get recharged.
  5.   In terms of dwelling on the negative, if you keep a journal always start with listing all the positive things going on and expand on them before you rant.
  6. If you have people who you confide in, whether they are disembodied “friends,” message, or your bffs–do likewise.  Try to start by asking first about them. Get out of your own head.  (We all appreciate people asking how we are.)  Then, when talking about your life, focus first on all the positive.  It may seem on certain days like there isn’t anything positive. If you are in good health (or relatively pain-free,) your children are well, your parents alive, or the sun rose that morning you have something positive to start with.
  7. Did you eat today?  Are you watching what is right for you and not consuming edibles that may fill you but are going against your body and mind?  If the answer is negative today you may start being smart, turn self-destructive diet around.  You don’t have to have an organic garden.  
  8. How do you care about the planet or the world around you if you don’t care about yourself?  We are not separate entities.  Still, to start with– there is one entity you are responsible for first and foremost.  What positive thing can you do as a ritual for yourself?  Above suggestions included, add one of your own.
  9. Trust your instincts at all times and in all matters.
  10. Political action may start with keeping yourself alive and well.  Once you feel you are on track don’t burn out by trying to save the world and planet.  Find ONE thing you can invest in to help make change.  What are you passionate about?  The environment?  Women’s issues, LGBTQ rights?  Immigration?  Racism?  Party politics. The list could go on.  Yes, they are all linked and you care about it all.  But you can’t save the world. Once you choose which issue specifically is something you can help change or steer, even if in the smallest way decide and act on it.  One act a day.  Letters to your representatives, canvasing, volunteering time and skills, delivering meals, community gardens, tutoring, helplines, visiting the elderly, the list is endless.   Ranting on social media is not activism.  Along those lines, be cautious about your personal information on social media.  Put your whole body into what you want to work on, not just your thumbs.