It is perfectly normal to feel blue every once in awhile. Even people who seem to lead interesting lives can get the blues. Yes, even astronauts.
Contrary to what some people believe, the blues or sadness can be a positive experience as it helps you become aware of your self-esteem, become more attuned to the changes you are currently undergoing, or even gain a deeper understanding of a loss. Sadness can also enhance your personal connections.
Quite simply, the blues can be considered as a healthy response to disappointment or loss.
Blues or depression?
However, it is worthwhile to know the difference between the blues and true depression. This will help you determine when to seek professional help and advice.
There are plenty of things that can lead to sadness – the end of a long relationship, the death of a loved one, getting laid off from work, seemingly insurmountable debt.
Although these things may seem hard to get over and cope with, over time, your sadness will diminish as you find ways to cope with your feelings as well as the issues you are dealing with.
Depression is different.
There are three factors that differentiate depression from sadness: duration, pattern, and impairment. A depressed person experiences the physical and emotional symptoms almost every day and these persist for at least two weeks. Usually, these symptoms are experienced together with one another. Finally, depression prevents the affected person from functioning normally in different facets of his life.
The symptoms are usually more severe and last longer compared to sadness. You may also experience physical symptoms. More importantly, depression can prevent you from functioning normally.
The emotional symptoms of depression include: sadness, negative thoughts, hopelessness, guilt, feeling worthless, extreme irritability, anxiety, and difficulty in concentrating and/or remembering things.
People who experience depression may exhibit physical symptoms like sleeping difficulties, eating disorders, weight gain or loss, aches and pains in the muscles and joints, lethargy, and digestive problems.
You may also have recurrent thoughts about death without having any specific plan.
The symptoms can vary from one person to another. Sometimes, the symptoms may be severe or negligible. If you have been experiencing five or more of these symptoms for longer than two weeks and you are no longer able to carry out your normal routine, you need to seek professional help.
Countering the blues naturally
Fortunately, sadness can be treated using natural methods.
Establish a morning routine
As much as possible, try to wake up at the same time every day, including weekends, even if you do not feel like it. Establishing a routine will help your body find its groove once again.
Get lots of sunshine
As soon as you wake up, turn off the lights and open the curtains in your room. When possible, head outdoors and have your fill of natural light. Light will help your body function better.
Even mild forms of exercise like walking will help keep your blood flowing. This will allow more oxygen to get to the different parts of your body and boost alertness. The key here is to find an activity that you think you will keep on doing for a long time.
Play some upbeat tunes
Scan your music library and play some upbeat songs that will give you some positive and energetic vibe.
Load up on protein during breakfast
Don’t skip breakfast and make sure that you eat lots of protein like meats, eggs, and cheese. The protein in your breakfast will provide your body with a steady amount of energy throughout the day.
Limit your caffeine intake
Avoid drinking caffeinated drinks. If this is not possible, limit yourself to just one cup of coffee or its equivalent. Although caffeine can give you an instant energy boost, it can also lower your blood sugar levels. When this happens, you are more likely to experience the symptoms of the blues.
Add fiber to your diet
Many people who experience the blues say that they have difficulties related to their digestive system. Adding more fiber to your diet while cutting your consumption of processed food can help you minimize these symptoms.
Change up your routines
Pack your lunch instead of eating out. Ride a bike on your way to work instead of driving your car. Wear clothes that you don’t usually wear.
Notice your posture and make a conscious effort to correct it if you find yourself slouching. Try smiling even if you do not feel like it. Wear goofy clothes.
Pretending you are happy will actually make you feel, well, happy.
Watch funny movies
Or read a funny novel or comic book. Watch standup comedians on YouTube.
Not all of these tips may work for you. The key here is to find the right combination for your own circumstance.
Seeking professional help
If your condition does not improve after two weeks, you should consider seeing a professional. If you are truly depressed, you cannot get better on your own because your own body is working against you. Depressed people have a chemical imbalance which leads to the symptoms associated with depression. This imbalance can be further compounded by other causes like the inability of the brain to regulate moods, genetics, stressful events, and medications.
Even if you do not have suicidal thoughts, it is imperative to seek professional help if you experience the symptoms of depression.
Changing your routine can help you overcome the blues and boredom. If you find it difficult to switch routines, consider asking help from your friend.
Gehana Kennedy is the owner vitaminshop.ae the go-to source for high-quality wellness products including a range of step-by-step formulated vitamins, fitness supplements and natural skin care products. With innovative ideas and implementation of new technologies, she was able to establish a platform that offers not only quality products but also valuable information for customers.