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Anger Management Institute

Coping with the Blues

© copyright 2011 by Lynette J. Hoy, NCC, LCPC 

What can I do to cope with the blues? How can I avoid getting depressed when I am going through difficult circumstances or there seems to be nothing to look forward to…except cloudy skies?

Dear Friend:
It seems that many people suffer from bouts depression or the blues at different times during the year. There are several causes for this such as stress, loss of a loved one or memories of someone who has died or moved away, lack of sunlight or lack of physical exercise, or maybe just a general disappointment with life or friends, etc.

Anger can play a part in your depression. Maybe you have hidden anger due to disappointments and setbacks with people and life. It’s important to acknowledge the anger and to work through it – learning to express your anger in healthy ways as we teach in the books and resources.

I ask that you consider how God can help you as well. For the Christian – first of all…
fix your eyes on Jesus the author and perfector of your faith. Why? Because our needs can only be met completely by Christ. He is the living water, the bread of life and has said that He has come to not only give eternal life but to give life more abundantly (John 10:10). I believe that when we are constantly growing in our relationship with Christ, we will experience that joy He promised in John 15:9-11
         “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” (NIV)

I know personally that when I am obeying Christ and trusting in His love for me, I have an inner joy that overflows, a zest for living, and a love for other people. 
Practically, here are some steps to help you cope and overcome the depression that might set-in after the holidays: 
1. Read your Bible everyday for 15 or 20 minutes. Include the Psalms and the gospels. These scriptures will encourage you, renew your soul and spirit and help you get to know Christ more personally. Read other inspiring books such as: The Freedom from Depression Workbook by Les Carter, Frank Minirth or check out the selection of books on CounselCare Connection’s Resources page. 
2. Pray. Pray about everything. Phillipians 4:6-7 says,
   “don’t be anxious about anything, but, through prayer and supplication make your requests known to God and the peace of God that passes all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
   When you pray, pray specifically. Write down your requests so that you can go back to read them later on and to see how God has answered you!
3. Do. Do God’s will in your life. Love others. Think of some ways you can show your care and concern to others every day. That is God’s will. And talk about Christ to others. Talk about how much He means to you. Sharing your faith is God’s will. As you do God’s will, you will feel an inner satisfaction about your life… because you will be fulfilling God’s purpose in your life. 
 4. Stay in fellowship with other Christians. You need the encouragement of Christians in your life. They need your encouragement. You can grow spiritually and emotionally as you are encouraged and exhorted by other Christians. 
If  you are uncertain as to whether you are a Christian and would like to know what it really means to have faith in Christ, then read the article How to Know God Personally
5. Exercise. You need physical exercise to get your neurochemicals going which will help you feel good about life. It will also relieve stress and anxiety. 
6. Get involved. Find something to do in which you can use your gifts, talents and abilities… This will bless others as well!
7. Plan some outings, events or activities which you really like to do intermittently throughout the year and especially the winter. Plan a short trip… maybe to Lake Geneva (if you reside in the Chicagoland area) or trips to museums, etc. You need things to look forward to.
8. Counseling: You may find that your depression does not lift and that you cannot shake it.  If that occurs, then, check out AACC’s directory for a referral to a counselor in your area. For online or office counseling appointments see: CounselCare Connection. .

Read about Averting Suicide.  
© copyright 2011 by Lynette Hoy, NCC, LCPC All Rights reserved. No part of this site may be reprinted, transmitted or reproduced by any means without prior permission of the authors/publisher.


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