Culture

20 Tricks to Help You Beat the Blues

Image via Shutterstock

Image via Shutterstock

How many of us, at one time or another, have felt a little down? Perhaps you’ve been passed over for a promotion, or worse, been part of your company’s downsizing program. Or perhaps a breakup, a lost election, or simply some of life’s daily difficulties have made you feel a bit melancholy.

There are a number of ways to beat these blues. Most of them are inexpensive, and even healthy
and beneficial to your future lifestyle. Try any one of these — or all of them — as soon as you feel the blues coming on.

20. Head for the gym.

It’s well documented that working out stimulates the hormones responsible for good feelings in your body. If you don’t belong to a gym, then try jogging, or walking rapidly outside, weather permitting. You’ll not only feel better, but you’ll be improving your health and body. A gym is also a good place to be when you’re feeling down because it’s generally a place where you can be social and meet people, sometimes even making new friends.

19. Head for a body of water.

Even if it’ only an indoor pool or a fountain, just sit and look at the water and “veg” out. Water has a soothing effect on people. Moving water is the best, with lapping waves, or flowing in a fountain, but even sitting by a pool is relaxing.

18. If you have a dog or cat,  just sit and stroke your pet.

Stroking pets can lower blood pressure, ease stress, and generally relax people. Special pets are brought into nursing homes for just this effect. If you don’t have your own pet, see if you can borrow a friend’s. If not, try visiting a pet store. If this won’t work, visit the zoo and enjoy the antics of the monkeys and other animals. Those living in Southern California or Washington, D.C., are fortunate, as they can enjoy watching the adorable pandas at the zoos there.

17. Treat yourself to some sweets.

If you love ice cream, buy yourself a pint of the flavor you love the best and pig out on it. Or you can enjoy a hot fudge sundae smothered in hot fudge, topped with whipped cream and a cherry. If pies, cheese cake, cookies, or cakes are your favorites, enjoy those. Mmmmmmm fantastic!

16. Volunteer

You’ll find that not only will you do some good for someone else, but this will get you out of yourself and you’ll appreciate what you do have.

15. Make a list of all the positive things in your life.

This way, whatever you have had happen that got you into your blue funk will seem to be minimized and even inconsequential to your life.

14. Visit a spa.

Find either an overnight place or one of the many day spas located in nearly every city. Get a massage, it will make you feel fantastic. One really delightful feel-good treatment is a foot massage. Sticking your feet into the special foot apparatus and having the moving warm water stimulate your feet is heavenly. Having a foot massage and choosing your favorite nail polish color will override any other great decisions you may have to make, if only for that time period.

13. Have fun by becoming a child again.

Slide down a slide in a park. Go to a theme park where you can ride your favorite rides and check out the fun attractions. Enjoy as many slides in a water park as you want to.

12. See a funny movie.

Check out something from Netflix, or even go to a funny movie at a theater. Even better, go to a theater with a friend.

11. Take a soothing, hot bubble bath.

The more bubbles the better! Place scented candles in the bathroom and lower the lights if you can. Scent your water as well. Turn on soft music for a completely relaxing aura. You can even purchase CDs with the sounds of lapping waves for the occasion. Soak until your body feels rubbery and your mind is totally relaxed.

10. Clean your house or apartment.

Cleaning your living space is not only soothing, but is something that you have control over. It can give you a feeling of accomplishment and you’ll see and enjoy the benefits of your work immediately.

Image via Shutterstock

Image via Shutterstock

9. Purge

Go through your possessions, especially your papers, and get rid of what you don’t need. Pack clothes that you no longer feel suit you, that are too small (or conversely, and wonderfully, too big) and put together a donation bag. You’ll be doing yourself and a charity a good thing.

8. Start a new hobby, or work on an old one.

Try sketching or painting, take up pottery, carpentry, knitting or crocheting, or learn to play a musical instrument. You’ll be working with both your hands and mind in these all consuming endeavors and you will find that you are so concentrated in perfecting these skills that you won’t have time to brood.

7. Try gardening.

Involve yourself in gardening if the weather is right and you have a yard. Even if you don’t have a yard, you can become a pot gardener, planting things like flowers, tomatoes, and herbs in pots if you have a balcony or tiny private area to put them on.

6. Bake bread manually.

There is nothing as delicious to eat (or to smell!) as freshly baked bread, especially if you’ve baked it yourself. If you knead the dough by hand, it’s almost like working with clay, very soothing.

5. Cook (and of course, eat!) your favorite meal.

Treat yourself to expensive ingredients that you might not ordinarily use everyday. Invite a friend or friends to join you.

4. Enjoy a fire.

If you have a fireplace, start a fire and just watch the flames dance for you. You can also do the same with a fire pit outdoors.

3. Look up an old friend that you haven’t seen for awhile.

Connect on social media or meet in person and enjoy some laughs about old times.

2. Go shopping.

Buy something you’ve always wanted, within price reason of course, either at a brick and mortar store or online.

1. Plan for the future.

Last, but not least, make a positive list for the future, looking forward to the good days ahead of you. Soon you’ll have your formula down for conquering the blues and you’ll find that they’ll hit you less and less.