The PGA Tour is back up and ruing, and this weekend they’ll have limited fans in attendance. It’s really going to be great to hear someone yell “Fore” and for you non-golfers, it’s what you yell when your golf ball is heading towards people, like “fans” kind of people. I think, ahhhh, what a great sound! However, there are not going to be nearly as many people around, and the possibility of hitting a “fan” will be much lower due to the flux we’re in. The truth is, our country and the world have been suffering greatly through COVID-19, then the addition of the video exposure of an unconscionable death in Minnesota… WOW!

Life is hard to fathom, and positive times can turn on a dime. As a country and nation, we’re going to come back from this, but we will have paid dearly and learned a lot before then. My earnest prayer is that we come out of this understanding each other better and uniting stronger than we ever did before. But just in case you haven’t noticed, you’re most likely struggling through a mild case of depression. Undiagnosed, and not clinically treated, but nonetheless, it’s still a form of depression. If you can recognize the signs and symptoms and you head it off at the pass, you’ll never know you had it.

So how can I be so sure you’re depressed? Well, I’m an expert! I was two classes away from a psychology minor in college…like I say, an expert! Okay well in terms of psychology, I know more than most! Understand, for those of you who suffer from some form of depression that is serious and clinically diagnosed, I am not making light of the dreaded condition. Obviously, you should seek professional help if you’re feeling crippled by depression. I’ve watched people struggle with it and it’s gut-wrenching and painful to witness. But for those of you who are self-diagnosed, here are actions you can “Follow Through” to help turn things around.

1. Exercise! Your body releases “feel-good” chemicals into your system like serotonin and endorphins. In addition, it also triggers the growth of new brain cells and connections. But don’t worry, you don’t have to train to climb Mt. Everest to get the benefit. Start with 30 minutes of walking and try to work up to 45 minutes to an hour of aerobic activity 4 days per week. I had a good friend who was suffering from depression, and he started taking medication and exercising at the same time. In about a week he had to cut his medication way back because he had turned himself into a machine that could go all day with minimal sleep a night!

2. Get Social! Social networks and being active with friends and family have a strong impact on our psyche. Make sure not to gravitate to people who bring you down and stick to those who are supportive and uplifting.

3. Maintain a proper/healthy diet! It should come as no surprise, good nutrition positively affects our physical health, while also supporting good mental health. If you’re not getting everything you need from your regular diet, consider taking daily supplements/vitamins to fill in the gaps of lacking nutrition. It requires much discipline and planning to eat well enough where supplements are unnecessary, so my advice may help.

4. Get some sun! Easily done in Arizona! In fact, it’s much easier to get too much sun than not enough, but the sun is another source that builds serotonin. Sound familiar? Exercise releases this chemical too. Have you heard of SAD? Again, not as much in Arizona but it stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder and is more prevalent in states that have long cloudy seasons and a lack of sunshine. I should know, I used this as part of my proposal to get my sister to move to Arizona!

5. Shuteye! Stop binge-watching the Tiger King and get to bed! Our bodies function best when we’ve gotten enough sleep, and 7 to 9 hours per night is the general “enough” range our bodies need. Also, as Ben Franklin suggests “Early to bed and early to rise makes a (person) healthy, wealthy, and wise.” Lastly, one of my coaching clients clued me into the science of the sleep you get before midnight being 2 to 3 times more value for your body and brain renewal/development. So, for tonight, get to bed…then, tomorrow get up early and start your day with meditation and exercise, and you’ll be miles ahead of yesterday.

Try some or all of these. I hope they can help you the way that they’ve helped me over the years. In the meantime, keep your focus downrange, and the ball in the fairways, so you don’t need to yell Fore!

“In Golf, as in Life, it is the “Follow Through” that Makes the Difference!” ~ Anonymous