The 3 Week Diet

Busting your blues

Life, as we all know, is full of ups and downs.  All of us experience good days and bad days.   You don’t really have the blues when you experience one bad day or when you have something happen that makes you sad.

Depression – the blues – is different.  There are some clear indictors of what depression looks like:


  • a persistent feeling of sadness, emptiness and feeling worthless
  • loss of pleasure in activities that used to be enjoyable
  • withdrawing (or wanting to withdraw) from people and activities
  • physical pain or discomfort such as aches and pains
  • changes in appetite
  • changes in sleep patterns
  • low libido


It’s important to remember that all these indicators may be present, or maybe most of the them are present – and they have to be present for 10 days or more.  Feeling out-of-sorts for a day or two doesn’t qualify as the blues.

Nobody is immune to a case of the blues, but the good news is that there are strategies and skills that you can develop to help you overcome your blues.

Fact File:

Research has found that getting active is essential in busting your blues.  The blues make us feel lethargic and put us in a place where nothing matters and we may not feel like getting out of bed.  Your ability to be a fully socially functioning person is diminished.

The sense of powerlessness and loss of control can be reversed by regaining some control and getting active.  By taking control, you might save yourself from spiraling further down into the blues.

Busting your blues guidelines – some skills, strategies and techniques

 Step 1:  Tell someone you trust that you want help in getting motivated.  This helps by reminding you that you want to be more motivated and by having the trusted person remind you of your resolve.

Step 2:  Sit down and make a schedule of the things you will do every day.  Make sure these are achievable and as pleasant as possible.

Don’t skimp on detail!

By planning your day, you’ll make sure that you don’t put things off of make excuses to not get active.

Step 3:  Make yourself a long list of pleasant activities.  Because the blues takes away a feeling of pleasure, it’s important to reconnect with pleasurable activities.

Step 4:  Set yourself some goals.  Goals are things we want to achieve for ourselves.

Set daily, weekly and monthly goals.  If you can do so, stretch even further ahead and set yourself three and six-monthly goals.

By setting goals you can feel more in control of your life and you have something to look forward to achieving.

Make sure that you set yourself goals in the following six areas:

• relationships
• family life
• work
• study
• leisure time
• personal growth and development

So, get active and start busting your blues today!

You can read more about skills and strategies for blues-busting in Losing the 21st Century Blues (

Did you know….?

That researchers have found that consciously relaxing not only has a de-stressing effect, but also a psychological effect of helping you feel more in control again – and helping your bust your blues.

Why not try some body relaxation and some mindful breathing?

Body relaxation is a 3-step process:

  • relaxing your mind
  • relaxing your breathing
  • relaxing your body

Mindful breathing helps you stay calm and centered and in a place from which you can anticipate your mindful activity and prepare to be active.

A calm mind prepared for purposeful and enjoyable activities is essential to finding your way back to the best social functioning you can achieve.



Zita Weber, Ph.D. is an author and honorary academic, and has worked as a counselor and therapist with individuals, couples and families.  She has researched and written about communication, relationships, sexuality, depression and loss and grief.  More information about her work and books can be found at:

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