Let’s be real – we don’t always bounce out of bed with a smile and a feeling of invincibility. Even if we do wake up singing, those zipadeedodah feelings can be gone by the time we sit down to breakfast. Emotional ups and downs are something we all struggle with, and sometimes the leap from one to the next can be sudden and dramatic. The highs are great, but we have so few tools for living with the lows. For any of you who are feeling as heavy as a January snow cloud, here are five ways to deal with sadness.
1. Embrace it – Denying your emotions and trying to bury them only makes them burst through the soil like ravenous zombies when you least expect it. Accept the fact that you are feeling down, and give yourself permission to be okay with that. Trust that sadness is only one of many emotions you will feel today, and allow yourself to hope that it might not even be the strongest feeling you have in the next 24 hours.
2. Share It – You deserve to open up and be vulnerable about your sadness. Tell a trusted friend or loved one that you’re sad. Post a simple message on your wall without being too cryptic or personal. Allow yourself to be open to the love that you will receive, and try to see that light, whether it is a funny post sent your way, a hug, a cup of tea, or a sympathetic nod. I promise that someone else you know is also feeling sad right now, so you are not alone.
3. Be Kind To Yourself – Take time today to slow down, and shift your schedule and any demands you may feel in order to take good care of yourself. Don’t feel guilty or ashamed of your sadness. Don’t beat yourself up if you have to make some changes to your plans. If you have to cancel in favor of staying home, promise to use that time for an act of self nurturing like a bath, or a good book, or some fresh air.
4. Get Moving – Even 15 minutes of physical activity will help shift your mood, and add some light to your day. Do something you enjoy, try to lose yourself in your breath and the activity you are engaged in. Ground yourself in your body and feel your connection to your physical self. You are strong and you have the power to grow stronger every day.
5. Stay Here – Somebody loves you and needs you right here, right in this moment. As you catch yourself drifting to the past or worrying about the future, gently pull yourself into the right now. Breathe, make a mental list of the things you can see, hear, taste, smell and feel. This moment, right now is your reality, and the one you need to focus on most closely. What can you shift or change right now to add more light to this moment? Do it, and then take a breath and trust that the next moment will be waiting for you, with new sensations to experience.
You are light, you are loved, you are part of the vast wonder of the universe.
Do you have any tried and true ways to help move through moments of sadness? We’d love to hear them, please share in the comments below!