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How to Cope with Blue Days

I was recently asked for tips on how to cope with blue days. Since different things work for different people I tried to think of tips that could broadly apply to a lot of people.

Make a plan. Having a plan for how to cope with sad days can be a way of coping. If you're not sure what to include in your plan then experimenting with different things can help you find what works for you. Some people find music helpful, others find throwing themselves into a project helpful. If you're not sure where to after reading the rest of the tips then feel free to contact us for help.

Evaluate the results. You can discover what helps you most by tracking how much your mood changes when you do a specific activity. Write down the name of the activity, and rate your mood before and after engaging in the activity. This can also help you evaluate whether or not something works better on some days compared to other days.

Emotions can take time to dissipate. Depending on the depth of your sadness it may take more time to dissipate some days rather than on other days. When testing to see if something helps try the same thing a few different times to see if it helps more over time. It can take several weeks before a change in habits improves your mood. As long as something doesn't make your mood worse trying it for a few weeks can result in change over time. Also don't be afraid to try more then one thing if the first thing you tried did not help your mood. Sometimes combining positive activities is what helps your mood improve.

Look for resources provided by experienced people who know what helps in the circumstances you're facing. The blues can be caused by many things including loneliness, life transitions, stress, or other difficult circumstances. Recognizing what is causing the blues can help you find advice that is specific to what you're going through. Google often has results from reputable mental health organizations such as Psychology Today or other qualified organizations.

Connect with community. Ideally you can spend time with someone who encourages you face to face, but if this isn't possible then video or phone calls are the next best thing. If no one is available then it may help to look for encouraging communities online. While this can be tricky since there are many toxic online communities, supportive communities can be found online. It just takes persistence to find them.

Limit exposure to negativity. Main stream news and social media often focus on problems without equal representation to solutions. This can cause us to overestimate how big an actual problem is. To learn more about alternative ways to stay informed and how to manage the impacts of media join us for our event on Cognitive Distortions and the Media.

Exercise, eat healthy, and sleep. Developing a healthy routine helps our body function at it's best. If you're having trouble with one of these areas look for tips online or talk to your doctor about how you can improve.

Laugh. Watching comedy can help lift us out of negative moods and help us laugh again. There are many comedians available on youtube to allow someone to find a comedian that fits their personality.

Finally, if you stay consistently down then speak to a professional. A mental health professional or family doctor can assess how you are doing and provide advice specific to you.

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