I am publishing this post late because I’ve been feeling sad all day. (Whoops, where did everyone go? You mean that’s not a good conversation starter?)
I’ve learned not to try and “reason out” my sadness, or crowd it out with a million activities. I need to air out my sadness with space and time. With time comes clarity.
By the way, I recently learned that the first step in dealing with sadness is to cry. For reals, it scientifically reduces your stress.
I suck at crying. Nothing about my life ever makes me cry; I always feel so self-pitying and pathetic when I do that. But I need to cry, even if it’s over someone else’s story. We all need to!
After that, I fill my time with meaningful things, or at least, I try to make meaning wherever I can.
What do YOU do when you’re sad? I’d like to know.
Here’s my list of 12 things to do when I feel sad.
1. Watch a sad movie and cry.
2. Listen to a sad song and cry.
3. Write out a conversation I wish I could have.
4. Call all the friends I’ve been missing, and make plans to hang out.
5. Ask my friends over so we can do nothing together. (Sometimes, I just need someone who will sit in the same room as me, NOT pressure me to talk, and accept me the way I am.)
6. Go for a walk or a run. Pass by people. Remember that everyone else has their own life and is going through something.
8. Say a prayer (to the non/deity of choice) for the world.
9. Read or watch the news. Remember again that everyone else has their own life. Get some perspective.
10. Do something totally different and new. Like clean my room. No, just kidding. Like join a class to learn a new skill. Like skydive. Like write in a journal.
11. Clean my room and house. I’m not kidding this time. My mom used to say: “Messy room, messy mind.” It’s true!
12. Appreciate the small things: hot tea with honey, the car that lets me into a busy lane during rush hour, the quiet in the morning before the storm.
In order to feel joy, we must feel sadness.
This, too, shall pass.