Sadness can feel overwhelming and can come over at any time. There are many ways to deal with sorrow, like changing your thought process or altering your lifestyle. Here are some specific ways to pick your spirits up.
Explore the source of your sadness
If you remember a treasured friend, remember the things that made your friend special. Recall the things that the two of you did together that were good memories. Realize that you were fortunate to have that person in your life and contemplate how you can relate to someone else the way your friend is about you. Realize that that would be an incredible legacy for your friend.
Make a list of the things that make you happy.
These things may be items you own (such as favorite books, jewelry, pictures, or souvenirs). Or they may be relationships with a significant other, a child, a parent, or a friend. Think about what is about that item or that person that makes it or them so unique. Dwelling on good things, extraordinary things, is an excellent way to lift your spirits.
Move to a new environment.
Perhaps you have been staying at home too long. Taking a walk around the neighborhood and stopping to chat with neighbors will give you a new perspective. Instead of sitting in front of the television every evening, join a book club, a political action club, or another group you’re interested in. Reducing your television time will reduce the amount of time you see disturbing world events, too, which tend to cause you to dwell on all that’s going wrong in the world.
Take good care of yourself.
Perhaps you have been overworking, burning the candle at both ends. Take time for yourself. A relaxing bath, a good book, a glass of wine, sitting in your favorite chair with your pet in your lap, watching your favorite show or game on television–all of these will enable you to get your mind off your chores and your work so that you can recharge your batteries.
Perhaps you have been dwelling on what is going wrong in your life or what is making you upset and nervous. Reach out to a friend or relative who is a good listener, who can listen objectively and make some suggestions. Perhaps that person can shoulder a bit of your load–take the kids for an afternoon, bring over a casserole, so you don’t have to cook, sit with your aged parent to take a break, etc.
Return the favor
Think of someone you know who is stressed and sad. Perhaps a friend recently lost a parent or friend. Maybe a friend is between jobs. Perhaps a friend has a spouse with a life-threatening illness. Think about what you can do to help. Maybe your friend needs someone to listen. Stepping away from your sadness and putting yourself in someone else’s shoes will enable you to see that everyone suffers at some point. We can all help each other by being good friends and by listening. Listening to someone else’s problems and concerns may help lift your sadness slightly.
Use professional resources
Some people are hesitant to reach out to professionals for help, but experiencing sadness for a long time and seeing it impact your life in a way that prevents you from functioning requires support. If the strategies you have tried have not worked, it is time to reach out to a professional. Sometimes, the professional can enable you to see your situation in a different light. Sometimes they will need to prescribe medication for short- or long-term relief. There is no need to suffer endlessly. There are professionals available who can help.
Plan something that you can look forward to
Is there a trip that you have always wanted to take? Plan it! Even if you aren’t able to get away right now, the act of planning each phase of the trip, deciding how you will travel, what you will see, what you will do, what kinds of pictures you will take, and who you might like to take with you–all of this will lift your spirits and give you something exciting to look forward to in the future. You can go online to do virtual tours of hotels, museums, and cities. You can order books about the area you want to visit and highlight the things that are of most interest to you. You can think about what you would like to pack and can shop to supplement your wardrobe so that you’ll be ready to go.
Set a series of small goals
If your goal is to take a particular trip, what can you do next month to make that happen? Maybe you need to set aside a bit of money each month. Perhaps you need to check with a friend to see when they could travel with you. Maybe you would like to sign into a language app and learn a bit of the language used in the country you want to visit.
Think about who you associate with
Are you surrounding yourself with positive people or with negative people? Positive people have sadness, too, but they tend to bounce back with optimism. Negative people see everything through a foggy lens, dragging you down with them. Positive people use affirmations to build themselves up. They stay active. They treasure their friendships. They believe that the glass is half full. And that it can be whole again.
Explore your spiritual side
Religion can be very comforting. Reading the Bible (or another religious book of your choice) can provide a path that can lead to an understanding of why things happen the way they happen. Having a spiritual counselor (minister, priest, rabbi, etc.) can provide you with something to think about, reasons for why things happen the way they do, and faith that everything happens. Religious institutions have many programs that can help with sadness. There are often prayer groups, choirs, classes, and activities, such as dinners, rummage sales, trips, charity work events, etc. Church members may make soup for shut-ins, visit hospitals, plan plays for youth, organize fun runs, etc. It’s pretty easy to study all the different activities and find one that appeals to you. Working with others to accomplish a goal, listening to stories of what others have been through, or having a lot of fun with like-minded people are all ways of helping you step outside your sadness for a while.
You aren’t the only person to experience sadness. It happens to everyone. How you deal with it can determine whether you will curl up in a ball or whether you will move through it and help others move through theirs. When you get active and involved, you can step away from your sadness and see that there is a beautiful world out there for you to explore. Some people have been through what you have been through. They can help you, and you, in turn, can help others.