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Snap Out of It! Say Goodbye to Those Monday Blues "Hangin' around, nothing to do but frown, rainy days and Mondays always get me down." The lyrics from a song by The Carpenters comes to mind when I think of being depressed. Sometimes we get the blues. Circumstances in our lives can overwhelm us. We feel that we have no control over the situation and oftentimes get depressed for days at a time. Episodes of chronic depression can linger. We fall into a funk and can't seem to get our spirit back.

Sometimes we can identify the problem and sometimes our mood is depressed without an apparent reason. We are lonely. We feel lousy. Eating patterns are disrupted. Sleep is elusive. We want to be alone and wallow in self pity.

As we feel sorrow and grief we want it to go away as quickly as it came. It is apparent that our normal work patterns have been altered and things pile up, making the situation worse. We long for happiness and want our lives to be productive. From my life experiences, I have learned that there are ways to reduce the time spent depressed.

  • Focus on a hopeful future, not on self pity. As I became aware of the time I spent in self pity, it occurred to me to change my thoughts in order to change the way I was feeling. We can limit the amount of time that we allow ourselves to feel depressed. For example, during a time when you are crying, look at the clock and decide to snap yourself out of your slump at a predetermined time. Have a plan to do something at that time that will trigger you to think and feel more positive about life.

  • Get rested. Sometimes sleep patterns are interrupted and naps will be needed intermittently. Lay down in a dark, quiet place where you will be undisturbed and sleep. It is amazing how much better you will feel when you wake up.

  • Exercise. We know from experience and research that the body chemistry changes when we exercise. The changes result in a feeling of "high." Other advantages of exercise include better circulation and an enhanced intake of oxygen. Do whatever you can to exercise. Get your heart rate up. Take deep breaths. Even the simple act of walking in the mall or your neighborhood should make you feel better. Go to a health club and take advantage of the pool, weights, machines and aerobic classes. Play a sport that will give your muscles a work out. Sweat!

  • Remove yourself from your environment. Get out of your house or apartment. Change the scenery. Go to a park. Take a drive. Go to the mall. See a friend. Occupy your mind with something else. Let your senses experience the world around you.

  • Make a conscious effort to do something fun. Now is the time to see a movie that will make you laugh, or go to a comedy club. Play video games, ride your bike, get on a swing, dance. Do things that you enjoy doing. Surround yourself with fun people.

  • Eat healthy. We may unconsciously not be eating the right foods. We reach for the box of chocolates instead of a piece of cheese. We forage for "junk foods," high in fat, salt and sugars. Break the pattern and select foods from the food pyramid in the quantities that are recommended. Our bodies are fueled by the foods we eat. Give your body the best nutritionally so you will have the energy you need. Stay away from alcohol.

  • Do something for someone else. It is amazing how much my mood elevates when I am helping someone else. Perhaps you can help someone in your family. Visit someone you know in the hospital or nursing home and offer to do something to comfort them. See if your neighbor could use your help. Look for an opportunity to be useful.

  • Monitor your medications. Drugs often have side effects that depress your mood, make you lethargic, and make sleeping difficult. Read the labels of those prescriptions that you are taking and find out if they may be causing your depression. Talk to your doctor about alternatives.

  • Get treatment. Medical intervention may be needed in long term situations. Evidence shows, the most effective treatment for depression is a combination of medication with psychotherapy. See your doctor. The new antidepressant medications have fewer adverse side effects.

    These tips may be useful to you now or may be needed in the future. Crisis comes into our lives without warning and puts us into depression. It is important for us to have the knowledge to rebound.

    As we interact with family and friends, we may notice that they have been down for an extended period of time. Talk to them and find out what you can do to help them. Find a way to lift their spirits and say goodbye to those Monday blues.

    � Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D. would like to read your comments about her column and the impact it has made on your life. She also encourages your ideas for future columns.

    Contact her at: Rosemarie@RosemarieSpeaks.com, or 1008 Eastchester Dr., Columbus, OH 43230-6230.

    To book Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D. to speak at a conference, contact her at: (614) 471-6100; Rosemarie Speaks; Rosemarie works with organizations and corporations that want to bring out the best in their people, and she demonstrates how to live life with conviction.