A blue day is pretty much a depressive day, and although everyone experiences blue days here and there, people with depression (and many other mental health conditions) experience a blue day for days, weeks, months or even years.
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For me, blue days are a part of my life. At the beginning those days were debilitating and empty. I couldn’t get out of the bed and all I wanted to do was sleep, cry and sleep again. Now, those days are more manageable and filled with people and activities that bring light to my life. I am now capable to get out the bed and get to my desk and lab bench. How I do it?
Here are some of the strategies I use to overcome my depressive days.
Getting out of the bed
The presence of God in my life is fundamental, especially during my blue days. I talk to Him like a father and friend, and vent. I am honest, and I never hold back, because I truly believe that He is listening. Talking to Him takes away my feelings of sadness and loneliness and filters all the negative thoughts.
Aside from talking to God about my life struggles, I read Christian books that motivate me and allow me to find peace.
*Some of the best books I have read that talk about God and mental health struggles, are:
Family is the source of my energy. Despite how difficult it has been to talk about my mental health conditions with my family and husband, having them close and being able to express my feelings is the second-best strategy for depressive days. Having a support system is very important!
I am a “cleanaholic” and I have no problem accepting it. If it was up to me I would spend days cleaning and organizing my house. It brings me an enormous satisfaction and helps me feel accomplished, which then helps my days be less blue. This might not even be a strategy you might be willing to consider however, I have found cleaning to be extremely helpful. Achieving small things like making the bed, cleaning the dishes or even doing laundry will help you get your muscles going and find the energy to do bigger tasks.
I am not the type of person to say “I love exercising”, however, it is beneficial and it has worked wonders in me. Sweating is like purging all the negative thoughts. I do Zumba and some jogging (rarely). Zumba is the perfect exercise for me since I get to do pure cardio while dancing and having fun. I love it and even got my husband to join me!!
Finding a type of exercise that makes you release all the stress, tension and depressive thoughts is a great way to stimulate your brain and body.
Getting to the desk (and staying there!)
I have found myself going from my bed to the desk but not able to stay there. The stress, and sometimes negativity from graduate school do not allow me to stay in the lab. Instead, I end up going back home to crawl back to the same place I was trying to get out from, the bed.
This is a great strategy and one that I learned from my therapist. Journaling before starting the day in the lab, allows me to express all my feelings and thoughts in a simple page. This helps me vent and let go, instead of spending the entire day repeating the same thoughts over and over.
Writing things down on a piece of paper might be way to overcome your blue days.
Something as simple as to taking a small break to walk for 5 minutes can make a huge difference on your blue day. Feeling overwhelmed, anxious, depressed or just tired of the same routine? Get up and walk to a different building, explore and smile! It works for me 😊
The day is not over yet. You got out of the bed, found motivation, got to your job (and stayed) and now you are back home. What’s next? Giving in to the negative thoughts and emotions is not an option. You spent the entire day fighting, so now it is time to relax.
My relaxing strategies include some cooking and baking, and a lot of meditation and gaming.
*For meditation I do yoga while using a diffuser (I absolutely LOVE it) and listening to natural sounds like rain, thunder and ocean waves.
Most importantly, seek professional help!
None of my strategies will work if I don’t meet with my therapist on a regular basis.
Find a therapist you like (feel free to try different ones) and go talk. That’s all we need sometimes.
Don’t let your blue days take control of your life. Instead, find strategies that will allow you to leave the bed, get to work and be happy. It might take some time, but we are warriors and we don’t give up.
Good bye, blue days!