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Just for Her


Feeling Blue

by Drs. Rick and Jan Hanson

  • Pay attention to everything that's going well, not badly, and try to see the silver lining or even humor in your situation.

  • Talk back to pessimistic thoughts in your mind by arguing with them forcefully. A fundamental psychological skill is to be able to observe one's thoughts dispassionately and question how true or wise they are.

  • Get out and have some fun. We know this sometimes seems impossible, but if you make it a priority - and talk with your partner about watching the children or make an arrangement with another mom to do something enjoyable together with your kids - it will certainly happen.

  • Connect with other people. Women have evolved to rely on "tend and befriend" more than "fight or flight" reactions to cope with stress; reaching out to others actually releases hormones that protect your body from stress. We often withdraw from people when we're feeling down, but instead, try to call a friend.

  • * * *

    Rick Hanson is a clinical psychologist, Jan Hanson is an acupuncturist/nutritionist, and they are raising a daughter and son, ages 12 and 15. With Ricki Pollycove, M.D., they are the first and second authors of Mother Nurture: A Mother's Guide to Health in Body, Mind, and Intimate Relationships, published by Penguin. You can see their website at or email them with questions or comments at; unfortunately, a personal reply may not always be possible.

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