therapy

Fight the Blues

{Emerald Bay, South Lake Tahoe}

I’ve written about the subject of laziness several times in my blog (here, here, and here), and this week has been exceptionally rough to get through.  I attribute my dysphoria to a combination of factors: mental exhaustion (struggling with recent loss that I wrote about here, weekly sessions with my therapist exploring the origins of my overwhelmingly self-critical tendencies), the weather changes (hello, hibernation mode), and the upcoming holidays.  Rather than writing a deeply emotional post, I felt it would be appropriate given my current mood to instead write about 3 things I did this week to combat the seasonal blues.  I may be a psychiatrist who inherently gives advice, but I seriously learn a lot from my patients and others.  Would love to hear about any techniques you apply to prevent from feeling down this time of year as well!

1.  Write a simple to-do list.  I used to be overly-ambitious with my lists, but that just left me feeling worse and unaccomplished if I couldn’t get everything done.  This week, I listed 3 mandatory responsibilities plus a few smaller, easier tasks (yes, I even listed getting the mail as a task and felt great when I checked it off my list!).

2.  Get moving.  Though the couch and Netflix seem far more appealing than going to the gym, I struck a balance by going out for a quick jog.  Even a 15 minute run helped provide some exercise and made me feel less isolated.

3.  Schedule an activity with a friend..and don’t flake!  When I have something planned, I hold myself more accountable and am less likely to cancel, especially if it’s with a friend.  Even something as simple as putting on makeup for an outing made me feel more like my usual self again.

Thought of the Day:  What different techniques do you utilize and find helpful?

 

8 thoughts on “Fight the Blues

  1. Beautiful shot of Lake Tahoe. I’ve never been there, but I love mountain lakes, whether in Colorado or Alberta. You say that you have a tendency to be overly self-critical. I can certainly relate to that. One of my earliest memories of school is the teacher writing on my report card, “Tom is too much of a perfectionist.” So, of course I felt bad because she had criticized me! But, try re-reading your post. It struck me that you were being quite self-critical for being less active than you “should be.” That was the tone I picked up. I thought to myself, “Give yourself a break, (I would put your name here, but I don’t know it). You’re just finding something else to criticize yourself for.” Anyway, that was my response.

    For myself, I look to see if there’s a spark to get out there. If there is, I push myself a little bit to do something special, whether it’s the symphony or a book club or going to the library and finding the treasure of a Lincoln letter. Or writing a comment to one of my favorite bloggers. 🙂

    • Are you sure you’re not a psychiatrist or therapist on the side because you’re very intuitive at analyzing the psychological undertones of my posts?! 🙂 I chuckled when I read your teacher’s report card comments because I can definitely relate! But you’re right — I am very self-critical, even in this post. In fact, so self-critical that I didn’t want to post this post because i didn’t think it was profound enough 😉
      But thank you for sharing the techniques that energize you when you’re in a slump. And thanks to you, I am now putting “give myself a break” on my to-do list 🙂
      Have a good weekend! ~Vania (my name)

      • I’ve attached a link to a photo taken by a fellow blogger of Lake Louise, in Canada’s Banff National Park. The connection? Well, it is turquoise blue. 😉 But, really it’s to give you a sense of the geography of my family history story that you liked. The lake is about 100 miles from the coal mining town of my story. And the distant cousin mentioned in the story “discovered” this lake while scouting for the Canadian Pacific Railway, meaning that he was the first European to see it. I’ve visited there a bunch of times, though not recently. Enjoy. 🙂

  2. beautiful! it looks like a gorgeous place to escape the hustle and bustle of day to day life. it truly does connect with my blog post in terms of being blue and capturing the essence of my post 🙂 but it’s nice to connect a photo with your family story. thanks for sharing!

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