(CARLSBAD, CA) – Feeling down in the dumps? Are you easily annoyed, bothered, or angered? Do you feel sad or anxious? Having difficulty staying focused? Losing interest in regular life activities? If so, you may be suffering from a case of depression, and you’re not alone.
Women seem particularly prone to bouts of depression. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reports that depression impacts twice as many women as men, regardless of age, ethnic background, and income level.
If you can’t seem to shake the blues, try making a few changes in your daily life to help lift your spirits. Whether it’s an occasional bad day or a funk that lingers, one of these actions may be just enough to brighten your day.
• Give Thanks – Keep a daily gratitude journal. When you wake up in the morning, or before you go to bed at night, jot down two or three things you’re grateful for – the outdoor sunshine, your blooming garden or the late night chat with your sister. Take time to notice the good things in life. It helps put your problems and stresses into perspective.
• Straighten Up – Believe it or not, de-cluttering your home and office can actually improve your mood. Your messy desk only reminds you of how many tasks still need to be done. Take a little time to get organized. You’ll feel a greater sense of control and calm.
• Schedule “Me” Time – Your schedule is jam-packed with work appointments, kids’ sports schedules, and reminders to pick-up the dry cleaning. What about scheduling an appointment for you? Block out an hour of time that’s just for you. Whether you use that time to soak in a bubble bath, read a mystery novel, or stroll through the park is up to you. The point is to carve out time to rejuvenate yourself.
• Just Dance – Researchers in the United Kingdom recently found that regular dance lessons actually lift the spirits of people suffering from depression. Jazzercise CEO Judi Sheppard Missett, who founded the world’s leading dance fitness program, concurs that dancing is not only a great form of physical exercise, but can have significant emotional benefits as well.
• Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice – Try some aromatherapy to improve your mood. Simmer a pot of water, cinnamon sticks and apples on your stovetop. The spicy scent will ease your stress.
• Lend a Helping Hand – Do something unexpected to help out your neighbor, co-worker, or even a complete stranger. Chances are that the people around you will reciprocate. Even if they don’t, you’ll feel better knowing that you’ve made the world a better place.
If your feelings of sadness continue to interfere with everyday life for an extended period of time, then it’s time to talk to your doctor. You may be suffering from clinical depression. One in four women will suffer from severe depression at some point in life, yet only twenty percent of these women seek professional help. Ask your doctor about treatment options.
Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is the world's leading dance-fitness program with more than 7,800 instructors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in the U.S. and around the globe. Since 1969, millions of people of all ages and fitness levels have reaped the benefits of this comprehensive program, designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.