Dear Dr. B,
I’ve got “the blues.” I just seem to be a little bit down all the time. It’s not a major depression, but it’s not fun. Can you tell me how I can deal with it?
Not Depressed but Blue
Whether it’s depression or “just the blues,” you’re right, either way, it’s not fun. The goal is certainly to manage the blues so that they don’t lead to something more severe.
Scripture tells us, “A cheerful heart is good medicine” (Proverbs 17:22).
So, one of my recommendations is for you to make a conscious effort to look for those things that bring you joy.
Often during the blues, or depression, we have less energy as well as less drive or motivation to do things, so we have to consciously decide to do engage in enjoyable activities even when we “don’t feel like it.”
Scripture also tells us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God…And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:6, 8).
I’d also encourage anyone who struggles with the blues, to take God at His word, and practice gratitude and think on what is true, right, pure, lovely and admirable. When we suffer with the blues, or more severe depression, we often don’t feel grateful.
I encourage all to think of 3 things they are grateful for as soon as you wake up in the morning. Then write them down. It has a way of framing your whole day.
You’re likely to find that the more you are grateful, the more you will have to be grateful for.
I could give you dozens of other suggestions for fighting off the blues, but I find that when we struggle with the blues, we can be easily overwhelmed. I don’t want to contribute to you feeling overwhelmed, so I encourage you to try the tips I’ve offered here and check back frequently for additional tips.
In the meantime, I’d love for you to share what have you or your loved ones have tried and found helpful for beating the blues?
(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)
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