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Every once in a while, I feel sad for no apparent reason. Do you feel that way? Have you ever found yourself saying, “I’m sad”?
I know I have.
And if you ever feel sad, but you still need to go on with your day, I want to share with you these ideas and “tips” that I do that cheer me up so that I can tackle my day and get through my obligations.
But before we go to the 5 simple things to do when feeling sad, I want to address a few things:
Is it ok to feel sad?
Feeling sad is not a bad thing.
If no-one had ever felt sad or lonely, we wouldn’t have some of the most cherished quotes and poems. We wouldn’t have some of the most beloved books and those beautiful drama movies that move you. We would never be able to listen to some of those most beautiful songs. No-one would have ever created them.
So when you feel sad, please remind yourself that feeling sad is not all bad.
What if you’re really sad? Or depressed?
Before I share my “tips” with you, please note that I’m not a health expert and if you or someone close to you is depressed (which is totally different from being sad), these won’t be the tips that will help you or them.
I don’t think there’s any quick fix to recover from depression and to tell yourself or someone else to “keep their chin up” when going through depression will most likely do more harm than good.
I know I was not too fond of it when people told me to cheer up when years ago I struggled with depression. It made me even more depressed.
Make sure that whatever you do will give you energy and won’t take it
I know that others might suggest
- writing down your feelings
- helping someone else in need
And those are wonderful advice, but if you’re low on energy, then doing something that needs energy might feel overwhelming.
And of course, talking to someone is an excellent way to go, but unfortunately we’re not always in the place to have someone next to us who could be holding our hand.
5 simple things (+ 1 bonus tip!) to do when you’re sad and you want to feel better
With that said, these are a few quick tips that could cheer you up when you’re low on energy, or you’re feeling sad. I know they’ve helped me a lot.
The first one is super fast to do! And works wonders – at least for me!
1. Breathe in, open your chest, and raise your head.
When you feel like you’re carrying the heaviest weight on your shoulders and you feel defeated, then you tend to look down.
I do that when I feel sad.
And one of the things that always helps me feel immediately better is to breathe in, open my chest, and raise my head. And instead of looking down, I look up. Not up to the sky but up enough, so I see others.
This was one of the first things I learned when I was studying Neuro-Linguistic-Programming (NLP), and this is the best “trick” that can lift your mood immediately.
2. Take a day off from social media
Even though your friends and family are on social media sometimes seeing those perfect pictures and happy postings might actually drag you down. I’ve noticed that when I’m sad and scroll through my feeds I find myself asking, “Why is everyone else so happy? Why is everyone else’s life so perfect?”.
Well, they’re not and neither is their lives perfect.
We all have ups and downs and social media is not always the place where those “downs” get the most likes and clicks.
So one thing that always helps me to gather my thoughts when I’m sad is to take a day off from social media.
3. Wear your favorite clothes and put on some make-up
I know this sounds superficial, but this helps me every time.
If I wear sweat pants or some worn-out clothes and don’t do my hair or make-up, it doesn’t bother me AT ALL on a regular day.
When I’m already feeling sad, then if I look a bit “off” it drags me down even more. So I’ve noticed that putting a little mascara on and wearing something a little nicer that compliments me, it cheers me up instantly.
4. Cleaning and organizing
It might sound silly, but putting stuff away and cleaning my home or space is one of the simplest and most effective ways for me to feel kind of “in control” when I’m sad.
Whenever I feel down, I try at least to keep my surroundings beautiful.
Somehow the clutter makes me even sadder so I try to keep even a small area organized when I’m feeling low.
So I organize my desk, some other small area, a part of my closet, or even some drawer.
And if you’re not at home when feeling sad, you can organize your purse or the apps on your phone.
5. Cry – if you can.
According to Medical News Today, crying relieves stress.
I don’t know about you, but I always feel so much better after I’ve let the tears fall.
But it hasn’t always been like that. There’s been a gazillion of times when I’ve asked myself, “why do I get so emotional”. Until I realized that crying is a good thing.
Even my honey knows that when I say, “I’m so stressed that I can’t even cry”, that I mean business! That’s the moment he starts to get a bit worried.
So before I get to that stage with my sadness I try to find time to watch a movie or a tv-show that I know will make me cry or I’ll listen to some beautiful song or read a book.
My favorite “crying choices” that have work wonders with me (over 20 years) are:
- Watching Lion King (even 20 minutes will do the trick – sometimes I just need to watch and listen to the first song.)
- Reading The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry or Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach.
And during the last few years, the tv-shows The Undercover Boss and Queer Eye have helped me a lot!
The joy that people feel when someone helps them is just so touching. I cry like a baby! And I feel better immediately.
So try to find a few things (songs, movies, tv-shows or books) that could potentially make you cry and relieve some of that stress.
Bonus tip! Pet a dog. Or a cat.
Psychology Today says that owning a pet makes you happier.
So if you have a pet, then you’re in luck! Petting your dog or a cat can make you feel instantly more relaxed and a bit less sad. So let your pet be there for you when you’re feeling low.
And if you’re like me and don’t own a pet, then go visit someone who does or do what I do and go for a walk. Most likely, you’ll bump into a kind dog owner who lets you pet their dog.
The day before I was writing this I was feeling really sad. For no reason.
So after feeling bad about myself for a while. I did a helpful combo of tip #5 and then tip #1 – so first, I cried and then opened my chest and looked up. And I was able to carry on with my day.
And today I feel happy again. Because I get to write to you.