Mild depression can be expected during the long, dark winter months, and these 4 easy steps might just be what you need to shake the off the winter blues and lift your spirit. It's normal to have highs and lows; because we are human, everybody gets them. Nobody is immune, even rich people get the blues sometimes. The good news is that it can be beaten. Try applying a few of these easy steps to help eliminate the symptoms of your depression before it gets worse and you need outside help. Not acknowledging the early signs of depression will take its toll on you, your family and your life in general.
Just Go With The Flow And Enjoy The Ride:
- Step 1. Although at the time things might seem bleak and never-ending, try sitting back and enjoying the ride, accept that it won't last forever. This doesn't mean that being depressed is a good thing or that it should be something to enjoy, but accepting that it is just a natural part of life. Life is full of "ups" and "downs" and at times will feel like a roller coaster ride. Every once in a while you will have a dip, but it won't be too long before you are on the up again. Take it for what it is, just a little bump in the road, a low spot, but most importantly don't exaggerate it and make it bigger than it really is.
Get Active And Start Moving:
Sometimes what can make a depressed situation seem worse is sitting around and dwelling on it. The more focus you put on it, the worse the situation becomes. It's as if it grows, getting bigger and bigger until it's too heavy to carry, that's when depression starts to creep in. A great way to stop the depressive cycle is to shift your focus and energy, do something active that will preoccupy you. Try doing something that takes you out of your current environment and away from your situation.
- Step 2. Get back to nature and go for a run or simply a leisurely walk, maybe take your camera and absorb yourself in the beauty that surrounds you. Exercise is a great way to shift your focus and at the same time can eliminate stress; anxiety and depression. So why not join your local gym or participate in a team sport. Not only will you start to feel better as your body starts to produce "happy" chemicals, you will also start to develop new relationships and perspectives. Go see a friend, have lunch or arrange a trip to the cinema. If you fancy some quiet time how about going to the library and finding a book, choose something that has nothing whatsoever to do with what is going on in your life right now. Try leaving your troubles behind, even if it is only for a few hours.
Let It All Out, It's OK To Cry!
- Step 3. The great thing about crying is it can be done anytime, anyplace and anywhere, you don't even need permission to do it! Do what you have to do to let go of all that negative emotion, it can be very therapeutic and cleansing. Once you have released all that frustration and anger you will be able to see things with from a different point of view, it will allow you to come to grips with whatever it was that depressed you in the first place. It doesn't matter how old or tough you are, crying should NEVER be seen as a weakness, but a strength.
Fix Your Attention Onto Something Else:
- Step 4. This is another great way to distract you and can be done with very little effort on your part. Pick something in your surroundings and describe it in detail, maybe it's the pattern in the carpet, a picture on the wall, or even a view from the window. Then shift your focus onto another object or area and describe that. Find at least 3 things that you never noticed about the carpet, the picture or the view. How many tiles are there on the wall, follow the grain in the wooden flooring and look for patterns. Get creative with crayons, colouring pencils or paints and create your own patterns. This will help to calm your mind and relax body.
These methods are simple and can easily be applied, try them when you first start feeling low or a bit depressed. If these feelings persist for more than two weeks, then you may need to seek professional help. Before it gets to that point, though, try these 4 easy steps and kick those winter blues right out of the door!