The Comfort in the Familiar

Photo by Nong Vang on Unsplash

When dealing with depression, one of the techniques I fall back on is to keep my mind engaged. I go out of my way to not allow myself to slide into the habit of letting my mind wander, because during depression times my mind tends to veer toward dark thoughts.

Often, though, I find myself fatigued during these periods as well, so trying new things, reading new books, watching new tv shows, sometimes feels overwhelming.

This is where I find comfort in familiarity. I will often re-read a series I loved (and have consequently read many times). There’s a certain satisfaction in not being surprised by what happens. There’s also a relaxing aspect to reading scenes you’ve enjoyed or maybe have slightly forgotten.

I also will watch TV shows that I’ve watched many times, and sometimes I specifically choose ones that, yes, still interest me, but I’m not perhaps as emotionally invested in them as I am in others. For instance, I like Teen Wolf, but for some reason I can’t take some of the events in the series all that seriously (though it is sad when some of the characters die). It’s the same with The Vampire Diaries, although I can never seem to get past the sixth season now without stopping, and then starting over the next time I have a hankering to watch it.

My point is, that I keep my mind engaged at some level, reading familiar books, watching familiar TV shows (sometimes playing different games on my phone, like Harvest Solitaire or Mergical) and I actively do not allow myself to drift into negative thinking.

If you’re not sure if you have familiar entertainment to occupy your mind, think back to a show that you could mentally engage with and still enjoy, even if you’re not emotionally invested. Think back to that novel or book series that you couldn’t help but binge read, and think about reading it again.

I went into more detail about some of my favorite books and some of my favorites songs. Check them out for some recommendations!

What are some of your familiar entertainments? What do you watch/read when you’re tired/depressed/sad, etc.?

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