Feeling blue happens to us all. It can be due to seasonal affective disorder, a recent disappointment, or just coming down from an emotional high. I’ve been there.
The negative emotions from the blues can be intoxicating. This can make it hard to feel better. But I want to remind you—you can feel better. I know 7 ways you can do that.
Feeling better starts with—wanting to. Although deciding you want to feel better isn’t enough, it’s where it starts. Your choice is your superpower.
Because you’ve decided you want to be happier I’ll show you the 7 ways I know to help you stop feeling blue.
You may need to do just one of them, a few of them, or all of them. But whatever you do – do something you want to do because you can’t should yourself out of the blues. That will only make them worse.
Read through the 7 ways and find something that sounds good to you, something you’d enjoy.
You can’t be feeling blue when you’re busy having fun.
1. CHANGE YOUR SURROUNDINGS
Whether you suffer from seasonal affective disorder or not, winter has less sunlight than summer and our bodies do notice. Brighten up your surroundings.
- Freshen up the décor in your home with new paint, new wall hangings, or simply rearrange your furniture.
- Get some fresh cut flowers or a plant to add life and happy colors.
Turn on more lights or get a lightbox for light therapy. Studies show that even 30 minutes a day can simulate an antidepressant.
When the sun does come out, open the blinds and let it in, then sit by a window and look out and smile. Change your surroundings, stop feeling blue.
2. GO SOMEWHERE
Many people like to take vacations in the winter. Not everyone can. If you can, go for it.
- If you can’t go somewhere far, or somewhere warm—go somewhere.
- Be a tourist in your own area. Visit something that’s new to you that an out of towner would want to experience.
If you don’t know what that might be, type into google “places to visit in _______” (your town or area). You may come up with a ton of options. Then pick one and do it and you will stop feeling blue.
3. CONNECT WITH PEOPLE
Time to ourselves is good but too much alone time isn’t good. Even introverts need people time. We were created for relationship.
Many times we get down or depressed because winter is a more isolated time. Combat this with an intentional social connection.
- Reach out to an old friend or relative you haven’t seen in a while.
- Call someone on the phone to chat. Or better, meet up for lunch, a coffee, or a drink.
- Invite a group of people over for cards, games or a home party.
Spend some time in prayer and connect with God. Feeling blue and lonely is painful. You’re not alone in the world so don’t be.
4. DO SOMETHING NEW
Humans are habitual creatures. Many live scheduled lives. This can cause boredom and make you feel like the walls are closing in.
Break out into something new to stop feeling blue.
- Take up a new hobby like puzzles, drawing, painting, reading, or journaling.
- Enroll in a class that meets in person and not online. You can find these at libraries, local adult education centers, community colleges, and senior centers. The class topics are endless from learning how to cook to TaiChi. (I take TaiChi & really enjoy it)
If you have a skill to share, you can offer to teach a class.
Reach out to others by volunteering, or doing simple random acts of kindness. Doing for others always makes us feel good and we see past our own problems.
5. CREATE EXPECTATION
Maybe you can’t take that vacation this winter but you can plan one for next year. If that’s not possible, or too far away to think about, think about what you can do. Consider next weekend, spring break, or when summer comes again.
- Plan something fun like an activity, party, or a day adventure you’d enjoy.
- Planning this will bring the joy of expectation and anticipation. You’ll have something to look forward to.
If you like Pinterest make a board for your plan. Add to it every day to grow your anticipation until the day arrives.
I made a board of fun things to do with my grandkids in the summer, and have shared a board with family members regarding a holiday. It can be a lot of fun.
6. STIR UP YOUR INNER HAPPY
Those happy hormones called endorphins are lacking when we feel blue so we need to stir them up.
- Feed your sense of smell with aromatherapy, essential oils, or a candle.
- Turn on some upbeat music and dance. That not only fuels the soul with happy but the physical movement stirs up those endorphins.
- Stir them up more with various ways of being physically active like mall walking, swimming at the YMCA, getting your bounce on at a trampoline park, or do some yoga.
Turn them up higher with play and laughter.
7. POWER UP
Sometimes we feel down when things pile up. Overwhelm and stress try to suck the life out of us.7.
Take back some power by conquering a small task.
- Clean out a closet, a drawer or a toy box and get rid of some stuff.
- Start making your bed every morning and begin the day with a completed task.
Empower your body by eating foods that are good for you. It doesn’t have to taste like cardboard to be a healthier choice. Quest brand protein bars are delicious. I carry them in my store.
Getting enough sleep is important. How much we need varies by age. According to the National Sleep Foundation, our need for sleep has increased in 6 of the 9 age categories. This is your permission for a nap.
Drinking enough water is an important thing many people have trouble with. Increasing water intake can be made more enjoyable by flavoring it or getting a water carbonator.
Doing something to feel better when you have the blues is good self-care. Love your self.
Doing something to feel better when you are feeling blue is good self-care. Love your self.
Which of the choices do you find enticing or intriguing? I’d love to know.
Serious depression is not the blues. If you’re suffering depression please seek professional help. Love your self.
If you need to, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 Available 24 hours every day.
Written by: Danielle Bernock
Originally appeared on: Daniellebernock.com
Republished with permission.