Beat The Blues!


Loneliness and displacement, stressful work conditions and the lack of creative and rejuvenating pastimes are all contributing to producing that universal illness of modern times - depression.

Depression is definitely an illness, because one's natural tendency is to be happy if given the chance. It is only by careful nurturing with sad thoughts that one can cultivate a bad mood beyond a day or two. If it persists for weeks at a stretch, it is obvious that some outside intervention should be sought to take one away from one's own dark thoughts.

But this is not a discussion about clinical depression. It is an attempt to list those methods that can work to successfully stave away the blues. I can vouch for some of these, as can some of my friends, so hope this collection of tried and tested means works for you too.

- If your depression is not connected to a financial crunch, go in for a spot of pampering. Whether you have a pedicure or a foot massage with a reflexologist, a facial or a hot oil and shampoo treatment, spend some time doing absolutely nothing while somebody tenderly soothes and cajoles your body. For best results, close your eyes and imagine all the loving gestures you have received from people who cared about you - your grandmother, your parents, a friend, anybody at all. If such memories trigger off tears, let them flow. It is important to cleanse your heart with memories of affection to get ready to receive more affection.

- Connect with children as soon as you can. Call up the niece or nephew whose voice on the phone can make you smile. Sit on a stretch of beach or in the park where the sounds of children at play can be heard. Take time to notice the innocence that still exists in the world, to rub away thoughts of evil people and their designs on you.

- Exercise till you feel your spirits lift. If you are a regular at the gym, you are probably familiar with that point at which the endorphins kick in and release the soothing happiness boosters in your system. So go for it!

- Let music wash over your spirit and soul. Discover how intoxicating music can be by listening to songs and sounds that bring back memories, or evoke more positive mental pictures. If you can dance to some of the music, even better. Dancing is absolutely guaranteed to help you see the world in a better light.

- As soon as possible, try to address the real issues behind your sadness. However much you relieve your depression by such means, the end result may still not bring satisfaction, if you have not taken the time to do something about the real cause for your feeling blue. Is it an oppressive personality at work? Are you overcome by feelings of inferiority? Do you have unrealistic expectations of people and situations? Some hard questions may need to be asked and answered.

- Do something completely out of character. Step out of the line at a crowded restaurant and offer your seat to another.

Answer the call of a beggar you have heard every day, yet never stopped or paid heed. Buy two toothbrushes instead of one, or a book in a language you do not know! Breaking the stifling chains of logic can help free the brain for more creative thinking and take you away from cold and despairing 'realistic' thoughts about your situation.

Finally, do everything with the complete conviction that you, and your feelings, are extremely important. Take care of yourself on those blue days!

-Scharada Dubey

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