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.
What do you do when you have the blues?
A Neuropsychologist shares these tips and recommendations to help you manage the blues.
1. Look for things that bring you joy
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.”
2. Fix your thoughts on good things
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. Gratitude opens the door to joy.
3. Practice gratitude
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. Ways to practice gratitude when you’re depressed.
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 start with these tips and those in the linked posts.
In the meantime, I’d love for you to share what 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.)
About “Hope Prevails” and the “Hope Prevails Bible Study”
Speaking from personal and professional experience, a neuropsychologist unpacks what depression is, shows how it affects us spiritually, and offers hope for living the abundant life.
In Hope Prevails, Dr. Bengtson writes with deep compassion and empathy, blending her extensive training and faith, to offer readers a hope that is grounded in God’s love and grace. She helps readers understand what depression is, how it affects them spiritually, and what, by God’s grace, it cannot do. The result is a treatment plan that addresses the whole person—not just chemical imbalances in the brain. The Hope Prevails Bible Study takes you deeper for more freedom.
For those who struggle with depression and those that want to help them, Hope Prevails offers real hope for the future.
Hope Prevails and the Hope Prevails Bible Study are available now wherever books are sold. To find out more, see: https://drmichellebengtson.com/hope-prevails-book/.
Couldn’t agree more about the role of gratitude. Practicing the habit of gratitude has had a major affect on my mental state!
So glad to hear this rings true for you, Mitch!
I appreciated the explanations with the suggestions. I’ve found that doing something for someone helps lift my blues. Doesn’t have to be much, just something simple like sending a greeting card or calling an elderly friend who’s housebound. 🙂
Gaddis, I only gave a couple suggestions, but you offer another very useful one. Frequently doing something for someone else lifts our blues as it takes our attention off ourself, off our own misery, and focuses on someone else and their needs. So glad you mentioned that!! Blessings!
I don’t often get the blues but I do worry and what you have written here is the same! God has everything in hand, and giving thanks daily for what you and the burdens God allows you to bear to grow help alleviate the pain of worry, depression, anger and more.
I think you raise a great point Gina! These suggestions can also be helpful in the case of worry! He does have everything in hand – we need only to really trust that! Hope Prevails!
Relaxing with God is huge for me…even better if it’s while walking in the sunshine! 🙂
I’m right there with you Carol! Relaxing with God is huge for me too, and I love it all the more when walking with Him on a sunshiny day! Praying you experience the lavishness of His love on many sunny days ahead!
I definitely struggle with this. It can seem so hard to see the positives when one is in that down headspace. Three grateful things seems so do-able and awesome. Thanks for linking up at MeetUp Monday – Hope to see you there again this week!
Thanks for stopping by Amanda. I strive to give practical suggestions that make a difference. Blessings.
Great post! Love the tweets you included for readers, as well! Thanks so much for taking the time to link up with us at the #HomeMattersParty – we hope to see you again on Friday! Feel free to bring a friend 🙂
Thanks for stopping by Kristen! I appreciate the opportunity to share with your readers! Blessings.