Do you ever get “the blues”?

I got a sudden attack of the winter blues last week. I just slipped into a funk where everything got a little foggy and overwhelming. The worst symptom is low energy, a sense that all I can do is sit and stare at mindless television. Or perhaps mindless television was the cause. It felt like I was wearing solid black and viewing the world through dark glasses.

Not sure why—maybe post-holiday letdown, or the stress of confronting a new year and its challenges. Seems like I’m not alone, since I’ve recently heard similar comments from other folks.

This isn’t clinical depression or intense grief. I’ve been there, and you don’t just get over it. We all know about the power of maintaining a positive attitude, but “think positive” isn’t much help.

Experience reminds me that there are some keys to getting myself going again. I’m working on these, so I thought I’d share them. Maybe they’ll help if you, or someone you know, is immersed in the blues.

Exercise. I’ve allowed my in-the-garage spinning sessions to lapse due to cold weather, travel, and just general laziness. Skipping a day makes it easier to skip the next until not-exercising becomes a mini-habit.

Sleep. Strangely, winter makes it easier for me to stay up later and I realized that I’m sleeping an hour or so less than normal. Not a big deal one night, but the cumulative effects wear me down.

Get outdoors. When weather turns cold I almost hibernate. Lack of sunlight and fresh air has me feeling like Punxsutawney Phil waiting to see my shadow. (Who knew there was an official web site for Groundhog Day?)

Laugh. Not easy when you’re a little down, but intentionally seeking some silliness helps me out of the doldrums. Posting something goofy on Facebook, or visiting the Groundhog Day web site, seems to lighten things a bit.

Eat better. My diet is never particularly healthy, but holidays and lots of indoor time bring excessive delicious snacks. I don’t need, or want, outright denial of culinary evils, but moderation is a good thing.

We all get “down” occasionally, and there’s no magic, instant cure. But I know that, for me, working on these will help me make this a better, more positive week.

How about you? What are your keys to banishing the blues?

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Copyright 2010 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site

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