Combating the Blues
by Ann Kelley, Director of Communications at Just Moved Ministry, firstname.lastname@example.org
A major life transition can sometimes send us into an emotional tailspin. Without the anchors that familiarity brings, our lack of control and a sense of not belonging can produce feelings of depression. Winter can add to this feeling of sadness when there’s less sunshine to cheer and encourage us to be active.
If you’ve felt depressed for three weeks or more, be sure to consult a doctor to determine if there are hormonal or biological reasons. If these have been ruled out, you may be able to find relief through making some lifestyle changes. Depression usually saps us of our energy and desire to do what would help relieve the depression. The challenge will be to make choices to counteract the depression even when you don’t feel like it.
- Share what you’re going through. Ask trusted family members or friends for the help and support you need. It’s tempting to withdraw from your closest relationships, but they can get you through this tough time. If you’re new in a community, join a small group or Bible study at church, talk to a professional counselor, or contact a trusted friend from your past.
- Say yes to social activities even if you don’t feel like it. As much as you are tempted to retreat from the world, being around other people will make you feel less depressed.
- Get up and get moving. Studies show that regular exercise can be as effective as antidepressant medication to increase energy and decrease fatigue. A 30-minute walk each day will give you the boost you need.
- Try to get 8 hours of sleep. Sleeping too little or too much will affect your mood. Developing healthy sleep habits will have a positive impact on your mood.
- Expose yourself to a little sunlight every day. Lack of sunlight can make depression worse, so make sure you’re getting enough. Find ways to get outside: take a short walk, enjoy your coffee or a meal outside, people-watch on a park bench, or sit out in the garden. If you live in a cloudy climate you may benefit from a light therapy product.
- Practice relaxation techniques. A daily relaxation practice can help relieve symptoms of depression, reduce stress, and boost feelings of joy and well-being. Meditate on scripture and spend time in prayer. You could also try yoga poses or deep breathing techniques.
Send me your tips! Email Ann Kelley at akelley@JustMoved.org
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