Spring is here, but the dull weather lives on in some parts of the country, and – for some of us – we’re still running into those bleak mornings that bring on the blues.
Serious depression is something you need to bring up to your doctor, especially if your sadness lasts longer than two weeks and is accompanied by irritability, disinterest in regular activities, helplessness, hopelessness, and/or extreme fatigue. But experiencing a short-term “blue mood” is part of being human, says Nada L. Stotland, M.D.
If you’ve got the blues, these steps can help you change your mood, beat the blues and get some spring into your step.
5 Ways to Beat the Blues and Improve Your Mood
1. Eat More Protein
Find a few different high-protein foods to snack on throughout the day. Protein from eggs, meat, fish and poultry, if eaten every two to three hours, stabilizes blood sugar and keeps moods from getting too extreme, says Shoshana Bennett, Ph.D., author of Pregnant on Prozac. Some foods — like turkey, chicken, whole grains and black beans — can increase serotonin levels, which can improve moods (beat the blues), appetite and sleep.
Read also: Top 10 Foods that Relax Your Nerves
2. Work it Out
Getting some exercise can increase certain brain chemicals just like antidepressants do. By getting your body in shape, you are also increasing your mind’s ability to deal with everyday stress and any blue feelings you might be experiencing. Don’t try to do too much too quickly. Start by going for a short walk, even just to the end of your street and back. Then increase the intensity of your work-outs as you feel better.
3. Get off the Island
Although easier said than done when you’re depressed, don’t isolate yourself. A life lived in solitude makes it easy to think that everyone else is doing well. Your thoughts of hopelessness become difficult to control. So get out there and spend some time with family and friends. If no one is available, go somewhere public to pass a few hours, like your favorite café. Try doing volunteer work or taking a class you always wanted to take but never did. By simply being around people and laughing a little bit, you can boost your mood and beat the blues.
4. Go Fishing
You don’t need to actually grab a rod and reel, and head out into great outdoors. What you need are the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish. These compounds help the brain absorb serotonin, which in turn can give you boost. You can eat more fish or you can take fish oil supplements. Just make sure you consult your doctor before adding any supplements to your treatment plan.
5. Put the Glass Down
Alcohol is a downer. Since it’s a depressant, it slows you down physically and mentally, and adds to your feelings of depression. Experts say that one to two drinks per day won’t affect most women negatively. If you are depressed, however, you should have only a couple of drinks a week, maximum. Also, alcohol can contribute to other problems, like weight gain, that can affect your self-esteem.
Nothing seems easy when you’ve got the blues, but these steps can beat the blues, lighten your load and get you headed in the right direction.
Be so kind and share this article about how to beat the blues – your friends will be happier:)
Elizabeth Nixon is a writer, editor, and blogger who is searching for a perfect healthy and active lifestyle. She is currently exploring the many options of northern California’s wine county with her husband and their two dogs. Read more about finding help for depression at Lifescript’s new online Depression Health Center.
Photo: Iowa Health