We can even deny it to ourselves all we want but we all go through depression from time to time. Life changes like aging, divorce, an empty nest or moving can bring on a bout of the blues. And while chronic acute depression is a serious mental health disorder, occasional doldrums do happen to everyone.
Of course, snapping out of it isn’t necessarily as quick or as easy as you’d like. But, you can either choose to hang streamers and balloons and have a good old fashioned pity party, or you can take proactive steps to make yourself feel better sooner rather than later.
I’ve had a few. Looking back on a failed love affair or a good job gone bad can dredge up regrets. But instead of asking yourself “What was I thinking?” ask yourself, “What was I learning?” Every life experience, good or especially bad, has the power to teach us something positive and uplifting. Take the time to figure out what you learned.
Get out of yourself.
One of the easiest things to do when you’re blue is to dwell on your sadness, and maybe even wallow in it a bit. But when you take that energy and focus it outward by gatherings with friends, trying volunteer opportunities or taking a class you take yourself away from your sadness, and quite suddenly, your attitude begins to improve.
Are you kidding? Nope. Not kidding. Exercise is PROVEN to increase endorphins, those little feel-good hormones secreted within the brain and nervous system that act like a totally natural pick-me-up for your body. So get up and get out! Take a dance class, go walking, go running, skating, swimming, biking, heck, even pole dancing and you’ll see just how much your mood improves.
Talk to someone.
We all know it helps to vent. Countless hours spent on the phone with your best friend in junior high did actually serve a purpose. Find someone you can talk to and trust like a girlfriend, boyfriend, family member or a counselor. Call anyone who’ll listen and talk things through. You’ll feel better when you do.