We all know what it's like to hit a low mood but if you have a history of depression a low mood can be a red flag. And being told to smile or cheer up doesn't help does it? After all you wouldn't be this way if you felt cheerful. What to do? Well, I have a few tips to set the ball rolling, you can add your own.
Look for the lighter things
Take time away from the stuff that makes you stressed and anxious. Basically I'm saying have some fun because visiting friends, watching a DVD, getting outside or whatever shifts your focus towards more positive things. You need to inject at least two positive things into your day.
Look for things that result in accomplishment
This can be anything from preparing an interesting meal to reading a book, putting up a shelf, waxing the car, or lining up stuff to sell on an auction site.
Social ties are very important
Get on the phone and arrange a meet. Isolation is the friend of depression whereas social networking nurtures and sustains us as humans.
Look to your health
Maybe you feel blue because you're out of shape? Over time, the less we do the worse we start to feel, so if you feel heavy, tired, sluggish and unmotivated it could be you need a physical check up.
Exercise is a powerful tool
Low intensity exercise, such as walking, is entirely natural but it has great positive effects on mood. Once you build up a certain level of stamina a reasonable target is around 30 minutes of activity that is enough to make you feel a bit breathless but not so much you can't speak.
Look to your diet
Also look to your weight, and consider the stuff to avoid. Exercise is great but you need the right fuel to sustain your body and mind. Top of my list would be alcohol, sugar, salt, and convenience foods which are often packed with sugar and salt.
Okay, so there's nothing on this list you haven't heard of or read about before. But don't rule everything out simply because you feel one or two things aren't for you. Adapt the system to your personal circumstances. Something is always better than nothing and for things you don't like the sound of, look to substitute.