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/.