Sunday, May 5, 2019

Scarlett's Top 5 Tricks to Beat the Blues

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Depression sucks. Whether it’s chronic or situational, nobody likes that feeling of heaviness and lethargy that comes with being down in the dumps. And we’ve all felt it. Some people say that all you have to do is “think positive” and your life will change. Well, I am a big proponent of positive thinking, but when depression really hits hard, sometimes thinking positive just isn’t enough. When mine is really being stubborn, there are five things that I make myself do that help me shake it off, even if it’s only a momentary respite. So the next time you’re in a slump, here are my suggestions.

1) Play Dress Up. One of the hardest things to do when you’re really blue is just getting out of bed and getting dressed, but if you can convince yourself to take five or ten minutes to soak in a nice, hot bath (preferably with nice-smelling bubbles or a bath bomb), you have a very good chance of bringing your mood up a notch. Then, after the relaxing soak, pick one of your favorite outfits (and make-up, jewelry, and nail-polish if you prefer) and dress yourself up even if you have nowhere to go. There’s something inspiring about feeling clean and wearing an attractive outfit that can and does lift a person’s spirits.

2) Stay Away from Depressing Entertainment! Sometimes when I find myself in a state of depression, I take a look at the movies and shows I’ve been watching and the books I’ve been reading only to realize that I’ve been feeding into my despair by filling my mind with dark, depressing, violent entertainment. It’s so easy to do because bleak stories are everywhere; just turn on the news for a couple of minutes, and you’ll see what I mean! If you catch yourself in a pattern of consuming sad, scary, or troubling media, switch it up! Watch uplifting shows like comedies or travel shows instead.

3) Read Romance! This goes along with number 2, but one reason why I love reading and writing romance is that you know that no matter what troubles the main characters go through, they will end up together. Romance novels have a happy ending. Sometimes life provides nothing but sad endings, but when you can escape into a good romance novel, you can take a break from life’s rotten luck and vicariously fall in love and live happily ever after.

4) Call or Write a Friend or Family Member. We all have those friends and family members that we know we should keep in touch with more often. Sometimes we get busy and lose track of time and don’t realize that we’ve totally lost touch with someone we love. Reaching out to someone you care about who you haven’t talked to in a while is a great way to get your mind off of your own troubles and re-focus on someone else. Chances are, that person would love to hear from you, so you’ve got a win-win situation, making yourself happy and making the other person happy in the process.

5) Unplug! I absolutely love the Internet. I love social media. But studies have shown that too much of it can actually worsen people’s depression. As the saying goes, “Everything in moderation.” If you’re feeling depressed or anxious, and you notice that you’re spending a whole lot of time online, you might want to take a day and totally unplug. Trust me: it won’t disappear while you’re gone! It’ll be right there waiting for you when you get back. Instead of checking social media first thing in the morning, try out a new recipe for breakfast, or go for a walk. Getting out in nature is an especially great way to unplug. Listen to your favorite music, or read a book. Instead of mindlessly scrolling through feeds throughout the day when you’re bored, treat yourself to a new restaurant or take yourself to the movies—anything that takes you away from the screen. Even something as simple as cleaning the house or doing yoga, something that gets you moving and doing something productive, can be a nice balance to spending more time than is healthy online.

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I hope my tips help you out! If you decide to try one of them and they work, let me know! And thanks very much for reading.



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