Tonight I’m feeling sad.
I can trace it one event. But if I’m being honest, there were other issues layered in there, too.
I’m the queen of brushing things off as no big deal until one big event sets off a chain reaction and suddenly I’m a ball of emotions. And tears. Lots of tears.
I was in that sad, holding back the tears because the kids were around zone.
And I had a decision to make.
How was I going to deal with the sadness?
Negative Feelings Are Normal
First, it’s important to say that feeling sad sometimes is normal. I’m generally a positive, happy person. I’m dealing with some things. But I can still find happiness.
But we all have sad periods. Sometimes we know what causes them. Sometimes we don’t.
When you’re in the middle of feeling those feelings, it’s not always easy to make healthy choices for dealing with them.
Tonight I was ready to pour a margarita and bitch to my friends about what was happening. I was dangerously close.
But I held back. Pondered my options. And made one good decision. And then another.
I’m still feeling a little bummed about things. But I’m feeling better.
So I thought I would share what I did in case you’re looking for healthier ways to deal with your feelings.
Here are some ideas.
Listen to Music
My first step was to put on some music. It’s so powerful.
Put together an “I’m feeling sad” playlist to have on standby. Then pick the best song from that list and crank it. Then listen to another. And another.
What is causing those negative feelings? What’s making them worse?
Is that wine really making you feel better or is it deepening your sadness.
Now look, I know it sounds like I’m anti drinking here. I’m all for a drink now and then. But I usually feel a lot worse emotionally after I drink. Even if I wasn’t feeling super sad to begin with. So I try to limit it.
Maybe it’s social media. Maybe seeing all of the highlight reels (and that’s what they are — carefully curated bits of lives that may or may not even be accurate) of everyone else’s lives is making you feel worse about your own.
Or maybe you’re missing someone and you’re stalking their social media to see what they’re doing.
Sister, I get it. But don’t! It won’t help. It’ll make you feel worse. You might see things that confirm your fears or make you miss the person even more. Just don’t.
Brew a Cup of Tea or Grab Some Water
The unhealthy me was ready to pour a margarita. Or drink a big glass of Mountain Dew. (I know it’s horrible for me. It’s my vice.)
Instead, I brewed some chamomile tea. (This Tazo tea sampler pack has two of my favorite teas: the chamomile and Zen.) It’s calming. And much healthier than what I wanted.
And I also have been majorly slacking on drinking water, which could be adding to my emotions and general blah feeling.
I’m slowly working on breaking my habits of emotional eating (and drinking). Tonight I made a healthy choice. Other nights I drown it with Mountain Dew and Reese’s. Balance, right?
But seriously. Try to make one health choice when you’re feeling down. A cup of tea won’t cure everything. But it’ll get you closer than wine.
Talk It Out
I used to hold in things and not tell my friends. I really didn’t even feel like I had close enough friends to tell my dark, sad emotions.
And tonight I chose not to reach out. I caught myself before I went into a deep dive of sadness.
But please, please, please know that there are people who will listen! You’re not a burden if you need to talk through your feelings sometimes.
Focus on Something Good
Right now, our Christmas tree is up and we have other Christmas decorations around. My son is playing video goes on the couch next to me. One of our cats is curled up in the cutest position on my lap. My daughter just came down to grab something, but she stopped to give me a hug before going back upstairs.
I’m really trying to focus on those positives. Sometimes I can get so involved in my own negativity that I miss those things.
Practicing gratitude can be a way to help you climb out of your sadness.
dive Into Your Emotions
Sometimes my brain tricks me into feeling certain feelings even though they’re not accurate.
I find that most often with loneliness or miss people who were once in my lives and aren’t anymore.
I’m thinking of one situation in particular where a friend is no longer in my life and I miss that friend. But I know I’m missing what could have been. What I wanted. Not what was really there.
But sometimes I still let myself go to that sadness and loneliness and desire to have that person in my life.
So when I get that way, I have to talk myself through it.
You’re not really sad about what was there. You’re sad about what wasn’t there. You’re missing a dream of how you wish things would have been.
If a specific situation is bothering you, have your pity party. Stay a little while. Sample the charcuterie board. But don’t take up residence in the guest room.
It’s okay to sit with your feelings for a while. Then, figure out what you can do to change the situation.
What little step right now will get you closer to improving the thing that’s bumming you out? What can you do to help you feel better?
Make a list of lots of little steps.
And then start doing them. Take action toward accomplishing what you want right now.
I decided to start this blog post. It’s helping me process things.
Sleep On It
As soon as I get done with this post, I plan to go to bed. My sleep schedule has been crap lately. And sometimes you just need a really good, long night’s sleep to change your perspective.
Falling sleep when you’re upset can be tough. I recommend having a good cry. Just splash your eyes with water before you fall asleep to reduce the puffy day-after cry eyes.
Here are some more tips for setting yourself up for good sleep.
However you decide to deal with it, just keep going. Some things are going to take a lot longer to sort out. There are some types of sad that a cup of tea and good cry a friend barely takes the edge off. You just have to heal.
But keep trying. Keep testing out different ways to help.
What are your tried and true ways of dealing with negative emotions?