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Chasing the Blues Away Prepared by: Jim Messina, Ph.D. Available at: www.jamesjmessina.com www.jamesjmessina.com.

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Presentation on theme: "Chasing the Blues Away Prepared by: Jim Messina, Ph.D. Available at: www.jamesjmessina.com www.jamesjmessina.com."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chasing the Blues Away Prepared by: Jim Messina, Ph.D. Available at:

2 So what do the Blues look like? A loss of enthusiasm for your life. A lack of energy for self-growth Confusion as to what is the meaning of life for you A blue funk which is hard to shake off A lack of excitement or appreciation for your accomplishments in life Lethargy, tiredness, and exhaustion An inordinate desire to sleep

3 What do the Blues look like? A flat emotional affect Boredom with your life, family, friends The absence of spontaneity or joie de vivre A lack of desire to keep on keeping on The feeling that the world would be better off if you no longer existed The desire to run away or end it all The feeling that you are only an observer of life and not involved in it

4 What do the Blues look like? A sense of living in slow motion A feeling of energy and drive in the midst of a crises, deadline, or tragedy Tearfulness and weeping for no apparent reason Loneliness, isolation, a lack of being connected to the others in your life Apathy, discontent, and a hollow feeling regarding your day to day existence

5 Things You Can Do to Chase the Blues Away: 1. Get a good night’s sleep 2. Eat 3 healthy meals a day 3. Get away from the TV 4. Get physically active 5. Get involved with others 6. Get control of the way you think 7. Get involved with social activities 8. Get out of yourself and do things which bring you pleasure and enjoyment 9. Get control of your drinking and smoking 10. Get your holiday season expectations under control to avoid “Holiday Blues”

6 Things You Can Do to Chase the Blues Away: Get a good night’s sleep: It is important that you get a good 8 hours of sound sleep each night and this might mean avoid taking naps during the day and staying active so that by the time night comes you are tired enough to sleep all 8 hours.

7 Eat 3 healthy meals a day: Make sure you eat a balanced diet and avoid over use of caffeinated drinks (coffee, coke, pepsi, tea etc), avoid over use of sugary and refined carbohydrate foods to keep from having “sugar blues” and eat fresh vegetables and fruits to keep your digestive system healthy and fully functional.

8 Get away from the TV: Limit the amount of time to sit in front of the TV especially if you spend more than two to three hours a day in front of the TV. Americans watch between four and seven hours of television per day. This has insidious effects on our culture, such as reducing our tolerance for frustration. Watching major problems occur and get resolved in 30 minutes, with two commercial breaks really does lead us to underestimate the complexity of things (Yapko, 1997).

9 Get physically active: Begin to exercise at least 30 minutes a day, even if it is just taking a walk every day. If you are not able to use your legs then use chair based exercises fro at least 30 minutes a day

10 Get involved with others: reach out and develop a social network of positive minded friends and acquaintances with whom you can share your thinking, feelings, and life experiences with. Solid social support filled with people who are positive thinkers is a way to insure that you will have the appropriate people to provide you feedback when you are slipping into a “blues state” and “call you on it” so that you can redirect your depressing ways which you have fallen into with your thinking, feelings and actions.

11 Get control of the way you think:  Avoid “Catastrophizing” e.g. “this is the worst thing that ever happened to me.”  Get rid of “black or white” “all bad” or “all good.”  Stop taking everything that happens as if it is directed “just at me”  Utilize relaxation training, meditation, or visualizations to picture positive ways of thinking about your life

12 Get involved with social activities: Stay active in the social functions which are available in your community. Get out and become a volunteer, join clubs, attend classes or programs, go to a movie, concert, show, or sports event, join in recreational activities etc. The sure fire way to let the “Blues” win is to isolate yourself and not allow yourself to have outlets in which you can get involved in to get our mind off of the “depressing” stuff which could drag you down

13 Get out of yourself and do things which bring you pleasure and enjoyment:  Reading uplifting books  Journal writing  Taking care of a pet  Get a massage  Listen to your favorite music  Doing legacy recording work  Being spontaneous and breaking your daily habit or schedule  Engaging others to jointly “do something new” together  Go sightseeing and share the excitement of what you have seen  Develop a new hobby at little or no expense  Learn a new skill which you have never had learned in the past: e.g.: use of the computer, exploring the internet, text messaging, digital camera, scrap booking, journal writing etc.

14 Get control of your drinking and smoking: People resort to drinking away the blues or smoking away the blues but actually the alcohol is a depressant and contributes to increased depressive feelings. Nicotine just like caffeine will give you only a temporary life and then you will bring you down deeper than you were when you were smoking your way out of it!

15 Get your holiday season expectations under control to avoid “Holiday Blues” The Holiday Season is measured from mid-October (preparation for Halloween), through November (Thanksgiving and preparation for Christmas, through December (Christmas and New Years), through January (post Christmas clean up or bill paying) and through February until February 14 (Valentine’s Day when everyone is supposed to be in love with you). Get your expectations about the Holidays under control so that you are not disappointed in the outcome of the specific season because you did not “get the happy feelings, personal recognition or appreciation from others for your efforts during the holidays, or family support like the song says: “There is no place like home for the holidays.”

16 Things You Can Do to Chase the Blues Away: 1. Get a good night’s sleep 2. Eat 3 healthy meals a day 3. Get away from the TV 4. Get physically active 5. Get involved with others 6. Get control of the way you think 7. Get involved with social activities 8. Get out of yourself and do things which bring you pleasure and enjoyment 9. Get control of your drinking and smoking 10. Get your holiday season expectations under control to avoid “Holiday Blues”

17 References and Links Messina, J. ( ) Handling Depression on Coping.org at: Messina, J. ( ) Relaxation Training in Stress Reduction on Coping.org at: Messina, J. ( ) Visualizations on Coping.org at Saisan, S., Smith, M., Barston, S., Segal, R. & Segal, J. (2008) Recovering from Depression-Self Help and Coping Tips on Helpguide.org at: Yapko, M. (1997) The Art of Avoiding Depression. Psychology Today Website at: html html


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