Sometimes stuff sucks and it makes you sad! That’s super okay, and I’m a big believer in being sad when sad things happen, but how do you pull yourself out of it once you’re ready? I’ve tried my best to answer this question below - I hope none of you need it but that it’s helpful if you do.
I would say the first step of cheering yourself up is being mindful of how things make you feel in everyday life. Feeling happy? Sad? On edge? Relaxed? See if you can pinpoint the thing that affected your mood so that you can track how you’re doing.
This has helped me HEAPS because I am getting better at appreciating the things in life that bring me joy and learning to quickly identify things that I can do without. It’s also been really helpful because I know I’m not doing so well when everyday things start to have a harsher effect on my wellbeing. I’m not 100% there yet, but every time I learn something new about myself, I feel really proud.
Both tragically and inspirationally, the only way out is through. When you’re sad, time can seem long, but just keeping on going will help. Eventually, you won’t be sad anymore. But you have to put in the time to get there. What do you do when you’re so sad you don’t know what to do? Something!
Start by ticking boxes. Have you drank enough water today? Eaten a healthy meal? Gone outside? Turn taking care of yourself into a hobby. I managed to form good habits this way the last time I was sad! Every night before bed, I’d ask “What’s a gift I could give my future self?” and get excited about small things I could do to make myself happy when I woke up. I’d do tiny things like tidying my desk, making my bed, putting my shoes away, etc., and then when I woke up, I’d feel really proud of myself and grateful for the gift I gave. I’d always start off intending to only do one thing, and then get carried away and do multiple. I was treating myself like a friend and it is the most wonderful habit I have ever formed in my life. Please try this!
Don’t! Listen! To! Sad! Music! In fact, actively try to listen to happy music. Start a new playlist right now with a happy title and add songs to it every time you notice that a song makes you feel uplifted. You don’t have to have a million songs on there, but you will end up with a shortcut to joy for whenever you need it. This can apply to any art medium!
Do something productive. You have your own internal scale of what that means, so it can be anything from having a shower to getting some work done to painting a flower. I find that getting things done (or at least starting them) can make you feel like time is moving at the right rate again; almost like you’re manually turning the cogs to get it all started back up. Whenever I make a list of things to do, especially if I’m having a rough one, I put things like ‘Have a shower’ and ‘Eat breakfast’ on there and bask in the feeling of productivity when I cross them off.
Think about the best kind of social interaction you could go for and then do it. I have had times when getting dressed up and going out and having a loud night was the antidote to my melancholy, and other times where all I needed was a friend and a cup of tea on the couch. Not all socialising is the same but there will likely be one that is exactly what you need.
All in all, keep doing things and take care of yourself like you are a houseplant that you are excited to see bloom. You have gotten through every sad time in your life before now, and you will make it through this one. And, of course, if it’s hard, book in for some professional help for personalised care. You’ve got this!
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