As the days get shorter, people often struggle with the winter blues. Are you feeling down in the dumps? Are you having one of those days that just seem like nothing goes right? Are you looking for some quick ideas to turn those blues around?
Here are some things to try:
Change your environment.
Sometimes getting out of the house and into a different environment can make all the difference. Take a walk in the woods, go to the museum or the library, hit the mall… Do whatever you enjoy, but do something. Shake it up a little.
Maybe it’s dusting, or cleaning out the pantry, or writing that letter you have been putting off. Maybe you decide to fill out all your birthday cards for the year. Whatever it is, do something that makes you feel like you’ve made progress.
OK, so maybe you’re not a world class athlete. So what??? Take a walk, ride your bike, head over to the gym for a spinning class. Get your body moving.
Force a smile.
Numerous studies have shown that adopting a happy demeanor will actually begin to lift one’s mood. Try it. If you can’t stomach making yourself smile for 5 minutes, read a funny book or watch a funny movie. Get your smile muscles working.
Make a list of all the things you’re thankful for.
Get detailed. Dig into it. You will soon see that for most of us, there’s a lot more good than bad going on in our lives.
Listen to positive, up-tempo music you enjoy.
Put on your headphones and crank it! While you’re listening, do a little number 2 or 3, above. It is amazing the effect music can have on us.
Talk to a trusted friend or adviser.
I know it’s hard, but sometimes you need to unload a little. “That’s what friends are for,” as the saying goes. Talk to your sister, brother, mother, pastor, anyone who will listen and whose advice you consider wise.
Skip alcohol or whatever else.
These things don’t change circumstances. Often, they make them worse. Don’t put yourself through that. If you want to get high, exercise, do something you love, sing, but don’t try to help yourself by using these kinds of chemicals.
Pick a random stranger and do them a favor. Buy a friend flowers. Be somebody’s hero. You will be amazed at how much making someone else feel good, helps you.
Choose to do something.
The hardest thing about being down is choosing to pull yourself out of it. You have to take action to see action. Get off the computer right now, and implement what you’ve read here.
Finally, if your depression has you thinking of harming yourself or someone else, you should contact a professional. Many local counselors work with a sliding scale and can help you find your way back.