Coping with the blues
January 10, 2017
When you face difficult life experiences, feelings of sadness, hurt, loneliness, stress, or anger can strike. You feel upset. These feelings may linger longer than you’d like, but you can still function and get back to your normal self. The staff at the Employee Assistance Program have some thoughts on helping you bounce back faster and achieve new personal heights.
Are the blues a clue?
Certain life events or medical problems can cause overwhelming sadness. These conditions include symptoms of depression that require medical treatment or support from mental health professionals.
This is not the blues. These are serious health concerns.
Conditions that may require medical care include:
- postpartum depression
- seasonal affective disorder (winter depression)
- grief reactions
- medical or drug-induced depressive disorders, and
- the sudden onset of depressive symptoms in elderly persons may require medical care.
The rule with the blues is being patient with yourself, but persistent with intervention. If you have ruled out depression, get back to your old self by changing how you think. You should also practice behaviors that produce positive outcomes in your life. Please remember:
Much has been said about the power of positive thinking. Don’t dismiss it as too simplistic. It's easier to believe that external events control the way you feel and that the environment must change, not you. Sometimes the environment (or other people) should change, but what if change doesn't come? The only thing left is altering your reaction. This is the pathway to empowerment and the way ordinary people accomplish extraordinary things.
When you feel yourself slipping into the blues, don’t deny it. Instead, take charge of your thoughts, and decide, “I am not going to let this happen. I am not going to let this drag me down.” Then take action. Do things that will cause you to think in more positive ways. Do things you enjoy. Talk to people who will lift you up. Seek out humor, dress cheerfully, and change your routine. Get proactive with important goals, exciting plans, and magnificent ideas you have for your life.
See your doctor regularly and get the proper nutrition and exercise. Remember to hydrate and get fresh air. Improving your stamina will make you feel better and positively influence your mood. Remember to eat properly, especially in the morning. Limit your caffeine and sugar intake. Take vitamins every day to help your body and its ability to cope with stress.
If you drift along, only responding to cause and effects around you, you can expect “Monday morning blues” more often. Life does not have to be mundane.
- being proactive
- thinking and acting “upstream” to prevent life crises
- acting on goals, and
- fighting procrastination.
The payoff is feeling the blues less often.
The Employee Assistance Program can evaluate and refer you to medical treatment for depression. If you are not depressed, we can help you examine issues (at work and home) that are making you blue.
Ambivalence about your job, unresolved conflicts in relationships, new challenges in your life, adjusting to losses, and financial difficulties can cause the blues.
We will help you find the answers that point you in the right direction. There is no shame in reaching out for support. The Employee Assistance Program team is available for employees and their families at 617-635-2200.