October is Mental Health Awareness Month: Beat the Blues

Looking for a blue mood pick-me-up? Don’t crawl back into bed with the sheets over your head. Check out our top ten ways to beat the blues.

  1. Unload your schedule Work overload can cause depression. Prioritize.
  2. Laugh more Laughter really is the best medicine. Studies show that simply smiling will send serotonin levels soaring, making you feel better physically and putting you in a happy mood.
  3. Avoid alcohol Alcohol is actually a central nervous system depressant.
  4. Accentuate the positive Focus on the good things in your life, especially when you feel buried under stress and worry.
  5. Food, glorious food Certain vitamins and nutrients, like omega-3 fatty acids, change the brain chemistry that affects your mood. Foods such as salmon, sunflower seeds, oranges, and leafy green vegetables will help to maintain a happy mood.
  6. Don’t deny grief or loneliness Acknowledge that you’re missing someone and share your feelings with a trusted friend or family member. Find a way to connect to your absent loved one and celebrate their memories.
  7. Try an alternative approach Some natural treatments or approaches may help to manage the blues such as aromatherapy or acupuncture.
  8. Know your symptoms If you’re still having trouble beating the blahs, and have at least six of the following symptoms:
    • Persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety or emptiness
    • Decreased appetite and weight loss
    • Insomnia, waking up early, or oversleeping
    • Restlessness
    • Fatigue or less energy
    • Feelings of hopelessness and pessimism
    • Feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, or excessive guilt
    • Loss of interest or pleasure in once-enjoyable activities
    • Difficulty concentrating, remembering and making decisions
  9. Talk to a doctor A doctor can determine if medication is right for you.
  10. Talk to a counselor Therapy helps resolve the problems that led to the depression and teaches us how to prevent future episodes. Please call PHS Behavioral Health Services at (269) 783-2476 for more information.