How to get out of a life slump and defeat the blues

If you thought the holidays were exhausting, strap in. You now have to deal with just. winter, and if you haven’t noticed, that can make us all a little tight. Winter bums me out, and I know I’m not the only one. How to get through the winter blues without hibernating until spring, you ask? There are a few subtle life changes you can implement for high-impact success, and they aren’t hard enough for you to use “but I just caaaan’t,” as an excuse.

If you weren’t aware already, it turns out that Seasonal Affective Disorder is no longer classified as a mood disorder, instead it’s classified as symptomatic of other mood disorders in the DSMV-5. Therefore, unless you’ve been diagnosed with depression or another mood disorder this falls under, you don’t get to say you have it. But that doesn’t mean that winter can’t provoke a bout of the blues in all of us.

After all, reduced sunlight, a decrease in daily outdoor activity, and a full year without “Game Of Thrones” is enough to bum anyone out. But just because winter is a drag doesn’t mean life itself has to be. There’s plenty you can do on even an every day, low-lifting level to nourish your spirit until spring has sprung again — and remember, it will. The only constant is change, people! So keep your chin up, and try these simple tips to slay the winter blues.

Brighten up your environment.

The lack of sunlight outside can definitely decrease the amount of vitamin D you intake, so taking a supplement can help, but also, light therapy — which is also suggested as a therapeutic cure for S.A.D., can help boost your mood. In fact studies have shown that sitting by an artificial light box for thirty minutes a day can help with the blues as much as antidepressant medication.

Get out of the house.

As someone who works from her home, I cannot recommend this enough. I know that cold temperatures make you want to snuggle on the couch with the remote and not come out until spring, but it really does help, no matter how cold it gets out there, to just take a brief walk and get some fresh air. Whenever I do it, I come back more focused and refreshed. You don’t even have to take my word for it, though. Scientific studies can back me up on this: spending time outside will boost both creativity and concentration.

Exercise for enjoyment.

Not all exercise has to challenge your will to live. In fact, when it’s absolutely freezing outside, just a little exercise can go a long way. You could even combine my last tip, and kill two birds with one stone. Harvard University published a study that suggested walking fast for about 35 minutes a day five times a week, or an hour a day three times a week improved symptoms of mild to moderate depression. You don’t need a gym membership for that.

Blast some certified tunes

OK, so you have roommates who dislike loud music. That doesn’t mean you can’t make use of it’s benefits on a lower volume. In fact, when there’s a Bomb Cyclone brewing outside your window pane, nothing can bring a smile to your face faster than listening to your favorite song. The effects aren’t just short term, either. A 2013 study at the University of Missouri showed that listening to music improved the moods of participants in both the long and the short term. Happiness is literally at your fingertips.

Get Outta Dodge

If all else fails, and you’ve got the money to do it, I say plan yourself a short term vacation to a warmer climate. Even a weekend at the beach can jog your memory, reminding you that, in fact winter is not forever. Visiting a beach during times like these can feel like visiting an old lover. If you’ve got the budget, go for it.

How to get out of a life slump and defeat the bluesHave you ever slumped into the can’t-get-anything-done, dragging-your-feet, feeling-super-down-all-the-time-blues? Once you get stuck in that rut it’s hard to break out. But if there’s one thing I know, when momentum is headed in the wrong direction, I keep wasting time and stay in a funk. It’s time to break the cycle and beat the blues.

Leave the cave

Sunlight and fresh air stimulates you. Darkness and lack of clean oxygen stifles you.

Go outside for a walk or drive to a coffee shop and get out there.

Get MovingHow to get out of a life slump and defeat the blues

Sometimes it takes getting off the couch and moving around. Get those red blood cells flowing to beat the blues. Working out is a great way to get going, but if you’re a person who exhausts themselves in the gym that might not help you move onto your next assignment.

I find listening to some inspiring music and simply doing some brief exercises gets me juiced and can break me out of a mini-slump.

Freshen Up

Stuck in the blues because you don’t have to get anything done? I assume you don’t feel any urgency so it’s hard to break out of your sluggish state. The best thing to do to jumpstart yourself is to hop in the shower and get ready. As long as you feel grimey and shower-less, you’ll feel sluggish as well.

Sleep

We rightly associate laziness with a person who sleeps too much or has bad sleeping habits. The person who sleeps at inconsistent times each night and for excessive amounts.

But what of sleep deprivation? We know that our body is a system. Just like it needs oxygen, protein, carbs, lipids and more, the body also needs sleep. Take food out of the equation and you slow down. Take oxygen out, and you won’t last long. Lack of sleep? You’ll barely be able to function. And you’ll feel down and depressed while doing it.

No self-loathing

Stop feeling bad about wasted time. Get over it, and get to it. I know that when you wake up with big goals, yet you look at the clock and it’s already 11AM, it can be hard to keep that motivation up. You feel down and beat yourself up that you let so much time slip away. Get over it. It’s done and got, but you’ve still got time to redeem. Don’t loath yourself anymore, don’t let the blues beat you.

Single-Minded Focus

It can be hard to start the day right and be purposefully proactive. Know exactly what you absolutely must get done that day. If you do accomplish anything, accomplish that.

Get your sustenance

Garbage-In-Garbage-Out. Your mood largely depends on what you put into your body. Lots of simple cards and sugars? You’ll feel tired. Vitamin deficiencies? You’ll feel terrible. Too much fast food? You’ll want to spend extra time in the bathroom-not the #1 place to beat the blues.

But eating foods that are low on the glycemic index and offer actual nourishment will help energize you. Vegetables and fruits with the extra moisture they carry will make you feel great. Healthy proteins help your body recover.

Eating this stuff will make you feel better about yourself. Eat well, and crush the blues.

“This mortal form has grown weak. I require sustenance!”

Actually, right before I began to write this article I ate about 1,200 calories (4 servings) of fried orange chicken I’d bought from Trader Joe’s. Now I feel terrible–and awesome. I want to eat more, and take a nap. Fortunately it’s a Sunday. This is not a recommended beat the blues strategy.

Get Your Mental Sustenance

People that increase their competencies are happier than those who don’t. Investing in yourself makes you feel great, and that’s key to beat the blues.

One option is to take some online courses or even earn a degree, as this will keep you mentally sharp and therefore happy. If you already have a university degree, consider going for a master’s degree. You can take your courses in your spare time, and you might even find that you want to pursue another career after completing your degree. Learning new things is a surefire way to beat the blues by taking you to cognitive heights that you have never before experienced.

If Garbage-In-Garbage-Out is true of food, it’s also true of what you’re shoveling into your mind. I haven’t read the science on this subject recently, but I’m guessing surrounding yourself with messages that don’t point you higher will emotionally drag you lower.

Beat the Blues

Don’t let a single bad day or sluggish start knock you off course. I know it can be paralyzing when you’re not getting the right start and you’ve got big responsibilities ahead. It’s a challenge, but I have no doubt that if you’re the type of man to read this article, that you’re up to the task of beating the blues.

This is a guest post by Tamar Chansky, a psychologist and author of Freeing Yourself from Anxiety.

How to get out of a life slump and defeat the blues

“Woman with Folded Arms,” by Pablo Picasso (1901-02), painted during his “blue period.”

Many people who look forward to retirement become anxious and depressed when the moment comes. They wonder why they’re not happy — or ecstatic.

Part of the problem stems from dashed expectations. Perhaps you thought you would have more money by the time you reached this point, or you feel daunted by how, even though you may have worked hard to pay off your mortgage, there are still so many places that your money goes each month. Or maybe you just feel lost without a schedule.

Start by understanding that retirement, like any other change, involves a transition. It may not feel good at first. The following simple steps can help you to move from disappointment about some unrealized dream, to feeling happy with what you actually have.

Write your own ticket. As with any stage of life, we can get so distracted by what we think we should be doing to keep up with the Joneses, that we lose sight of what we really want. Instead of trying to replicate someone else’s plans, wrestle with the wide-open question of what really matters to you. The temporary discomfort of not knowing is better than realizing, 10 years from now, that you never got around to doing things that were high in your list.

Develop a rhythm. After decades of waking up to an alarm clock, it may feel luxurious to have no particular place to go, but we are creatures of habit. The sudden lack of structure can become exhausting or at least unsettling. Create a mini-work day, if you must, scheduling activities: for example, one hour each for exercise, housework, errands, and social time. Then let the day flow from there.

You have the flexibility to follow the schedule in the morning or in the afternoon. Either way, you have a sense of accomplishment, and will have done things you needed to do. This is important after a full work life.

Resist peer pressure. Remember when you were miserable in college and everyone said, “What’s wrong with you? These are supposed to be the happiest days of your life.” Just as those clueless bystanders didn’t know what you needed then, they don’t know now either. So don’t feel pressured by the myth of the golden years. Like any other stage of life, there are wonderful things and there are challenges. (See “65 Words On Turning 65.”)

Limit worry time. Eleanor Roosevelt famously said, “It takes as much time to worry as it does to plan.” Sure, there are some realistic concerns—like not having enough money or getting sick—but don’t confuse worrying about a problem with working on a problem.

Put a time limit on worrying. Compartmentalize it if you must—for example, by making an appointment for five minutes each day to consider the most unpleasant scenarios. Then take more productive steps, like meeting with a financial planner and reading up on health planning options. Attend a senior seminar to learn about important steps to take to protect yourself.

Don’t go it alone. Social support is essential for good mental health. Chances are in retirement, you have more time for friendship. (See “Why We Need Friends Of All Ages.”) If most of your socializing in the past happened through work, it’s time to explore other possibilities: sports, seminars, cooking programs, travel, or the impromptu coffee klatch at your local Starbucks. In the process, you will meet other people who are going through the same thing. Together, you might even find that you can enjoy retirement.

Shedding Light on Seasonal Sadness

How to get out of a life slump and defeat the blues

As the days get shorter, many people find themselves feeling sad. You might feel blue around the winter holidays, or get into a slump after the fun and festivities have ended. Some people have more serious mood changes year after year, lasting throughout the fall and winter when there’s less natural sunlight. What is it about the darkening days that can leave us down in the dumps? And what can we do about it?

NIH-funded researchers have been studying the “winter blues” and a more severe type of depression called seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, for more than 3 decades. They’ve learned about possible causes and found treatments that seem to help most people. Still, much remains unknown about these winter-related shifts in mood.

“Winter blues is a general term, not a medical diagnosis. It’s fairly common, and it’s more mild than serious. It usually clears up on its own in a fairly short amount of time,” says Dr. Matthew Rudorfer, a mental health expert at NIH. The so-called winter blues are often linked to something specific, such as stressful holidays or reminders of absent loved ones.

“Seasonal affective disorder, though, is different. It’s a well-defined clinical diagnosis that’s related to the shortening of daylight hours,” says Rudorfer. “It interferes with daily functioning over a significant period of time.” A key feature of SAD is that it follows a regular pattern. It appears each year as the seasons change, and it goes away several months later, usually during spring and summer.

SAD is more common in northern than in southern parts of the United States, where winter days last longer. “In Florida only about 1% of the population is likely to suffer from SAD. But in the northernmost parts of the U.S, about 10% of people in Alaska may be affected,” says Rudorfer.

As with other forms of depression, SAD can lead to a gloomy outlook and make people feel hopeless, worthless and irritable. They may lose interest in activities they used to enjoy, such as hobbies and spending time with friends.

“Some people say that SAD can look like a kind of hibernation,” says Rudorfer. “People with SAD tend to be withdrawn, have low energy, oversleep and put on weight. They might crave carbohydrates,” such as cakes, candies and cookies. Without treatment, these symptoms generally last until the days start getting longer.

Shorter days seem to be a main trigger for SAD. Reduced sunlight in fall and winter can disrupt your body’s internal clock, or circadian rhythm. This 24-hour “master clock” responds to cues in your surroundings, especially light and darkness. During the day, your brain sends signals to other parts of the body to help keep you awake and ready for action. At night, a tiny gland in the brain produces a chemical called melatonin, which helps you sleep. Shortened daylight hours in winter can alter this natural rhythm and lead to SAD in certain people.

NIH researchers first recognized the link between light and seasonal depression back in the early 1980s. These scientists pioneered the use of light therapy, which has since become a standard treatment for SAD. “Light therapy is meant to replace the missing daylight hours with an artificial substitute,” says Rudorfer.

In light therapy, patients generally sit in front of a light box every morning for 30 minutes or more, depending on the doctor’s recommendation. The box shines light much brighter than ordinary indoor lighting.

Studies have shown that light therapy relieves SAD symptoms for as much as 70% of patients after a few weeks of treatment. Some improvement can be detected even sooner. “Our research has found that patients report an improvement in depression scores after even the first administration of light,” says Dr. Teodor Postolache, who treats anxiety and mood disorders at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “Still, a sizable proportion of patients improve but do not fully respond to light treatment alone.”

Once started, light therapy should continue every day well into spring. “Sitting 30 minutes or more in front of a light box every day can put a strain on some schedules,” says Postolache. So some people tend to stop using the light boxes after a while. Other options have been tested, such as light-emitting visors that allow patients to move around during therapy. “But results with visors for treating SAD haven’t been as promising as hoped,” Postolache says.

Light therapy is usually considered a first line treatment for SAD, but it doesn’t work for everyone. Studies show that certain antidepressant drugs can be effective in many cases of SAD. The antidepressant bupropion (Wellbutrin) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treating SAD and for preventing winter depression. Doctors sometimes prescribe other antidepressants as well.

Growing evidence suggests that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)—a type of talk therapy—can also help patients who have SAD. “For the ‘cognitive’ part of CBT, we work with patients to identify negative self-defeating thoughts they have,” says Dr. Kelly Rohan, a SAD specialist at the University of Vermont. “We try to look objectively at the thought and then reframe it into something that’s more accurate, less negative, and maybe even a little more positive. The ‘behavioral’ part of CBT tries to teach people new behaviors to engage in when they’re feeling depressed, to help them feel better.”

Behavioral changes might include having lunch with friends, going out for a walk or volunteering in the community. “We try to identify activities that are engaging and pleasurable, and we work with patients to try to schedule them into their daily routine,” says Rohan.

A preliminary study by Rohan and colleagues compared CBT to light therapy. Both were found effective at relieving SAD symptoms over 6 weeks in the winter. “We also found that people treated with CBT have less depression and less return of SAD the following winter compared to people who were treated with light therapy,” Rohan says. A larger NIH-funded study is now under way to compare CBT to light therapy over 2 years of follow up.

If you’re feeling blue this winter, and if the feelings last for several weeks, talk to a health care provider. “It’s true that SAD goes away on its own, but that could take 5 months or more. Five months of every year is a long time to be impaired and suffering,” says Rudorfer. “SAD is generally quite treatable, and the treatment options keep increasing and improving.”

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard blasts his players for their underwhelming performance against Bournemouth on Saturday.

Chelsea ‘not taking enough chances’ says Frank Lampard

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Chelsea lost 1-0 to Bournemouth on Saturday and have now only won one of their last five Premier League games. And while Blues manager Frank Lampard thought the fans were “flat” at Stamford Bridge yesterday he didn’t blame them as he feels it is the responsibility of his players to galvanise the crowd.

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How to get out of a life slump and defeat the blues

How to get out of a life slump and defeat the blues

Despite the defeat Chelsea still hold onto fourth place in the Premier League, but Sheffield United closed the gap to four points after they beat Aston Villa 2-0.

But with the Blues’ future still very much in their own hands Lampard has laid down the challenge to his squad to play with more tempo in the future.

“The message to the players is we need urgency in our play,” Lampard said.

“If you’re transferring the ball, transfer it quickly from side to side.

How to get out of a life slump and defeat the blues

Chelsea news: Frank Lampard has a solution to get the Blues out of their current slump (Image: GETTY)

“If you’re playing through the lines because that’s the kind of player you are, get it through the lines.

“If you’re an attacking player get at people, do things that are positive, don’t play safe.

“We played generally too safe during the game.”

Related articles

How to get out of a life slump and defeat the blues

How to get out of a life slump and defeat the blues

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How to get out of a life slump and defeat the blues

Bournemouth came into the game against Chelsea on a five-game losing streak and the match looked like it was going to end in a goalless draw despite the Blues dominating possession throughout the contest.

But it was the Cherries who found the breakthrough in the closing moments of the game.

Bournemouth had a corner cleared by Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta but the ball was then headed back into the Blues penalty box.

Dan Gosling got on the end of the header and with his back to the goal flicked the ball over his and Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga’s head with the looping effort crossing the line.

How to get out of a life slump and defeat the blues

Chelsea news: Frank Lampard saw his side lose 1-0 to Bournemouth on Saturday (Image: REUTERS)

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How to get out of a life slump and defeat the blues

His effort was initially ruled out for offside before VAR then awarded the goal.

An while Lampard explained that he thought a more lively atmosphere at Stamford Bridge could have helped against the Cherries, after the game he put the responsibility on his players and didn’t blame the fans.

“I’m a Chelsea man and I will be the first one to say, ‘The fans were flat today and we needed them’,” Lampard said.

“But today I’m never going to say that because if I’m a fan sitting there, I’d also say, ‘Pfft, too slow — centre-back to centre-back, full-back to full-back, back to centre-back, back to full-back and I don’t want to come and see that’.

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“So I won’t blame the fans, they come here to support the team, they will come to Tottenham next week, they will come to Southampton on Boxing Day.

“Some responsibility is on the players to excite them, to have the personality and the balls to take the ball in an area and beat someone or play forwards.

“That’s up to the players as well, so that’s a joint thing.”

Chelsea now have a week to recover before travelling across London to take on Spurs at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on December 22.

How to get out of a life slump and defeat the blues

How to get out of a life slump and defeat the blues

How to get out of a life slump and defeat the blues

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February 03, 2021

Holding virtual exercise sessions with your friends will provide much-needed connections during the pandemic and keep you accountable to your fitness

Getting off the couch can be difficult in the middle of winter — especially amid a pandemic. Virtual workouts with your friends can help you find the motivation needed to maintain your fitness.

It’s cold outside. It’s dark by the time you finish work and it is no longer frowned upon to wear sweatpants to a meeting. How could anyone expect you to work out right now? I feel your pain. Convincing myself that I really will be happy if I get off my couch and go for a run outside or lift some weights can be a struggle. Here’s the good news — you will never regret a workout.

The winter slump is here and it’s real. I have clients texting me, trying to get out of their sessions because they are lacking the energy, and I get it. Why work out when you can stay under a warm blanket on your couch and binge Bridgerton? The easy answer? You will always feel better post workout. But you know this already, and quite honestly, a lot of the time we don’t care. So what else can I say to help you get out of the winter clump?

Exercise is proven to promote brain activity, so a midday workout might be just the thing you need to get out of that computer-staring haze. Take a lunchtime break and sweat for 30 minutes and I promise you will feel reenergized and ready to tackle your afternoon work. One of the easiest, healthiest and simplest ways to overcome midday fatigue is to get in a quick workout!

Exercise also is a major contributor to improving mental health and reducing stress. While taking a break from a crazy, stressful day at the office might seem impossible, even stepping outside for a 10-minute walk will clear your mind and help you relax. Though it might be cold right now, fresh air is a great way to wake yourself up and collect your thoughts between meetings.

Exercise is a great way to socialize while doing something fun; I know I’m not the only one who actually enjoys taking a class with girlfriends. Workout classes used to be an easy way to meet up with friends after work and they still can be, even from your own home.

I teach a weekly High Intensity class to a group of friends who missed meeting up after work so much that they found the next best thing. We meet on Zoom once a week for an awesome sweat followed by the ladies catching up. Connect with your friends, find a time that works for everyone and you’re halfway there. There are so many free classes on Youtube to stream if you’re looking for a class to take, or send me a message and you can Get Drucked Up with your friends!

Similar to exercising with friends, setting up workouts with colleagues is an easy way to connect outside of the office. They allow you to bond over something more than your work spreadsheets and let your mind take a break. Committing to a workout time with a co-worker will help keep both people accountable; you can’t skip your workout if someone else is relying on you to join!

Many companies encourage group classes as a way for employees to thrive outside of the office. Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have taught weekly classes for a ton of corporate companies looking to increase camaraderie among employees and improve productivity. A benefit to working from home is that you don’t need to worry about showering at the office or even set aside time to go to the gym. It’s right there in your living room.

When it’s early in the morning and you’re feeling sleepy, or exhausted after a long day at your desk, sometimes you just want to turn your brain off and focus on what you’re listening to. Music is a great way to pump you up and there are thousands of Spotify or Apple Music playlists out there for any genre.

However, I’m here to share a surprising alternative — podcasts! I know it doesn’t sound too appetizing to listen to someone speaking while working out, but trust me on this. Podcasts are great because you can take your mind off of the workout and immerse yourself into what you’re listening to. For all my movie lovers, a favorite of mine is The Rewatchables on The Ringer network. They dive deep into your favorite movie and discuss everything from the most rewatchable scene to the MVP of the movie. I also love Skimm’d From The Couch, where the founders of the Skimm interview other female entrepreneurs and walk through their inspiring journeys.

You’ve got thousands of podcasts to choose from, so pick one that sounds entertaining and you’ll forget how tired you are and end up adding in another set of exercises just to finish the end of the episode!

I know the winter blues are upon us and they try to bring us down, but now it is time to bounce right back up. Get outside, breathe some fresh air, break a sweat and I promise, you will never regret a workout. Try this quick and simple workout that you can do from your living room!

How to get out of a life slump and defeat the blues

Turn that blah frown upside down. No matter what has you in the dumps, here’s 21 surefire ways to beat the blues away. What healthy activity do you resort to to try and cheer yourself up?

Take a photo tour: Head outdoors and become a nature photographer in your neighborhood. Walk briskly while exploring all the new plants on your block. And don’t forget to share your pics with friends, motivating them to do the same.

Set goals: Use moving from season to season as an opportunity to set new goals, like running outdoors three times per week, learning how to cook, or finally asking for that raise. Accomplishing a goal just feels so good — and motivates you to do more!

Hit the farmers market: Spring brings so many fresh flavors, so head to your localfarmers market for a little taste testing. Most booths encourage you to sample, which makes it a delicious way to spend an afternoon.

Throw a party: It might not be barbecue season yet, but that doesn’t mean you can clear a bit of outdoor space for welcoming friends over for margaritas and grilled chicken. It’s a fun way to reconnect while celebrating warmer weather.

Cook fresh: Instead of ordering in pizza again, cook a fresh dinner with seasonal ingredients. You’ll hone cooking techniques while awakening your taste buds.

How to get out of a life slump and defeat the blues

Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Nicole Perry

Listen to music: A good song has the ability to change your mood in minutes, so put together a playlist with all your favorite tunes that motivate you to move. Play it loud and have your own dance party.

Go to the beach: No matter where you live, swimming is something you associate with Summer, so head to a beach, pond, river, or even pool and listen to the lapping water. Sure, it might be too chilly to jump in, but just being by water calms nerves while encouraging your wanderlust.

Do a cell-phone detox: Social media is a megadistraction, so make the time to do a detox from your phone. Instead of texting or calling a friend, make a date to meet up and enjoy a coffee at an outdoor cafe.

Plan a picnic: Pack some sandwiches, fruit, veggies, and other delicious snacks, and head to a local park for a fun picnic. Invite a few friends and turn it into an afternoon of relaxing in the sunshine.

Eat lots of fruit: Pineapple, oranges, limes, and even strawberries are packed with vitamin C, which boosts your immunity while invigorating you. Eat them fresh or make easy snacks for noshing.

How to get out of a life slump and defeat the blues

Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Nicole Perry

Check out a beach read: Summer isn’t the only time to chill out with a beach read. Visualize yourself lounging in the hot sun while devouring the pages.

Do a fun workout: On days there are Spring showers, mix up your exercise routine with fun workouts you can do anywhere.

Look local: Check your community board for group activities or free events you can attend. From movies in the park to local theater productions, it’s a fun way to get out of the house and experience something different.

Go through your closet: Have a fashion show and try on all your favorite Spring and Summer clothes. While you’re at it, take a closer look at your winterwear andget rid of anything that doesn’t fit — or that you aren’t wearing.

Write letters: It might sound funny, but sending a note in the mail to someone you love just makes you feel good. Sit down and spend an hour writing letters to a few special people in your life, and then walk to the mailbox. That good feeling radiates through your body — and you might get some mail in return!

Arrange flowers: Fresh flowers give a little life to your dreary space — and the scent is so therapeutic. And you can arrange your own flowers with your favorite blooms.

How to get out of a life slump and defeat the blues

Source: POPSUGAR Photography

Get some sleep: Skimping on sleep leaves you looking tired, and not getting eight hours per night isn’t great for glowing skin. Head to bed early and wake up with the sun. Your brain and body will be ready to take on the day.

Take our cleaning challenge: Even if you don’t get into cleaning, scrubbing something clean does offer a touch of accomplishment. Take our Spring-cleaning challenge for a sparkling tomorrow.

Do tai chi: You’ve probably seen a group of people moving superslowly through tai chi moves in the park, so jump in and join! You might feel a little silly at first, but it’s a wonderful practice that encourages calmness while breathing in the fresh air.

Add some spice: There are several invigorating ingredients you can include in your diet to give you a natural boost. Cinnamon, ginger, and cayenne are all great for your metabolism, breaking you out of your Winter funk.

Change your environment: Yes, that cozy blanket is a must during cold nights, but rearranging your furniture, stashing blankets, and replacing with vibrantly colored pillows or throws enlivens your space. And you can get rid of clutter while you’re at it.

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How to get out of a life slump and defeat the bluesIt happens to all of us at times – we’re cruising along, being brilliant and experiencing joy, and all of a sudden something changes how we feel. Whether it is something small or large, inside of us our in the outer world, our mood can shift to the blues at the blink of an eye, and part of being human is learning how to move through a slump when we find we’re in it.

The intensity of a funk can range from when creative ideas just won’t come to full-fledged notions of laying in bed all day with the covers over our heads. Either way, there’s a time for honoring where we’re at, and there’s a time for moving through it.

Here Are 10 Ways to Get Out of A Slump:

1) Do something new.

Doing things we’ve never done before creates feelings of adventure, freedom, and joy. At the very least it gets us out of our routines which can lead to routine thoughts. As humans we require change – standing still is an illusion that leads to illness down the road. The secret is that getting outside of our comfort zones from time to time (even if it is just outside) usually frees up many aspects of our greatness that have been locked away from our easy access. Plus, adventure actually creates higher levels of dopamine in the brain – one of the crucial brain chemicals of satisfaction and love. My great philosophy of life is that all of life is an adventure – boredom is just a way we fool ourselves into mediocrity. Try a new exercise class, go outside at night and watch the stars, join a friend doing something they love, take a trip, go zip lining – anything!

2) Exercise

Exercise produces endorphins which create a lighter and more empowered emotional experience. Sometimes our energy just gets a little bit stagnant. Exercise is one of the quicker ways to get it moving again. Do whatever sounds good. If nothing, then make something up. Walk on the beach. Do 15 minutes of jumping jacks, squats, and pushups. Google “10 Minute Workouts” and see what comes up. I love getting into water – the shift in elements immediately brightens my mood every time. Try my 5 Yoga Poses for Busy People.

3) Eat dark organic chocolate

Organic dark chocolate contains hundreds of chemicals. It has been proven in studies to produce high levels of endorphins and serotonin in the body. These are the feel good brain chemicals we need. Incidentally, dark chocolate is also high in antioxidants, so while you’re boosting your mood you can also boost your resistance to cancer and many other diseases. I like THIS ONE.

4) Get outdoors.

There’s nothing like a change of scene, fresh air, and a walk on the earth to boost a slumpy mood. The awesome thing about nature is that it reminds us that beauty occurs in chaos, and it teaches us about how little control we really do have over things outside of ourselves. Try not to think of anything other than where you are when you’re out and about. Connecting to the earth provides a frequency shift to the body that enhances calm feelings and relaxation. Being in the moment can unhook us from the mental rant about life being better in the past or scary in the future. Want to get the effects of earthing from inside your own bedroom? Try this EARTHING KIT. Real Fit Daddy and I did this for years before Z Baby came along, and the results were exceptional.

5) Watch a TedTalk.

I once read on the internet that if you can’t get your mind right, watch a TedTalk. I did it and was soon inspired. Spending 10-20 minutes watching a TedTalk can shift your mental patterns from spiraling internally to moving out and forward. Ben Affleck of all people has a great list of his favorite TedTalks. These thoughtful and inspiring lectures get your mind focussed on the phenomenal and even if only for the time you’re watching, connected to the energy of greatness.

6) Watch a movie.

One of my favorite things to do when I can’t figure out what to do is to watch a movie. 2 hours or so of a complete story, and a journey that takes me out of my own present moment into another world. Either I watch a romantic comedy, a straight up comedy, or a movie that I know will either inspire me or make me cry and get my stuck feelings out. Invariably, I will finish the film in a different place than I began it, which I find completely relaxing.

7) Volunteer.

Sometimes when I’m in a slump it’s because I’m far too focussed on myself. Anger or other emotions turning inward can create a little tangle within that requires gentle unravelling. Offering up our energy for others shifts us to another wavelength altogether. There are always many ways to be of service in the world. Websites like this onecan provide ideas for where to contribute your efforts.

8) Call a friend.

Preferably someone who makes you laugh. Tell them you’re in a slump. Ask them if they can listen to you vent about all of the reasons why you’re in a slump for 2-5 minutes. Allow them to gently stop you at the end of your time. Now tell them what you DO want. If you don’t know, tell them you want to get clear about what you want next. At the very least, find something else to talk about or go get some tea together.

9) Set a goal.

Even if it is a small one. If it is a bigger one, make sure you make steps to get there and celebrate each one of those. Post it on your wall. Hold yourself accountable. Acknowledge how awesome you are for meeting each small step along the way.

10) Create an awesome list.

About yourself. List the things you’ve created and done in your life that are awesome, big and small. Post it on your wall. Add to it whenever you walk by and have another awesome thing come to mind. Feel your value, power, and greatness.

Did you enjoy this post? Let us know! Leave a comment in our comments section and share it with your friends!

This post is linked to Thank Your Body Thursday.

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

Chelsea 0 Swansea 2

How to get out of a life slump and defeat the blues

Chelsea 0 Swansea 2

Rafael Benitez endured a torrent of abuse from Chelsea’s fans as the Blues slumped to an embarrassing defeat to Swansea in the first leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final at Stamford Bridge.

Michu scored his 16th goal of the season, and Danny Graham added a late second to put the Swans within touching distance of their first ever major Wembley cup final.

Yet, in truth, Swansea did not have to work hard for their victory. With the exception of David Luiz, Chelsea were very poor throughout. Sloppy in possession and lacking a cutting edge in attack, the Blues looked anything like title challengers or potential cup finalists.

Fernando Torres was the worst offender. The former Liverpool striker has shown signs of improvement since Benitez’s appointment, but tonight the Spaniard’s two chances amounted to a weak header and a long-range shot that almost found the second tier of the Shed End. He touched the ball 19 times during his 81 minutes on the pitch.

Chelsea’s fans spent a large chunk of the match berating Benitez for his failure to bring on Demba Ba, who scored twice on debut last weekend, and they also took umbrage with the interim boss’ failure to bring on Frank Lampard until the 70th minute.

Blues fans have not hidden their dislike towards Benitez since his appointment, but tonight they gave him both barrels, booing the Spaniard’s decisions and calling for the return of Roberto Di Matteo in the dying minutes of the defeat.

Torres started lively enough, drifting out to the left flank where he delivered a clever cross to the front post, but Branislav Ivanovic headed over.

The Spaniard soon exhibited signs of the his woeful form, however. He picked the ball up 30 yards out and crept towards goal before firing a wayward shot that cleared the bar by many metres.

The Blues dominated the game, but lacked a killer touch up front.

Chelsea thought they should have had a penalty when Ki Sung-Yueng grappled with Luiz while going for cross but Anthony Taylor waves play on.

A brilliant flowing move that included touches from Oscar and Luiz eventually ended up with Ramires in space in the Swansea box but he could only prod weakly at Gerhard Tremmel.

Efforts from Cesar Azpilicueta and Gary Cahill both went wide while Juan Mata lost his usually clinical touch in front of goal after a foray in to the box by Eden Hazard.

Another brilliant move came on the half-hour with Oscar backheeling the ball in to Mata from Ramires’ pass, but once again the former Valencia man shot wide.

Torres’ only decent contribution of the opening 45 minutes came when he split the Swansea defence, but Tremmel came to the Swans’ rescue.

A quiet hush fell upon Stamford Bridge, with the hosts’ lack of penetration up front clearly dampening their enthusiasm.

The most noise the home support displayed was when Lampard emerged from the dugout to warm up.

The Blues fans fell silent moments later, however, when Ivanovic’s error gifted Swansea the lead. Jonathan de Guzman pinched the ball off the Serb as he dallied on the edge of his own box and squared to Michu, who calmly slotted the ball past Ross Turnbull.

Luiz, by far Chelsea’s best player, went close with two efforts just after the break.

The home fans started to vent their anger at Benitez for not introducing Ba or Lampard. One fan had to be restrained by stewards as he headed in the direction of the Chelsea bench to remonstrate with the former Liverpool boss.

Another fan invaded the pitch to provide the Blues fans with some entertainment. The rest of the home crowd continued to demand Lampard’s introduction, but the calls fell on deaf ears.

Azpilicueta claimed Ben Davies had handled his cross in the Swansea box, but Taylor thought otherwise.

Lampard could not remove his tracksuit quick enough when Benitez beckoned the midfielder over to tell him he wanted him to come on with 20 minutes to go.

Lampard injected life in to the Chelsea, but Torres continued to perform poorly. The striker found space on the edge of the box, but could only head weakly in to Tremmel’s arms.

Ki then sent Michu through with a clever pass, but the linesman flagged for offside just as the former Rayo Vallecano man was about to pull the trigger.

Benitez finally answered the home fans’ demands and brought on Ba with nine minutes left. Torres departed to cheers and a sarcastic standing ovation, with boos also heard.

Ba made an immediate impact, going close with two efforts, the second a looping header from Marko Marin’s cross.

Ba hurtled through injury time and went down after Tremmel failed to collect the ball, but the referee did not give a penalty and instead booked the former Newcastle man for diving.

Chelsea’s night then turned worse with one minute of added time left. Ivanovic’s second terrible backpass allowed Graham to pinch the ball off Turnbull before slotting in to an empty net.

The home fans responded by calling for Benitez’s head. “You’re not welcome here” and “One Di Matteo,” they sang.

Ba thought he had pulled one back for the Blues moments later but his effort was ruled out for offside.