Life was so much simpler in a time before the burdens of modern medicine and indoor plumbing.  When I’m feeling low, I always harken back to the yester-centuries and try to ground myself in the days of old. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and see how our ancestors got it right when it came to dealing with their mental health.

  1. Take a Yearly Bath — The cleansing of the skin is akin to the cleansing of the mind, my friends. An annual dip in the river (which is conveniently also the village’s water supply) will make you feel born again. The key is to first build up your grime for an entire calendar year. You’ll smell like a horse’s ass—then, after your soak, you’ll emerge so clean that you’ll feel as though all the weight on your shoulders has been lifted. It’s even more soothing because no one knows what dysentery is yet!
  1. Go on the Peasant Diet — With this simple trick, I can assure you that you’ll never give a second thought to how depressed you are. In fact, you won’t even be able to hear yourself think over the sound of your stomach simply begging for another leaf of boiled cabbage. The only thing on your mind will be securing some moldy bread, and your only worry is who you might have to kill to get it. Soon you won’t be thinking about your other problems at all! Not when there’s gruel on the line. Not to mention how much of a skinny legend you’ll be!
  1. Be a Woman — How are you going to be depressed or anxious when you’re not even allowed to have thoughts? Who’s to say you’re even capable of such manly activities? Enough said.
  1. Burn Witches — That could be you up there on that stake, but it’s not! Really puts things into perspective doesn’t it? Practice gratitude my friends, otherwise, people may start to talk…
  1. Keep in Mind That it’s Only Temporary — Know that whatever you may be feeling, you won’t be feeling for long. Whether it be another round of the plague, a swift kick to the head by a horse, or your monarch going through a mortal-combat-for-amusement phase, remember that death is just around the corner. Hopefully you paid for some indulgences, otherwise, the suffering might only get worse from here.

—S. Olurin

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