How Do You Handle the Blues?

What do you do when you wake up and life has lost its color? When sadness makes the whole day look unappealing?

This morning I wanted to wallow. I debated whether it was better to stay in bed all day with a brain-candy book or to run away and spend the day shopping and eating (Panera, of course). But I knew at the end of the day, either option would lead to self-loathing. 

So to avoid feeling worse at the end of the day, I put on my big-girl panties and got on with it. Here’s what I did to combat the sadness:

  1. Went to yoga and the pool—I only have my yoga class once a week, and I like it, but I just didn’t want to go today. I was pretty sure it would help my mood, though, so I dragged myself there. I felt better—at least for the hour in class and afterwards while in the pool.
  2. Read my Bible—No, it doesn’t automatically lift my mood, but it does remind me that there’s a God who cares. In today’s reading, I saw this verse, Psalm 18:6: “In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help.” Yes, I do, and I can.
  3. Completed one of the oldest things on my to-do list—I took care of something that’s been on the list since about October. It didn’t take me that long, and maybe it’s not done the best way it could have been, but there was great satisfaction in crossing it off the list.
  4. Finished a project that isn’t due for two weeks—I took care of everything I needed for a speaking engagement that’s coming up at the end of the month, and it felt great to have it done in advance.
  5. Read a good book—I still squeezed in some pleasure reading; it’s good for the soul.
  6. Ate healthy food—Berries and fresh salmon, carrots too, were part of today’s feasting. (I also ate a hamburger and fresh-made chips, but they were flavorful!)
  7. Ate chocolate—No comment needed.
  8. Owned up—I shared what was making me sad with someone who cares—my husband Les. Burdens halved, and all that.

I feel a bit better tonight. Being compassionate to myself helped. The situation that caused the sadness hasn’t changed, but I think I will be emotionally better able to handle it tomorrow and the day after that.

What do you do to deal with the blues when they strike?


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