Tuesday, February 28, 2006

How To Fight Depression When All The News Is Bad News - By Tonja Weimer

Do you find the national news full of tragic and depressing stories? Is it difficult to keep your head above water when it seems like the world is drowning in misery?

We are living in an edgy time, never sure when the next terrorist alert or weather disaster will flash across our screens. What can you do about something that feels out of your control? Here are a few suggestions that can have a positive impact, increase the quality of your life, and help bring some enjoyment to each day, in spite of tensions that exist. More than ever, you need to give yourself what you need. Here are six tips to break the blues from the news:

1. Take a news break.

It is easy to become addicted to news shows and commentary. Make a conscious effort to turn the TV off during meals, times with your friends and family, and several hours before you fall asleep. Try spending one day a week without listening, reading, or watching any news at all. The world will still be there waiting for you the next day.

2. Increase your self care and health care.

If you have been skipping meals, not exercising, and forgetting to take your vitamins, get back into healthy habits. Just because it seems the world is falling apart, doesn’t mean you have to. Floss, drink plenty of water, get your yearly physical, eat your vegetables, get to bed on time, and do the things your mother told you to do.

3. Have some fun and recreation.

Stop whatever you’re doing and play with your kids, your puppy, your musical instrument. Listen to music, dance to your favorite song, play dominoes, read a good book, or ask a friend to join you in doing something new you have never done before. When is the last time you rode a bus, a train, or a horse? While you are enjoying the novelty of the adventure, these new modes of transportation and new routes can give you a new perspective.

4. Make an energy list.

Make a list of people and events that give you energy and those that drain your energy. Make a conscious effort to spend time with those people and things that make you feel good and start weaning yourself from those that leave you feeling tired and down. If you can’t escape the boss who drives you crazy or the co-worker who complains all the time, start putting a strategy in place of how you are going to deal with them. Just knowing you are going to do something about it will infuse you with new hope.

5. Remove the debris from your personal life and your work life.

The external signs of clutter are often an indication of inner turmoil. Get focused on clearing out the unused, no longer necessary, extraneous pieces of your life, and work toward simplification. This activity, more than any other, will help restore lost energy and a measure of control over yourself. I often tell clients, “Under the rubble, you may find some lost parts of yourself.”

6. Delegate.

Find someone to do your errands such as going to the cleaners, grocery store, pharmacy, car wash, or hardware store. Hire a teenager in the summer to help you with extra jobs you have been putting off like: cleaning the garage, organizing the storage room, or painting the laundry room. Get someone to come in and cook meals that can be frozen or stored for several days. The point of delegating tasks is to leave time to build your reserves (financial, emotional, physical, spiritual.)

Greater self care is a personal responsibility and a choice we make every day. But when all the news is bad news, I think of a quote from Gandhi: “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.”

Start now to make small changes which will help make a big difference in how you handle the news.

Visit http://www.tonjaweimer.com for more tips, skills, and insight on dating, relationships, singles, and love. Subscribe to our F*ree Savvy Dating Newsletter from master single's coach, life coach, and syndicated columnist, Tonja Weimer. Copyright 2006, Tonja Weimer. (Please note source if reprinting this article.)

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