Thursday, May 30, 2013

10 Tips to Shake the Blues

We all have days now and then when we feel like nothing is going our way. It is as if one thing after another is coming at us and there is no escape. Fortunately, this is a normal part of life and just as our problems come, they usually get resolved and we resume our normal lives. Here are a few tips to help you avoid letting the blues dominate your life and to help shake them off when they get the best of you.

1. Documentation - Keeping a journal can be very helpful for identifying patterns by reviewing your feelings, sleeping patterns, and health concerns. Maybe you end up feeling down every time you go to a certain place, or see a certain person, or maybe when the moon is full. Having a record can help you determine what changes might make a difference in your life.

2. Companionship - Who consistently helps to lift your spirits and work out your problems? Think about which relationships keep you moving in the right direction. It may be only one or two individuals, but it is important to maintain relationships with good companions who help you stay on track.

3. Exercise - When you exercise, your body releases hormones that not only make you feel good mentally, but actually improve your health and extend your life. You don't have to become a fitness enthusiast; just a half an hour a day of simple exercises in your living room can greatly improve your mood and energy level. Why not give it a try?

4. Listen up! - Who do you find insightful and energizing? Why not spend some of your time listening to motivational or inspirational recordings? Be careful with your time. Try to fit in lecture or book on tape that will help you learn more about a way of life that will give you new hope.

5. Nature - Something about fresh air, sunshine and nature soothes us. Taking time to look at the details of flowers in the park or leaves on a tree in your neighborhood is a great way to distract yourself from the troubles of the day and it acts as a reminder that we are a small part of a larger system.

6. Take turns - When you are feeling overwhelmed, why not go out and sit somewhere with your close friend? Just having the opportunity to talk about your issues with another person can be all you need to resolve an issue you once felt was too big to tackle.

7. Help others - This tip is 100% guaranteed! When you do something to help someone else, it will make you feel fantastic. There are so many possibilities: from helping your neighbor paint the house to cleaning up an elderly couple's yard, or helping an illiterate person learn to read, just spending a few hours of your time here and there can make a all the difference to you and to them.

8. Redirect - What types of situations bring you down? Too much noise, more work than you can manage, or even more challenging: dealing with a difficult relationship in your life. One way to better manage these situations is to consistent direct or redirect conversations to safe topics (such as the weather, your pets, or cooking). By sticking to safe topics, we can avoid minimize difficult situations.

9. Fun - Do you have a hobby that you really enjoy? Identify a few activities that lift your spirits and make time for them regularly. When we maintain a balance between our life's responsibilities and pleasures, we can begin to see our cup as half full more often than not.

10. Good food - You can barely get through the day without seeing some type of message that tells you to maintain a healthy diet. If you have not yet jumped on this bandwagon, consider working your favorite fresh fruits and vegetables into your current mix. Whether it is a veggie dip or a Caesar Salad, increasing the amount of foods that come straight from the garden is a sure way to increase your energy and improve your overall health.

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