There are days when you donít feel like getting up from bed and going to school, even though your health is perfect. When you open your eyes, all you can see ahead is a dull, dreary day, filled with gloom. Days when you feel so low, that you snap angrily at anyone you meet and just refuse to smile. There are times when everything and everybody seems to be against you, bent on making your life miserable.
All of us have gone through a spell of the Ďbluesí, also called depression. In todayís stress-filled world, even young people are prone to it. The tremendous social changes that have taken place, especially in urban India, is a major cause: the changing roles of men and women, the entry of more women into the work force and the loss of a family support system, especially that which comes from living in a joint family.
What can you do to beat those blues? Here are some time-tested ways:
* Do something: Inactivity feeds depression. The less you do, the less you want to do. Write down a daily plan of activities, right from waking up to going to bed. List everything and break the work up into smaller tasks, so that it doesnít seem overwhelming.
* Lend a hand: Reach out to others. Voluntary social work and community service takes you out of yourself and focuses your mind on something positive. It will increase your sense of self-worth. Since loneliness is a major cause of depression, human contact heals.
* Develop a pleasurable hobby: Plan to include a joyful activity in your schedule every week. It could be a picnic, a party, a movie or eating out. Learn a new skill. Work on a group project.
* Put that smile back: If youíre feeling down, donít frown, smile. Walk briskly, donít drag your feet. Donít slouch. Sit up straight. The actions that go into being happy will make you feel happy.
* Exercise regularly: Exercises like walking, swimming, cycling and jogging improve your sense of well-being. They help you relax and reduce tension.
n Brighten up your surroundings: Some people feel depressed when they are in a dingy room, without sufficient light, especially in winter and in the monsoon. You can brighten up your environment by using colourful furnishings, flowers, paintings and brighter lights.
Help yourself snap out of it, and youíve got the key to beating those blues!