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Walkabout? Vision quest?
May 13, 2012 9:33 AM   Subscribe

What do people outside of the U.S. do when they're feeling depressed and aimless? Are there different cultural traditions, rituals or events to pick yourself up and set a new path for yourself? Something more than "take a walk to clear your head?"
posted by Cool Papa Bell to Grab Bag (14 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
A nice cup of of tea.
posted by holgate at 9:46 AM on May 13, 2012 [13 favorites]


you could visit a psychic/tea leaf reader, or have your coffee grounds read.
posted by saraindc at 9:57 AM on May 13, 2012


Get really drunk, go on a holiday, play sports, or spend a day in bed for minor misery. For major misery they usually make a big life change - leave their family, divorce or marry, join a new religion, move cities etc. I think the idea is that if you're really miserable you should change your circumstances, the more miserable the greater the change, kind of like shuffling and re-dealing and seeing if you get a better hand. In America you would instead try to change yourself with medication and therapy. I really don't know which way is best, changing your life instead of yourself can be very disruptive to your family and you could have to do it many times.
posted by meepmeow at 10:17 AM on May 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would say that the way it's done in Sweden and other Nordic countries is pretty much similar to the way it's done in the US.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 11:07 AM on May 13, 2012


Get in bed with a goat
posted by KateViolet at 11:39 AM on May 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


I would say that the country is not as important as the East vs Western cultures. That said, have you tried meditation and prana visualization techniques? Many people find this very helpful.
posted by MyMind at 12:05 PM on May 13, 2012


I'm not really looking for right-now practical examples (e.g. hot cup of tea). I'm looking for comparative anthropology (e.g. the FakeName tribe recommends fermented cactus juice and bicep curls).
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:16 PM on May 13, 2012


People in northern europe are into saunas and healing hot-spring baths. Taking a "cure" vacation at a fancy private clinic / spa is still done in Germany, sometimes even prescribed by doctors in cases of extreme stress, burn-out and anxiety.
posted by mr.ersatz at 1:54 PM on May 13, 2012


I'm not really looking for right-now practical examples (e.g. hot cup of tea).

But the nice cup of tea is absolutely a cultural tradition in England (and elsewhere) in a way that it really isn't in the US.
posted by redfoxtail at 4:38 PM on May 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


As a Brit, I would say that getting hammered down the pub has to be a fairly popular one. Also, whingeing. Often these two solutions are combined.
posted by Decani at 5:14 PM on May 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Many cultures have traditions of walkabouts or vision quests. I was just listening to a story on NPR about very long walks like the St. James pilgrimage in Spain and a walking tour of 88 monasteries in Japan.
posted by elizeh at 7:16 PM on May 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


(I totally posted that without noticing the title of your question. So there you go.)
posted by elizeh at 7:17 PM on May 13, 2012


How about the traditional Wanderjahr Journeymen, and the more contemporary Gap Year?
posted by Rash at 10:37 PM on May 13, 2012


the FakeName tribe in the UK recommends a cup of tea and a dozen or so of Jaffa Cakes
posted by Mister Bijou at 6:35 AM on May 14, 2012


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