4 Simple Tips for Battling the Blues

Whether or not you’re clinically diagnosed with depression, chances are that you still have days when your mood is subpar, when you’re simply feeling down in the dumps.  Maybe you know why, maybe you don’t.  We all have those days, and for most, especially in the winter. Seasonal depression is prominent for many reasons, including that your body is probably not receiving an adequate amount of solar vitamin D, perhaps the cold keeping you cooped up inside your house is causing you to feel useless.  Whatever the reason may be, the following are some simple and easily implemented tips that anybody can use to boost their mood and fight the blues.  They won’t cure your depression or suddenly turn you into a happy go-lucky ball of positivity, but to use these tools is to take the first steps towards contentment.  I challenge you to try at least one for yourself!

1. Shower regularly

I know this one may seem a bit silly and you’re probably thinking, “This lady is crazy. How is showering going to help me feel happier?”  First of all, you would be surprised to hear how many people with depression don’t shower regularly.  It can feel like a chore, a daunting task that they aren’t strong enough to complete.  But there’s something revitalizing about cleaning yourself.  The warm water gets your blood flowing and the feeling of cleanliness boosts your morale.  If you don’t believe me, try it.  The next time you’re too “tired” or simply not feeling the motivation to shower, force yourself to.  See if you feel any better afterwards.  I can almost promise you that you will. 

2. Drink lots of water

Staying hydrated is vitally important to your physical health as well as to your mental health.  Water helps everything in your body run smoothly and perform effectively.  Keeping your body functioning properly will in turn leave you feeling healthier and more motivated to carry out your day.  Further, fatigue is the most common symptom of dehydration.  When you’re feeling tired and sluggish, the last thing you’ll want to do is be productive and make an effort to do positive things for yourself.  By consuming a substantial amount of water, you’ll benefit your overall physical health as well as boost your levels of energy and motivation to care for your mental health.  It’s a win-win. 

3. Do what you love

Figure out what your hobby is and make the time every day to work on it, even if it’s only for ten or fifteen minutes.  Spending time doing what you love and feel passionate about will make you feel accomplished.  Whether your passion is playing an instrument, writing, cooking, gardening, or painting,  by making an effort to practice your hobby, you’ll not only get better at it, but you’ll also feel better about yourself. 

4. Don’t be afraid to say no

For a lot of people, doing things solely because they feel obligated to and not because they want to can cause a lot of anxiety and unhappiness.  Don’t be afraid to say no when your friends ask you to go out for drinks or when your boss asks you to work on your day off.  Just be clear about your intentions.  Don’t make up an excuse or lie about your plans to get out of it.  Be honest and tell your friends that you’re tired and would rather have a night in with Netflix and your dog, or tell your boss that you’ve been working really hard and were looking forward to that day to recooperate.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with saying no, and the sooner you’re able to accept that and say no with confidence, the sooner you’ll be on your way to a life of contentment. 

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