Top 10 Ways to beat the blues any day of the week

  1. Try a light box

The effect of long winters, some say, can be shortened with the use of lightboxes, which deliver a dose of bright light similar to daylight to alleviate seasonal           depression.

  1. Get outdoors

Gardening has often been cited as a hobby ripe for getting people out of depression. That’s because it takes people out of their own thoughts and helps them focus on something that needs their care and attention.

  1. Get yourself out of breath

Aerobic activity releases endorphins, and that’s a natural, good free drug.

Be it coming to class, swimming, playing badminton, or going on a 10-mile hike – exercise is a great way to lift spirits. And it’s been proven to aid mental health as well as giving physical benefits.

  1. Cook a meal from scratch

We are what we eat in every sense of the word. There’s a sense of self worth in gathering ingredients and cooking a meal, nourishing our bodies in a healthy way.

5. Stroke a dog/cat

Some care homes have brought in cats and dogs so that residents  can stroke and play with the animals. In many cases the simple act of stroking a cat or dog can lift spirits

6. Pat yourself on the back

Positive encouragement in front the mirror – out loud. Every day you should compliment yourself out loud. First of all, it’s probably going to make you laugh, and that releases endorphins. You identify with the sound of your own voice, because you listen to it in your own head, and you are also arrested by your own image. That message goes straight in.

  1. Take up a lifetime hobby

Unless we have an interest and unless you have work – voluntary or paid –  to us, it can be hard in our society to feel relevant or useful.

It helps if the pastime we choose is something that absolutely takes you out of yourself.

If you only dwell in your own head you’re going to be unhappy.

  1. Do something for someone else… for free

Giving time for free gives a sense of purpose and satisfaction that paid work cannot.

We live in a society where people focus on work and leisure and that whole aspect of giving something back to a community has changed.

The fact people give so generously to charity shows they respond to helping others. It’s important to think about doing things locally to build local communities. How about helping your elderly neighbour next door, and getting to know the people in the next street.

  1. Seek intimacy

Be it going to the pub to meet your mates, visiting a family member for a long weekend, or having a sexual relationship with someone, intimate relationships are the most important key to good mental health

Having a meaningful relationship is really good to boost a sense of well-being. We are helpless as babies and it’s hardwired into us. Different people needs different amounts of intimacy, but we all need connections.

  1. Good things take time

Good relationships are fundamental to human happiness but it’s probably not the thing that people would first think of because we’ve been bombarded with quick fixes. We should embrace the fact that the most important things in our lives take time. It’s the stuff that takes the most effort that gets us through the tough times.