Sometimes sadness can come on strong, bringing with it a deep, painful, yet releasing, cry. Other times, sadness can linger longer than we would like it to, hanging like a heavy cloak over our day.
When we are feeling low and emotionally depleted, it can be difficult to think positive thoughts and to engage in positive self-care. As a result, our sadness can sometimes lull us into an even more depressive, frustrated place with the help of gloomy, ruminating, repetitive thoughts.
So how can we hold a lingering sadness without letting it fuel thoughts that make us feel worse?
Contextualizing our sadness is an important assessment step when we are feeling low. Is it hormonal? Am I recovering from adrenal fatigue or dopamine-reducing substances? Was there a particular trigger where I perhaps felt disconnected with someone I loved?
But perhaps regardless of how or why it is there, learning to hold and ride out a wave of sadness is another aspect of knowing how to be a good friend to ourselves.
So here are some key things to consider:
Don't expect a lot from yourself today.
Take your time.
I mean it. You're feeling kind of fragile and that's okay.
Stay out your head.
That's a big one.
But telling yourself to stop thinking too much can be like asking a boat to stop rocking in the sea. It just happens and keeps happening despite our best efforts to stay present.
So here's the thing: you have to find a way to lose yourself in the moment. You could exercise, you could meditate, you could bury yourself into work. But don't forget another resource you have:
Lose yourself in your art.
Whether it is crafting, drawing, dancing, building something, redecorating, writing a letter....find that something that puts you in the zone. Your creativity can help you move with and move through the feelings of sadness without letting it fester in your head.
By focusing and feeling into your art, you lose the story of your sadness and get to just ride it out like the wave that it is - cresting and ebbing and moving you forward.
And if and when it finally builds enough for you to have a good cry, try and let it move through you even though it is painful. Let it wash over you. Let yourself have the release that will hopefully lead to eventual relief.
And if night comes and sadness is still there, heavy, stagnant, and determined to stay, try to love yourself anyway and maybe put yourself to bed early. Or even, if you haven't already, call a friend. \Whatever it takes, take care of your heart.