How to Move Past a Blue Period

Pablo Picasso, Blue Period

During a recent trip to Barcelona, I visited the Picasso Museum, and was impressed by the amazing paintings he did as a teenager.

I was also affected by paintings from his Blue Period—a time of depression for this amazing artist.

These somber works reflect a time of sadness over the suicide of his friend, as well as the artist’s own poverty and desolation.  His monochromatic works in shades of blue of prisoners, beggars, of frail and social outcasts, represent a time of misery that would last for years.

Luckily, Picasso’s Blue Period passed into his Rose Period. His playfulness eventually began to reappear and happily remained for the rest of his life.

This got me thinking about those times in our lives when we experience our own blue periods. With the recession, high unemployment, and rising anxiety and stress at work, it can be easy to identify with Picasso.

Here are a few things I recommend to lift you out of your blue mood:

  • Understand that you are not alone. Just think of Picasso.
  • Reach out to people for help—those that lift you up, not push or put you down.
  • Be careful not to mistake feelings for facts. Understanding that feelings often lie is an important step in letting go of a blue mood.
  • Focus. Get in the here-and-now, and ask: “What’s the next positive step I need to take to move myself forward?” Then do it!
  • And most of all, know that the mood will pass. It did with Picasso. It will with you too.

Just knowing this will hopefully end your Blue Period and put you in the pink!


Copyright 2014 Michelle Kerrigan

Painting: Pablo Picasso, Femme aux Bras Croises (Woman with Folded Arms), 1901-1902

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