4 Practical Tips for Coping with Anxiety and the Blues

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4 Practical Tips for Coping with Anxiety and the Blues - Marty's Musings 

I’ve been amazed at the way my recent post with my story on when to see a family therapist has resonated with so many people. For the most part I don’t consider myself an anxious person, but there are definitely times that I lose sight of my blessings and only focus on the problems. My goal here is to encourage you so I thought I’d follow up with some positive and practical tip for coping with anxiety and the blues.

Is it only me or does the beginning of each new year happen at a bad time? Seriously, you’ve just traipsed through the holidays from Thanksgiving through Christmas with days filled with family, friends and lots of fattening foods. If you’re like me you probably ate too much, spent too much time waiting in traffic and realized you couldn’t possibly make everyone happy.

That’s just a recipe for the blues!

4 Practical Tips for Coping with Anxiety and the Blues - Marty's Musings

It’s even documented that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons, beginning and ending at about the same times every year. According to the Mayo Clinic, most people with SAD experience symptoms beginning in the fall and continuing into the winter months, sapping their energy and making them feel moody. While this certainly isn’t true for everyone, the beginning of the new year can often trigger bouts of irritability and anxiety.

What can you do so that the beginning months of the new year will be filled with joy rather than dread? Here are a few suggestions.

Get moving!

Although losing weight and exercising are common New Year’s resolutions, there is a reason for that! Moving around, whether it’s committing to a gym or just a stroll around the block, helps release endorphins in the brain. These endorphins in turn trigger a positive feeling in the body which can help promote sleep, ward off depression and increase self esteem. Sounds like a winner doesn’t it?

Then why is it so hard if we know it’s good for us? I’m convinced that I have to include it in my schedule or I will fail. In all honesty, I’m failing at this right now but even if I just GET UP from the computer and stretch it helps.

4 Practical Tips for Coping with Anxiety and the Blues - Marty's Musings

Start simple. 

If you’re like me you may be ready to reorganize your whole house because you’re tired of the after holidays clutter. (Or you may just want to move and start over again!) Reign yourself in a little bit and tackle one problem area.

Or if you’re a procrastinator do the same thing! Start with one area, whether it’s in your home or in your personal life, and work on that area for a few minutes each day. You can do most anything if you know it’s only for a little while!

Nothing discourages me faster than thinking I’m going to lose ten pounds or clean the house from top to bottom and not reach that goal. Take it day by day and recognize the positive changes you’re making. Change is hard. Accept that fact and know you’re not alone, whatever problem or goal you’re working towards!

Don’t overcommit.

Do you feel like you spend half of your free time in the car? Just say no! Your children don’t have to participate in every sport or activity and they may feel just as stretched as you do. Select those activities that bring you the most satisfaction and joy and cut out the ones that drain you of your energy. 

Instant Russian Tea Recipe with Tang - Marty's Musings

Celebrate the simple joys.

My husband’s recent rotator cuff surgery has forced him out of his current work (painting contractor) and in physical therapy for the next several months. While my tendency is to worry about everything from how to pay the bills to whether we are going to drive each other crazy or not, I’m going to resist that urge and celebrate the simple joys of being together.

Going into this season of uncertainty we are both committed to looking at our circumstances as an opportunity for growth and renewal. I am going to celebrate the fact that while my husband won’t be completing any DIY projects for me any time soon, he is taking over the homeschooling of our two teenagers to allow me more time for blogging. That’s a win/win don’t you think?  

Not sure when or how to ask for professional help with a personal situation? Blogger Marty's Musings shares a personal story of encouragement.

What brings you the most joy? Is it found in the beauty of nature or watching your children reach a new stage in their life? Maybe it’s a cup of coffee with a friend or some loud rockin’ music. Whatever it is, celebrate it! You can help reign in the blues with a little bit of perspective and some hard work. Good luck!

This post previously appeared at ForRent.com. For more details please visit the ForRent.com blog.

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  1. Great practical tips, but for some reason as you stated they can be so hard to do. Cloudy days seem to depress and drain me. As long as we have sunshine during the winter months I’m okay 🙂 I think practicing gratitude is another way to help gain a fresh perspective and celebrating those simple joys!

    1. Hi, Dawn. Remembering to be grateful is so important! Have you read 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp? It’s such a great book that I even read it to our two teenagers at home. Blessings!

  2. Hello Marty,
    I am a 50-something retiree, wife, and mother who just launched a blog one month ago. The best way to desrcibe the experience is like being thrown into the spin cycle of a washing machine. But, God is faithful…so very faithful……and as I have….at times….wiped the tears away…..all the while…..speaking “I surrender this blog and all that it entails to you, Lord”………there remains an element of anxiety……and the inevitable struggle with the blues. Perhaps I shouldn’t have launched during the emotionally difficult month of January. All I know is God’s timing is perfect and this is His….not mine. So, I won’t whine or make excuses.
    I am so thankful that You…yes, you….have come to my mind almost every day. I appreciate your deeply personal and encouraging posts. I pray my blog ….like yours….can be a ministry to others. This would chase away the blues faster than anything.
    Thanks again.
    Bless you today and always,

    1. Hi, Susie. My email reply notification hasn’t been working so I hope you get this! (If you can reply back and let me know that would be great, too!) I checked out your blog and you’re doing great! Just know it can be a very LONG process but one filled with great growth in so many ways. My heart is to encourage others in many different ways but I’ll always want to love on moms and wives and help them (and me) fulfill our higher calling. Good luck on your blog and its journey!