Organizing the Blues

By, Mrs. Devora Farrell


It happens to the best of us, some more than others.  Those days when it’s just a bit harder to get out of bed, the day’s activities punctuated by a sigh, food just doesn’t have much flavor.  If it can be tied to a specific circumstance, if it’s temporary, we are relieved.  Maybe we indulge for a few days and then move on.

What if we can’t?

What if it’s relentless, or lasts longer than we anticipate?  I’m not a Rabbi, but I’m a big fan of spiritual guidance.  I’m not a therapist, but I’m a big fan of therapy.  I’m not a doctor, but I’m a big fan of appropriate medication dispensed appropriately.

What is your part?

As is a common refrain in my columns, there is no “one size fits all,” when it comes to organizing, or to most other things.  As is another common refrain in my columns, many rough edges of life can be smoothed by a plan.  It is much harder to cobble one together during difficult days than it is in anticipation of them.  What’s the worst case scenario?  The plan does not work adequately, or perfectly, or at all.  How is that worse than not having a plan to begin with?

If you’re like me, and tend toward down days (or weeks or months), there are things that I can do that help me get through them, and hopefully, shorten their duration (and sometimes, prevent them from starting).  Here’s the list I’ve come up with over the years.  The numbering is just for ease of organization, not to indicate priority.  And yes, this list is primarily focused on the needs of women.

  1. Seek spiritual guidance and/or licensed therapeutic assistance and/or well-considered pharmaceutical help (Not all sources are of legitimate value, even if they think they are).
  2. Pray to feel better. Yes, it’s a “thing.”
  3. See your physician (If you don’t currently have one, choose one. Sometimes, there’s a physical reason for the blues.  Share how you’re feeling with the doctor so they can properly screen.).
  4. Get more cleaning help (Why do so many people try to manage with significantly less than they need? Yes, it’s a financial commitment, but it’s cheaper than many other necessities.  When you need less, you can cut back.)
  5. Am I eating good foods in good amounts? Am I sleeping a healthy amount?
  6. Call a friend and share the burden.
  7. Call someone who needs a call to help them, even if it feels artificial.
  8. Go to the grocery store and “happen” to run into people you know.
  9. Smile, if only for the other person’s benefit.
  10. Helping others assists in fighting the self-absorption of the blues.
  11. Listen to music that you enjoy.
  12. Throw out all your “fat” clothes.
  13. Go for a walk.
  14. Get dressed (no jammies).
  15. Plan something to look forward to, whether it’s for today, next week, next month.
  16. Spend an hour sorting photos (you may not enjoy it in the moment, but it can feel good to move a project along).
  17. Go to a class.
  18. Read a “light” book or article.
  19. Clean your junk drawer (everyone has at least one).
  20. Visit a botanical garden.
  21. Get a massage, and/or a mani/pedi.
  22. Get a makeover (yes, it’s worth the money).
  23. Go to a park and watch the children play.
  24. Ask an older person to tell you about what they’ve learned in life.
  25. Offer to help a new Mommy.
  26. Iron (the rhythm calms me; yes, I know it’s crazy, but hey, whatever works).
  27. Change something small in your décor (New pillow? Decorative tissue box holder?).
  28. Plant a flower.
  29. Paint pottery (Hi, Abbey!).
  30. Bake challah.
  31. Send a care package to someone at camp (it can be your busy neighbor’s child; ask permission).
  32. Learn a new skill/craft/hobby.
  33. Take out a book on creative napkin folding (for the Shabbos table); yes, boys can enjoy it too.
  34. Try to score a Shabbos invitation.
  35. Invite a guest or two or three to your house for Shabbos.
  36. Or, buy barbeque.
  37. Sit outside.
  38. Sometimes, it’s the only thing that brings relief.
  39. Go to any of the stores on Main Avenue and see who you run into.
  40. Paint a room (or see if you can get anyone else to do it – paid or unpaid).
  41. Go on the swings (in a park where no one knows you, if you’re embarrassed).
  42. Get the car washed and vacuumed.
  43. Visit a friend in the country (not as a surprise, please).
  44. Blow bubbles, color with sidewalk chalk (borrow children as a cover).
  45. Throw out/Donate 10 things from the attic and/or garage.
  46. Sit at Bagel Munch and enjoy the smell of coffee.
  47. Go to any of the local fairs.
  48. Try an indoor rock-climbing wall (yes, I have).
  49. Fly a kite.
  50. Watch the fireflies.
  51. Read a book from a genre you tend not to frequent (Travel diary? Poetry? Politics? Novel? Biography? Home Improvement?)
  52. Re-read a favorite book from childhood.
  53. Replace that really uncomfortable chair/couch.
  54. Fix, pay to fix, or replace three items that really get on your nerves in their current state.
  55. Learn to do something new and useful on the computer.
  56. Hire an accountant (Hi, Barry!) to do your taxes this year, to see if they can find you a nice refund.
  57. Throw out/Donate your uncomfortable shoes.
  58. Buy a beautiful nightgown/pair of pajamas (plenty of inexpensive options).
  59. Your ideas?

May we each find our effective ways to feel better.

Need help with that attic, garage, toy room, kitchen, closet, home office, To Do List, schedule?  We can do it just the way you like it.  Call Mrs. Devora Farrell at 973 919-7761 or email .

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