What does “beat the blues” mean? Without context, I would suppose it to mean “to overcome a blue mood or tendency toward feeling depressed.”
The more rainy days like at the moment – the more people feel low. Not really depressed but a bit lackluster. Especially during Sundays or the first days of a longer vacation. Living in the Philippines is also much more different than in my home country Germany. As an expatriate, I learned to change my lifestyle here. I don’t want to give suggestions or advice “about what to eat and to drink”, or, better “what NOT”! Other experts and fellow columnists might do that much better.
However, I experienced myself that some simple things are really working well:
Distract yourself: the last thing you should do is lying in the bed wallowing in self-pity. It’s better to distract yourself with a dose of normality. Watching a movie (possibly not a drama or tragedy!) or even cleaning the kitchen on a Sunday can help. Important is, that you move away from where you feel bad. I mostly love to re-arrange my office at home or do a simple walk around into nature. It really does miracles.
Forgive someone: when you forgive someone or even yourself, you release anger and resentment that’s bogging you down. If you remain angry, you’re carrying all the negatives of the day and maybe from the whole world. Check the news: there is already enough negativism. Natural disasters, war, corruption, incompetent politicians, bullying neighbours etc. etc.
Switch to realistic thinking: the happy medium between rose-tinted positive thinking and beat-yourself-up-negativity is when you can say, “Okay, I am having a bad day, but it doesn’t make me feel a failure”, instead of, “I feel awful and/or my life is awful”. The last will only make you feel worse.
Develop a positive attitude: I met several expatriates, who love to complain about everything and everyone. I try my best to stay away from them. Nowhere on earth is paradise! Examine your thoughts and perceptions, and replace unhelpful thoughts patterns with a more positive approach. The difference between a happy person and someone who is really depressed isn’t that one has all the world’s luck. But, they perceive what’s happening to them differently.
Do a life audit: some people become stuck in a rut because they don’t take time to work out where they are heading. Try to make decisions to change your life and ask yourself what is getting in your way and what can you do about it. It is the same principle as going through your cupboards and tossing out the clothes that don’t fit you any more. If there are no uses, they are just cluttering your life. And remember, you might even laugh about it later. Stop crying to “cope” (making sure everything goes smoothly!) and deal with life more simply.
Whether it’s the weather, trouble at work or a broken heart, if you are dragging yourself through the day like a little slug of sadness I’ve got these ways to improve your mood that are free, easy and involve chocolate and hugs.
Ideas, comments or suggestions? Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter or visit www.germanexpatinthephilippines.blogspot.com or www.klausdoringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com.