when the blues hit








Some days are easier than others. When it seems as if persistent problems will never ever end, I just want to curl up in bed and ignore the world but that is rarely a feasible option.  I suppose like everyone, I have to push on and get through these days.  So I made a list of things to do or think about when things get me down.  And as always, I'd love to hear what you do.

1.  Make a gratitude list - I've heard it said that gratitude is the way out of every single problem we face.

2.  Watch the world news for 5 minutes and realize how fortunate I am.

3.  Take a nap.  I swear the world will not come to an end if you do.

4.   Hang a load of laundry outside - I don't know why this simple act is so calming.

5.   Take a long soak in the tub - my all time favorite.

6.   Get still and pray.

7.   Conngratulate myself for meeting a goal, even if it's small.

8.   This is hard to do when I'm down, but a walk or quick run is so good for the blues.

9.   Clean and polish my shoes and handbags.  Mindless and comforting.

10.  Remind myself that no matter what has me down, that this too shall pass.

Care to share what gets you through the blues?

xo

49 comments

  1. Sorry you're having "a time". I'm no stranger to bouts of the blues so I love your tips and appreciate you sharing them and talking about it. I can't ever consume news when I'm down because it makes me feel worse, probably because I hate nothing more than reality. For me, it's so important to do something in the direction I want my life to go. Even if it's minuscule and stupid. Also I pick one peaceful spot and sit there and watch for something to inspire me. It usually doesn't take long. I guess basically it boils down to creating something for me. It's been a weird year for me as someone very close to me struggles with addiction and now it seems like there's a thick pane of ugly ass nicked plexiglass between us so there's been a lot of peace seeking here.

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  2. thanks for sharing SAJ. i love that you sit still and wait for inspiration that will direct you into creating. i really love that.

    addiction is the cruelest of diseases. very little compassion from the world at large and yet so devastating. i know of what you speak of. xoxo

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    1. Addiction, so cruel to so many. <3

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    2. Janet I love your blog so much. What was that website you recommended a few years back by the man who was documenting his recovery process? He had a book out on amazon too...
      Xoxo

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    3. Take really good care of you. I'm grateful for the gifts I've received from this brutal disease of addiction--resilience, compassion, humility--but wish I had come by them in a less painful way. There's so much loss and grief when a child goes down this path. Sometimes the simplest thing help me. Have you read the Alexander McCall Smith books beginning with The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency? They are so sweet and so full of wisdom. I binge read them when I need a healthy way to escape my reality. Sending prayers.

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    4. Take really good care of you. I'm grateful for the gifts I've received from this brutal disease of addiction--resilience, compassion, humility--but wish I had come by them in a less painful way. There's so much loss and grief when a child goes down this path. Sometimes the simplest things help me. Have you read the Alexander McCall Smith books beginning with The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency? They are so sweet and so full of wisdom. I binge read them when I need a healthy way to escape my reality. Sending prayers.

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    5. Wow - Stephens discription is so spot on- "ugly ass nicked pexi-glass". It's been a very rough year for me also and there are glimmers of hope that continually seem to be dashed. It's so hard to see someone you love struggle with addiction and at times I want so bad to just run - so I do... I go to the park and run/walk until I'm exhausted.

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  3. This was me yesterday...really in a slump and was such a grump with my husband...poor guy. Trying to do more of what makes me happy, provides some level fulfillment. I need to remind myself that I can't control everything (or everyone) and let go.

    Thinking of you and hope your blues get better.

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    1. thank you t. the mantra of my life...let it go...x

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  4. Hi Janet, speaking of addiction, an ending of a 50-year food addiction and consequent bulimia occurred for me last year along with a 50 pound Permanent weight loss. The secret was learning to love myself unconditionally. After a traumatic childhood, difficult codependent relationships and the usual problems of living , life now is out of the shadows. In difficult times which can occur regularly in one form l or another, I treat myself with love. Realizing that there still is a little girl inside that thinks she is not enough and can be scared, I cuddle that little girl like an understanding and loving mother. I say loving things "it is all ok" "Let's accept this for now and be comforted - what can we do right now that will bring joy?" I've learned to just smile. I go somewhere where I will encounter a lot of people and make a point of smiling in greeting . Ive actually been told by some that I made their day. I sometime think that others may have difficulties larger than mine and holding them in love like an understanding mother, just for an instant can help. Being a loving mother to myself - being the kind of mother I never had, has done wonders. I just talk to myself. Sometime just hold that little girl inside and let her cry, hold her while she just FEELS whatever is arising. I no longer suppress emotions and feelings of disappointment but hold her and allow the energy of feelings to curse through my body and they then clear up. This has been so magical on so much in my life that I am writing a book about it. . Gratitude is also sooo effective. Be grateful for YOURSELF first - your talents, your adventures in life, you courage in living through it all, etc. ❤️ Janice Collins

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    1. thank you janice for sharing your story. this is something that i need to do, treat myself kindly. we all do. i'm hard on myself all the time. congratulations on your success and happiness and that you are writing a book! xo

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  5. Get outside with nature and let the sun hit my skin for at least 5 minutes (okay I know your yelling, "please wear sunscreen....and I do!" This can be a challenge as we enter the cooler months. Today is cloudy, so I will have to wait another day. Blessing to you Janet, and to all your readers who have been suffering.

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    1. oh em i think that is so important. since i've been swimming this past summer i realize how wonderful that vitamin d feels! tomorrow is supposed to be 80 so i'll be in the pool.:) xo

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  6. So sorry honey. Everyone in the world must suffer from this now and again. I usually just give myself a whole day free from any constraints, a "No Shoulds" day I've heard it called. Which then tends to mean I watch a LOT of binge-worthy TV, tidy up something that was bugging me, wander out into the garden and wander back, make some easy pasta for dinner, drink a glass or two of red wine, eat chocolate. If you know you can get back on track, the off-track life can be quite soothing.

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    1. thanks lisa. you are so right to take it easy. it is remembering that this too shall pass that helps so much. :) xo

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    2. I do what Lisa does. A "no shoulds" day, or two. And I don't try to push the emotion away or bury it. I find that being with the emotion is OK and actually how it should be. No one is always happy or content. We can embrace the darkness and shadows as well, and honor them actually.

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  7. A few years ago when I was going through a particularly low time I started a prayer journal. It helps me be still and reflect. I always try to wright what I'm thankful for, what my worry is for that day that I need to give up to God and include something or someone who I want to pray for. It's centering for me.

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    1. thanks for sharing. i keep a gratitude journal too, it is grounding and centering for me too. xo

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  8. When I'm stumbling around mentally I try to remember that nothing much is very important in the long scheme of things. As Freddie Mercury sang as he was dying, looking back, "the bad things in life were so few."

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    1. so true anna. i tend to focus on the short term when things are out of control and need to focus on the long view...so important, thanks! xo

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  9. I get out and go for a walk even if the weather is the pits...I purposely look for something of beauty and capture that image with my IPhone.
    I also consciously think of what I am grateful for in my life...counting my blessings really does help.
    I might pick a bouquet from the garden and arrange them in a pretty vase, or go to a thrift shop with an open mind and just browse, make a meal that is comforting seems to sooth my soul...for me it might be tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich...polishing my tarnished silver, anything job or chore that is quiet and repetitive seems to ease any angst...and above all I say to myself like a mantra
    " I cannot control the actions of others I can only control my reaction to their actions."

    Best of luck Janet and I love that dog figurine...it is just so sweet!

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    1. Such wise words, Leslie - I cannot control the actions of others I can only control my reaction to their actions. Thank you for that.

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  10. These are all good tips. I also like to rewatch a favorite movie or TV series, something light and usually sappy. If it's nighttime I'll also light a bunch of candles to make it extra cosy. This, exercise and lots of kitty snuggles are my biggest go-tos.

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  11. I think your list covers it pretty well! I have always thought it best to take a bit of time to sulk if you must....but then put a smile on your face and carry on! Don't waste too much time sulking because we don't have that much time!

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  12. I have a dishwasher I've never used. I actually think washing dishes is quite calming.
    Brenda

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  13. Have you ever pressed leaves? I find it so calming, the process takes me over to the right lobe of the brain where I can get lost in making something. Some of them have surprised me and come out so beautifully that I've mounted and framed them, hung them all over my house. It's pure escape and so much fun.

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  14. I love cleaning out my closet whenever I need something to get my mind off of whatever is bothering me....strange, but looking at a clean closet with organized clothes makes me feel like I can take on the world.

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  15. That's a valuable list, Janet.

    I don't like these dark mornings before Daylight Savings ends. It helps to turn on a lot of bright lights and just get busy.

    Sometimes I leave the house; take off. Get in the car...and drive. Drive and drive. It helps me get out of my head and look at other stuff!

    What I have to guard against is using the remedy of shopping which formerly was my #1 stress reliever.

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    1. I can look back on two particularly stressful times in my life...on overload...when everything was a hurdle, a stumbling block, a dead-end (also involving loss and even life-threatening events for myself and someone else) where I retreated into books. One time it was a stack of fave reads from years before; revisiting and reacquainting myself with those old, dear, familiar stories that had been so satisfying. Absorbing. Another time, it was a book (continuing) series. Consecutively numbered. I'd read one, like #4 and pick up #5 while I just ended #4; didn't skip a beat. Some kind of weird, machine-like, repeating, mind-numbing thing (allowing the brain to otherwise rest and organize itself, I guess).

      Also, getting a load of freshly-dried items, I guess it could be from a line but, for me, it's the clothes dryer...meditatively folding endless pieces of clean cloth (towels, sheets, pillowslips, husband's tees, dish 'rags', cotton socks), organizing them in the drawer or linen closet. Not really puttering; there's a difference; I don't know how to describe it. In 'olden days' I used to benefit from the same calming effect of ironing...men's shirts, my own blouses; table runners and napkins; aprons (yes, aprons). Something to corral the mind; divert.

      If it's bad enough, sit down; write out a 'worry list'. Make yourself go through it before falling asleep at bedtime so that you don't go to bed with all that swirling around, keeping you awake and knotted up. Think about each item that's troubling you and bringing you down, do you have any control over it, what's the worst that could happen and then knowing you'll find a way to deal with it. You've thought about it, head on; prepared now. Reassured. Then, get up in the morning, move around and jump in the shower, reinvigorated. A cup of coffee can really brighten my outlook. I guess it's the caffeine hit.

      But to really center myself, I have to be alone and have quiet so that my thoughts can sort. Or go to the beach with someone, not necessarily to talk; walk for miles on the sand. Get some air. Feel alive. Nature is a healer.

      A couple of people I know are into the recent trend of adult coloring books. That's not to say they're x-rated when I say 'adult' but just that it's not little-kid coloring books and crayolas; rather, gorgeous sketches and sophisticated-colored pencils or markers. Again, the repetitive motion of simply filling in color within black lines, letting the brain relax a little. There are a ton of these coloring books out there now, any kind of subject or theme.

      Home-keeping/hobbies...a lot of this stuff has been around forever, where some people beat the blues by cooking, gardening, wood-carving, scrapbooking, beadwork and jewelry-making, mending-sewing and knitting/crocheting; writing. Taking something apart and cleaning it; putting it back together. Tinkering has its merits. Little pick-me-ups here and there. When my uncle was coping with going blind, he made repro-antique clocks with hand-lettered faces even though he had to use three magnifying glasses.

      Something I've heard a lot is, if you want to feel better, go do something for somebody else.

      Thinking of you, Janet. Hang in there. It's a beautiful but fragile time of year.

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  16. You've really got the best list going Janet! I'm with Vicki--I do not dare getting online to shop! One of my favourite mood changers is getting on the Flylady website. For some bizarre reason, her household cleaning and organization makes me feel capable of actioning several "baby step" projects! And we all adore a calm, clean home. Another thing is hopping one of my own Pinterest boards or two. I've got a board just for art and beautiful colour, so it's like visiting a mini gallery!

    hope you feel up again soon! dannie

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  17. Cleaning helps me or a serious time in the garden, usually with my current Audible book going in my ears. When a recurring issue comes up that really makes me feel like, "will this ever be better?" I reread a compilation of the accomplishments of some very old people who embrace life and one that says her life truly turned around when she was 65+. It reminds me that eventually, my goals can be met.
    Hope things are looking up for you!
    Karen

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  18. FOOD!
    Fortunately I have stacks of good books to browse..........so a hot cup of water and a book help.Tends to take my mind to another world looking at the books and photos!
    YOU CAN ALWAYS CALL ME AND WE CAN HAVE A CHAT!!!!!!!!!XX

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  19. I have to say reading has always been my safety net. I continually look for books that make me escape into a happy, safe world for just those times. I find 19 century novels work the best for me. It reminds me that life is short and human nature hasn't really changed. Another thing I've just started recently is think....suppose tomorrow is the end of my story or someone I love how can I truly LIVE in the moment and not waste this vital time I have left. It might sound corny but it actually helps me. If I'm down because I'm worried about someone I love that's the worst. I have to remind myself about boundaries then go into to full force pray which is pretty much a scream for help.

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  20. Nothing works all of the time, but sometimes and in some ways these help me: get out in nature - to walk or work in the garden or just to sit in the sunshine and soak it in; deep clean some spot in my home - purging and cleaning, even if only a drawer or the bottom of a closet; get lost in a good book; mindless sewing - I'm a quilter and sometimes just sewing random squares of fabric together to eventually turn into a quilt is a help; working on a knit or crochet project; a hot bath; turning on Netflix and binge watching Frasier or Andy Griffith - good, clean comedy. I wish you better days ahead.

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  21. When I feel a bout of the blues coming on, I take a little assessment. Are these feelings the result of a real problem, a difficult time or are they just the garden variety blues. Problems and struggles hit us all. And sometimes we just need to slow down, treat ourselves gently and admit that we don't always have all the answers. I treat the mild general lowness that sometimes strikes without warning as a reason to shake up the ordinary. Having something to look forward to helps, a weekend away, dinner at a special restaurant or having a visit with someone gives me a reason to look ahead. When I have a mild low period, it usually means that I just need to get out of myself and focus outward. Be well, Janet.

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  22. What gets me through the blues are good friends like you that listen without judgement when I need to talk. Oh and secondly is chocolate!

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  23. I have discovered Holosync binaural brain retrainment programming from Centerpointe research. I have been using it /listening to it for 2 months now and it is calming my limbic system down so my anxiety, reactiveness, control freak is quieted down - life is easier, I am easier, it gives me more space.... I love it and what it is doing for my brain - check it out!

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  24. For me some toe tapping, sing along music can really help with the blues. And watching an episode of Barney on The Andy Griffith show can help me to chase the blues away.

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  25. I love your list.

    I go for a walk, call a supportive friend, pray and write a gratitude list.

    I also ask will this matter in 6 hours, 6 days, 6 weeks, 6 months or 6 years? often the answer is no.

    I think having really low expectations and relying only on myself to make my self happy really helps.

    Hope you feel better soon x

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  26. Sorry to hear your've been down. I struggle too. I try to focus small things. I read a lot of Pinterest. I snuggle with my dog. I try to put on makeup and do my hair and wear something nice. Little things help the most. xo

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  27. That's a great list Janet...and I have to admit that I use just about all of them. I just never thought of them in list form. Another favorite of mine is to watch funny videos on YouTube...especially ones with animals. I also have a board on Pinterest titled ...good for a giggle. And the pics really do make me giggle. Happy music is another one. In nice weather gardening is what keeps me peaceful.

    After my husband passed away unexpectedly 4 yrs. ago I realized that my outlook on what really matters in life changed. I still do get very sad at times over that loss, so I usually let myself have a big boohoo & then begin the process of finding happy things to focus on. And in the end, I realize that I am blessed beyond measure!

    Once again you have begun a discussion on something that most of us deal with. And I, too, have a family member who suffers with addiction.

    Anita ~ the cabin on the creek

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  28. So sorry you've been blue. I get that way sometimes too and your list of ways to get out of it is a good one. Taking a walk outside always helps me. And I love to turn on some fun music, mostly 70's songs, and cook. Strange, but it works for me. Of course then I have to do the dishes which doesn't make me happy, but it's not too bad. I hope you're blues are gone soon! ~ Angie

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  29. I tend to rely on number 6 and number 10 myself. I'm sorry you've been down. Hope it will pass soon -- I know it will, just hope it's soon.
    Claudia

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  30. Getting out the space I am in helps. I have been going through A LOT in the past 2 years. I completed purged 65% of my house and am starting down a new path but I am really focusing on living each day, not just to get a destination. I also find playing with my dogs or reading is helpful. Slowing down and living is an effort but I am trying, everyday.

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  31. I hear Yah here! But the bleus have never looks so pretty as this photo.
    Your tips well taken, and I try to get into a new project creating something someone will love and that helps me pass the bleus! Plus perfect timing from our dear Elizabeth the contessa who gave me a phone call unexpected she does this from time to time a call from her is always a great pick me up with a chat with an exciting friend. You can call on me anytime dear I am just a stone throw away from you and a get together meet up is in The future. Put on some great music, dance about in the streets letting the days ahead of you inspire the beauty you are blessed with inside and out.

    Take care and know how loved you are in all you inspire.
    Shout those bleus away!
    Xx
    Dore

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  32. Sorry to hear you have the blues lately...I can totally relate to that. I was having a pretty good few days until my physical therapist added something to my routine they really aggravated my feet, and it really got me down yesterday. I try to remind myself that there are others way worse off than me and that usually helps.

    For me, riding my stationary bike (since I can't go walking right now) and breaking a good sweat really helps.

    Working in the yard, getting my hands in the dirt used to help me relax. (unless my neighbors dogs are barking lol)

    Social time with a friend, getting out of the house away from my troubles can be just what I need.

    Another thing that comes to mind...when my husband and I were going through a stressful period dealing with his parents health a few years ago we started watching stupid movies. (Harold and Kumar, The Hangover, etc.) Although it can be crude humor, a good laugh was really therapeutic for us. I just mentioned to Tony recently that we need to start doing that again!

    Hope you feel better soon! If you ever need someone to talk to, I'm here!

    Linda
    xo


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  33. Weeding really helps me a lot!!! And I do believe that tomorrow will be better. You are fantastic.

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  34. Sending comforting thoughts your way.....

    I agree with escaping into a novel (historical fiction is my fav)

    Grabbing my camera and going out into nature.

    Putting on my earbuds and listening to Pink or Taylor Swift and tackling an organizing project ;)

    Getting outo of the house, to a change of scenery.

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  35. I love this list Janet. I have struggled these last years with anxiety over my daughter's health and the blues that result, all compounded by lack of sleep of course. I find keeping busy with domestic tasks really helps me. I so agree with hanging laundry outside, that's my favourite. I don't watch much news when I'm down because it makes it worse. I'll go for walks with one of my best friends, in particular my friend Christopher always cheers me up with his hilarious conversation and his support. Sending hugs to you my friend XO

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kindness is never out of style.

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