If you are in the midst of a serious depression that won’t go away, it is important to consult with your doctor or therapist. BUT, if you have a simple garden variety case of the blues, try some of these tips to jump start yourself.
1. MOVE IT
It takes energy to shift out of the blahs, so start small. Try walking a few minutes several times a day. Or rent an exercise tape from the libary. The mind and body are connected, andif you nudge one, the other will follow.
2. PAY ATTENTION TO DETAILS.
If you are worried about the future or regretting the past, you aren’t present, here and now. Start with noticing the world around you. What color is the sky today? What did the sunrise look like?
3. BE CREATIVE.
Creativity comes in a lot of packages. Maybe you are a would-be artist that just needs to draw. Or maybe you express your creativity in the way you cook or care for others. Give yourself a pat on the back!
4. UP WITH PEOPLE.
Did you know that 10 minutes of social interaction is better that crossword puzzles to keep your mind engaged and alert?
5. CONNECT WITH NATURE.
The breeze on your cheek, the smell of fresh flowers, the reflected color of the water in the creek, all can do wonders to lift your mood.
6. TRY A GRATITUDE JOURNAL OR A ‘GOOD STUFF’ BOX.
Each day list one thing that surprised you, one thing that you found beautiful, three things that you are grateful for. Start collecting cards and jokes and letters and pictures in a box to lift your spirits. When that rainy day comes, open it up and read.
Try tango, or jazzercise, line dancing or solo free-form by yourself. Dance Dance Revolution and Wii are also possibilities. Dance by yourself in the kitchen to the radio. Dance with your partner, your kids or your dog. Moving the feet can bring a smile to the face.
8. PETS ARE GOOD THINGS.
They say that dogs give love and adoration, while cats take away stress. Both things can help dissolve a lingering case of the blues.
9. STRETCH YOUR COMFORT ZONE.
Often a blah mood is self-perpetuating–we think the same thoughts over and over again. Try doing something that stretches what you have always done. If you are a WalMart sort of person, try hanging out in the art galleries for an afternoon, or vice versa. Eat something different–escargot anyone?
10. HUG SOMEBODY.
We all need physical touch. Hug your partner, your spouse, your kid, your pet, yourself.
11. HIT THE OFF BUTTON.
Or at least the mute button. On a typical day the average person can watch over 200 commercials. Consider what else could be done with that time: Deep breathing. Stretching stiff muscles. Smiling at someoe near you.
12. JUST DO IT.
Instead of watching a cooking show, plan a new menu and cook it. Instead of reading a book about gardening, plant a rosebush. Or?
13. LISTEN TO THE QUIET.
Just for a few moments a day, make a mindful effort to stop and listen. What is happening around you? What is happening in you?
14. BE A GOOD PARENT TO YOURSELF.
Sometimes it is easier to take care of others than to pay attention to our own wants and needs. Put yourself first every now and then. Take a nap or a long soak in a hot tub. Schedule an afternoon to just wander and wonder.
Sometimes it is that simple.