When you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.
Lee Ann Womack
If you are like most of us you sometimes let things bother you to the point they get you down. I know I have had many occasions when the blahs were starting to slip into my life. I have found that if I put my depression on the back burner for a bit I can then focus on the things that are right in my life and they soon make my minor troubles seem as insignificant as they really are.
A number of years ago I saved an article on fighting the blues. Here is a heavily edited copy for you.
What To Do When You're Feeling Blue
By Jacquie Hale
Appreciate the Good Stuff
Acknowledging the good and beautiful in your life is a great daily practice. Making a list of what you appreciate can lighten your mood instantaneously. You can do it by yourself, or better yet, call a friend and inspire each other. Appreciate the person who cuts your hair exactly as you like, the school crossing guard who volunteers even during a torrential downpour, politicians whose values match yours, your boss, your spouse, your kids, your co-workers, and don't forget--appreciate yourself for all the things you accomplish!
Eliminate the Negative
If your discouraged moods are significant or frequent, it might serve you to stop interacting with negative people. This may require a big effort and great ingenuity on your part.
When you find yourself in the downward spiral of negative self-talk, do something startling such as splashing cold water in your face or slamming your hand on a table and declaring, "Stop!" Other activities might include percussive activities like hoeing in the garden, chopping wood, jumping rope, or simply stomping around. Have a ready library of uplifting media. This might include favorite movies, TV programs, music, poetry, or books.
You don't have to run marathons to get the positive effects of exercise, you can feel revived and uplifted with as little as 20 minutes of brisk walking.
Be of Service
Nothing takes you out of the blues as much as helping someone else. On the spur of the moment, you might call a neighbor and offer to take her kids to a movie or do the grocery shopping. You could cook dinner for a friend or take dessert to a colleague. For more extensive service, you could volunteer to work at a soup kitchen or deliver Meals on Wheels. Pick some service that interests you and it's likely to make you happy, even if you have to drag yourself out the door to do it.
Have a Buddy
It's wonderful to have someone who will support you when you are feeling down. You can discuss the ideas you develop from this article and enlist a friend to help you engage in the some of the uplifting activities.
Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.
It had been snowing for hours when an announcement came over the intercom: "Will the students who are parked on University Drive please move their cars so that we may begin plowing."
Twenty minutes later there was another announcement: "Will the twelve hundred students who went to move twenty six cars return to class."
The remarkable thing about my mother is that for 30 years she served us nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found.
An American history teacher, lecturing the class on the Puritans, asked: "What sort of people were punished in the stocks?"
To which a small voice from the back of the room responded: "The small investor."
Why do they lock gas station bathrooms? Are they afraid someone will clean them?
At a golf course, four men approached the sixteenth tee. The straight fairway ran along a road and bike path fenced off on the left. The first golfer teed off and hooked the ball in that direction. The ball went over the fence and bounced off the bike path onto the road, where it hit the tire of a moving bus and was knocked back on to the fairway. As they all stood in amazement, one man asked him, "How on earth did you do that?"
He shrugged his shoulders and said, "You have to know the bus schedule."
According to MODERN BRIDE magazine, the average bride spends 150 hours planning her wedding. The average groom spends 150 hours saying, "Yeah, sounds good."
Jill had applied for a job and when she returned home, her mother asked how the interview went.
"Pretty good I think", replied Jill, "but if I go to work there I won't get a vacation unless I'm married.
Her mother of course, had never heard of such a thing and asked "Is that what they told you?
"No", replied Jill, "they didn't tell me that, but on the application it said "vacation time may not be taken until you've had your 'First Anniversary'"
Scrawled across the dorm wall were the words, "Question Everything!"
A couple of days later someone added one word... "Why?"
Willy had been misbehaving and was sent to his room.
After a while he emerged and informed his mother that he had thought it over and then said a prayer.
"Fine", said the pleased mother. "If you ask God to help you not misbehave, He will help you."
"Oh, I didn't ask Him to help me not misbehave," said Willy, "I asked Him to help you put up with me."
During a training cruise, a destroyer was weaving its way through a myriad of islands and small fishing boats. Although it was a clear day, the radar was in operation to train the reservists. A report came from the radar room to the bridge, "Target bearing 230 degrees, believe it to be a log."
Unimpressed by this superb job of radar interpretation, the young officer of the deck scanned the water with his powerful glasses. Perceiving a pair of sea gulls on top of the accurately reported log, he barked, "Radar, this is the bridge. Regarding your last reported target, there are two sea gulls on that log which you failed to report!"
There was a long silence as the radar antenna was swung about and pointed in the direction of the log. Then the voice of the chief radarman was heard, "Regarding the last sighting, we have a correction to make, sir. There ARE two sea gulls on that log - one male, the other female!"
I planted some birdseed. A bird came up. Now I don't know what to feed it.
He said: When a new bunch of waiters was hired at the restaurant where I work, our manager asked us all to help out the new people. Before he opened the place one day, he delivered a rehearsed motivational speech in which he emphasized teamwork and encouraged us all to work together. "Now remember," he concluded, "there's no 'I' in team."
One of the veterans spoke up. "Yeah," he said, "but there's no 'we' in 'tip.,'"
Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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