When I was growing up as a teenager in the 90’s, a lot of the culture around me was sad, angry and depressed. From Grunge music, to the death of my mother, to the uncertainty of generation X and being on the cusp of a new millenium–my youth was a depressing time. I wrote a lot in journals, made poems, I also drew and sketched in my spare time. I remember being sad and alone, but I didn’t suffer. As an adult though, I find it gets harder and harder to handle negative emotions properly and healthily. And since I’m all about natural ways of living, there are simple ways to deal with days where I feel crappy. They take a bit of work…but are better than a day of crying in bed and not getting out.
Whether it’s about a job, a relationship, family…etc. A lot of things can get us down…if it’s a chronic kind of thing, we may turn to drugs/medication, which is not the best. And we sometimes even ignore our feelings until they implode on us and we get into even more trouble. I physically have headaches when I ignore my sadness.
So let’s first understand that sadness stems from when we realize situations/problems are out of our control, and the despair grips the emotional core. But this is sort of a good thing, because once we recognize that whatever happened is not in our control we stop wasting energy fixing it or blaming ourselves. We finally have time to heal, and not dwell.
Some ways I beat depression and avoid dwelling:
- Take a hot bath and relax…this distraction not only de-stresses, but it cleanses and renews you, and reminds you that you need to take care of yourself.
- Re-play all the sad songs that you know will help you. I am a sap for Fiona Apple, since I grew up on her, and well, she made being pouty so cool! Sometimes skidding into sad emotions help more than avoiding feeling it.
- Write a journal entry, expressing everything. Be careful though, this is a double edged sword. Sometimes purging helps, but it can also trigger past emotions of hurt that you also have to deal with.
- Put on loads of make-up: after a night of crying, believe it or not, covering up and pretending nothing happened feels great! check out my article about make-up for puffy eyes! I wrote it for allergies, but it works in this case too!
- Moisturize and pamper your skin. When you are sad, and stressed, your skin seems to need extra moisture and pampering, so be sure to get a good lotion and slather generously
- Work at a slower pace, take on less tasks: work is a great distraction, but if you take on too much, the stress will add to your already weakened state.
- Understand sad days should be treated like a physical illness. Allow yourself to feel sad, let it run its course and rest, have chicken soup!
- Resist the urge to eat away emotions. When I was sad a few years ago, I would go for sweets…they comforted me. And I’d eat even when I wasn’t hungry. Not only do you gain weight, but you’re using food to block emotions…and that’s unhealthy
- Resist the urge to shop away emotions: I also used to buy things I didn’t need to cheer me up. While the initial purchase lifts you, your credit card bill will not.
- Hang out with a good girlfriend. You don’t even have to talk about what’s got you down, just having someone around and going out for coffee is an amazing lift.
- Sleep in and then some: make sure you get sleep. For some reason, problems and conflicts look worse when you haven’t gotten a good night’s sleep so do yourself a favour and put your alarm on snooze.
↑My sad girl icon Fiona Apple. A lot of her music is about being tortured, sad and misunderstood…obligatory listening for the moody.
What things do you do when you are really sad, and in pain? Are your thoughts sometimes too much to handle? Is life dragging you down in various ways, and you feel like you can’t cope? Do you feel freakishly alone during your sad days? Believe it or not, you are not alone. I think we have to understand our sad days and let them have free run, or else they creep into our happy days, and make living ever much so harder.