Fight off the blues.
Work it out
The first is to engage in working with your hands. There are those people that when they are upset, they tackle cleaning projects around the house and they work until they are physically spent. Studies have shown that this can be an effective tool as it fosters a sense of accomplishment and also physical labor can provide a neurobiological lift to a person.
Housework, gardening, organizing, projects ranging from the more intricate to sewing your own clothes to the mundane like ironing all have added mental benefits and can help you stave off those melancholy feelings.
Remember, reflect and move on.
When things are not quite right, some of us have a tendency to ruminate; it is this rumination that can lead to sadness and disappointment as we go over the hurts and pains over and over in our minds. We add to the story and add to the negative emotion surrounding it by bringing up past pain or self flagellating constantly about mistakes we have made. We engage in negative self dialogue and initiate self destructive patterns.
When the temptation to indulge in these negative thoughts occurs, deal with it with this three point plan.
1. Remember what happened as accurately and dispassionately as possible, like a third party recounting the events.
2. Reflect on what you could have done differently or how the event made you feel.
3. Move on by accepting the current state of affairs and deciding to choose a more constructive path for yourself going forward.
When one is in the throes of depression, the tendency is not to take care of oneself. One either hardly eats or indulges in foods that are damaging to the body in large amounts. Sleep becomes a difficult proposition as the quiet time sometimes allows the person to ruminate on the problem. When bad things happen or emotional pain takes over, this is when you should make the effort to be loving and caring to yourself, by eating well and healthfully, whether you feel like it or not, food is nourishment and should be treated as such. Exercise lightly, for example take walks, or go swimming, and as much as possible, sleep or at least lie in a relaxed state on your bed and rest.
Creativity is a natural barrier to depression. When you engage in a creative pursuit, the focus is taken off your problem and placed on your project. Even if you have no great talent in this area, doing something creative will force your mind to move from the pain to a more positive place. Art therapy, music therapy are all popular in the western world, but even if you don’t have access to formal programs you can do this on your own. Attempt to draw or paint a picture, better still do it with your child, write a poem or a story, doesn’t matter if you don’t finish, it is the process that is healing. Cook something new, try a new recipe, or bake something, or simply rearrange your furniture or come up with some new clothing combination. All of these are examples of creative pursuits that can be healing to our spirits and bodies.
We all feel depressed from time to time, some of us have actual depressive disorders that require medical assistance but for the rest of us that are trying to fight off the blues, these can be effective tools.