Everyone gets the blues. Everyone has ups and downs. Mostly we call this the blues, the blahs, or the I just don’t want to get out of bed days. There is such a thing as clinical depression and this needs meds and a doctors help, but if you’re going through a hard time for a short time, here are some things you can do to help relieve the blues and get back on track.

Benjamin Franklin said that nothing is certain in this world but death and taxes, however he missed sadness. It happens to everyone sooner or later. So when it happens to you realize that feeling a little bad is not a big deal. Most feelings of sadness are temporary, don’t get depressed over your depression! Often when having a hard day I will give myself permission to wallow for a time. Sometimes I can really only afford an hour or two, sometimes when it’s bad I give myself a day. I give myself permission to feel sad, to cry, to have the munchies, to sleep, to just do whatever it feels like I need to do to wallow. However when time is up, it’s time to get moving, so have a plan or something that needs doing so you’ll be able to focus on it and that will help you pull yourself up off the couch. Wallowing for a short time gives validation to the feelings, allows you to express them, then often, feeling better or at least a little lighter, we can move on.

Having a hard time moving on? – Do something active! Doesn’t matter what it is, walk, ride a bike, visit a friend, play a game of chess, just do something. It’s also great therapy to do something for someone else!

Make a list of fun things to do – keep this list handy for those times when nothing seems fun. Make a list of things that you like to do or have liked to do in the past, then pick one and do it!

Talk it out – Share your feelings with a trusted companion or friend. Have friends who care about you and will listen. If you are the friend who has a depressed friend, here are some hints for you: create a safe environment and listen attentively when they open up to you. Don’t offer easy solutions, allow them to find their own solutions through talking to you. Just because it works for you doesn’t mean it will work for them. Try to get them involved in something physically active, and help them find interest in something. Serious depression can be described as a loss of interest in all things. Be aware of serious depression and help your friend find help.

Have a good cry – Crying is a wonderful release, especially if you know what you’re crying about! It also released endorphins in the body and brain that make us feel better

Sit down and analyze – Often if we can pinpoint the problem and understand it we can begin to figure out what to do about it

Try and try again and then quit – Are you depressed because you cant live up to your ideals? Are they realistic? Is your dream realistic? If you have tried and tried again, talk to a trusted friend and get some perspective, it may be time to give up that goal or dream or at least revamp it

Exercise – It gets rid of tension, it releases good chemicals in the brain, and it can make you tired enough to sleep and that can give you a whole new perspective

Pick up a pencil or a box of crayons – Express your feelings by writing them down or drawing them. It can help you process through about anything if you can get it on paper. If you sit down immediately and write or draw the thing that it upsetting you, you could be surprised at the insight you can gather. Look at colors, red could suggest anger, black sadness, gray anxiety.

Adjust the facts – Sometimes we get upset or depressed over things as we think they are, not as they really are. Find out, don’t assume

Find something boring – Some people have great success in snapping themselves out of it, if they do something horribly boring. Try cleaning bathroom tiles, scrubbing the floor with a toothbrush, you get the idea

Slow Down – Is your depression coming from a too hectic schedule? Unplug, give yourself time to relax, free up some time for fun

Avoid decisions – NO MAJOR DECISIONS WHILE DEPRESSED !!! This is not the time for making decisions, give it some time and you’ll avoid making mistakes

Be respectful – just because you’re having a hard day doesn’t mean you have to make others day miserable. Listen to Grandma…….if you cant say anything nice, don’t say anything at all

Don’t shop – Just like decisions and griping, you don’t need to make yourself more depressed and miserable with high credit card bills from your bad day

When to look for help – If you have 1 or more of the following symptoms for more than 2 weeks…..

Persistent sad, anxious, or empty feelings

feelings of hopelessness and or pessimism

feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and or helplessness

loss of interest or pleasure in ordinary activities, including sex

sleep disturbances, including insomnia, early morning waking, and or over sleeping

eating disturbances, changes in appetite and or weight loss or gain

decreased energy, fatigue, and or a feeling of being slowed down

thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts

restlessness and or irritability

difficulty in concentrating, remembering, and or making decisions