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We all feel down from time to time. How do you combat the blues? What’s one tip you can share with others that always helps to lift your spirits?

This reminds me of the commercial with the statement “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” That’s how I feel sometimes when I’m blue, and I know others who have felt that way, too. With me, though, it usually something I know will end in due course, a day or two of feeling down and I’m fine again.

If I think long enough and hard enough I can find a reason for the way I feel. It may be I’m feeling guilty about something I should have done, or I’m disappointed in myself for some reason. If I’m able to find the cause, I can usually think through it, and that helps. A depressed mood is often caused by something we internalize that may not have seemed that significant at the time.

I find the best thing to do is get out of the house. I’ve found that when I’m alone too much, I begin to spend too much time in my head, and not enough time thinking about others. I’m fortunate; I really don’t have too much “bad stuff” in my life to make me feel truly depressed or worried. My children are doing well enough that I don’t really need to worry about them unduly. They, too, have their ups and downs, but seem to be developing the coping mechanisms to deal with them. They have “real” concerns, too, like young children to care for, get off to school, provide for, teach and love, even when that’s difficult!

Perhaps my favorite day of the week is Wednesday when I go to the school I where I last taught, and help out for 3 hours in the Library. I get to hear other people’s’ news, triumphs in the classroom, and problems that inevitably crop up in schools — be it with staff or the children. I also do useful work and provide a needed service. Being useful to others, and spending time with others, is a good way to forget woes, large and small, and get back some balance.

There’s a big world out there, and I’m not the center of it. Realizing that changes the framework of how I think and feel.