Why do sad things have to happen? Optimists will say, “there can be no rainbow without rain”. Ummm, nyo thanks! Don’t want to hear that right now. All I want to do is wallow in my own pity. This week is a tough one because my
coworker GREATEST FRIEND moves to New Mexico tomorrow! My friends and I are so excited for her and her husband and this new journey they are about to take, but deep down we are devastated she is leaving us. So, this post is dedicated to dealing with sad feelings. Is there a food that cures sadness? Maybe…but I’m not going to tell you how to cure your sadness. I’m going to help you through it. As a military wife, I deal with separating from loved ones way too much. Every time it happens, I go into a slight funk and then quickly pick myself back up. Let yourself be sad- don’t ignore this emotion. It’s okay to feel down. But it’s not okay to stay there. Acknowledge your emotions. Take your time getting up. Here are my favorite ways to deal with sad emotions.
Get your blood moving. It might seem a little hard to do this when you’re sad but breaking a little sweat can really do wonders for your attitude. Do whatever feels good. Go for a walk and look around you as you do so. Take in the sights and the sounds. Sweat out your sadness in an intense spin class. Find peace and serenity in a yoga flow. There is no standard here. Just listen to your body, let go of all expectations and just move.
Connect with nature
It’s so easy to just lock all the doors, close the curtains and close yourself off from the rest of the world when you’re sad. Try sitting outside and breathing for a few minutes. Grab a magazine or a book you’ve been trying to finish. Find a nice little spot somewhere outside and read. If you can’t seem to bring yourself to do all that, start slow. Open all the windows. Invite some fresh sunlight into your home. If that is STILL too hard, then get in bed, turn on some nature sounds on Youtube or Spotify, close your eyes, and pretend you’re somewhere else.
Pamper your body
If you know me, you know I love to pamper myself. Face masks, hair masks, pedicures, manicures, massages, baths…I love it all. This is actually my favorite way to relax and relieve some of my sadness. After a long flight back from Maryland following an amazing trip with friends and family, the first thing I do when I get back to my apartment is take a hot shower. I light a candle, dim the lights, drop a few drops of lavender oil in the shower floor, and begin relaxing. When I’m done, I towel off and add a few more drops of lavender oil into my lotion and moisturize my skin. I’ll put on a clean pair of pajamas and if I’m really sad, my husband will massage my shoulders while I massage my feet. Never underestimate the power of a good at-home pamper session. It will seriously change your mood.
Nourish your body with the nutrients it needs to be happy and healthy. Feed yourself foods that will make you happy when you are done eating them. Sometimes its an insanely well balanced meal like grilled salmon with brown rice and steamed broccoli. It’s a meal I enjoy eating, is in line with my overall health goals, and leaves me feeling satisfied and calm. Other times, it’s a food I’ve been depriving myself of enjoying – such as Chinese food or pizza. Foods that do not necessarily contribute to my healthy goals still have a place in my healthy lifestyle. Allowing myself to enjoy the foods I usually avoid helps me appreciate my health journey and bring awareness to how I feel after such meals. Usually, I feel sluggish and just want to sleep (which is perfect for when I’m sad and want to wallow in my sadness). This week, I choose warm chocolate brownie with a scoop of cookies and cream ice cream from Insomnia cookies because that’s H’s favorite and it reminds me of her.
Phone a friend
Call for help. Get on the phone and talk to that friend that knows just how to cheer you up. Lucky for me, I have several to choose from. We get so wrapped up in texting, tagging in memes, writing on Facebook walls, or snapchat conversing, we give ourselves a false sense of connection to the people in our lives. And then all of a sudden, you realize you haven’t actually spoken to your friends or your family in a really long time. So every once in a while, not just when you’re sad, pick up the phone and call a friend for just five minutes. FaceTime helps a lot, too. Yes, I’m crying in this photo. Man, friends are just so priceless.
Lastly, you’re going to want to stay hydrated because I’m going to encourage you to cry it out. Yup. Don’t hold those tears back. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to hold back tears (…unsuccessfully) and then one day, I decided to stop trying. You’d be surprised how quick your cry session actually is. My cry sessions last about 3-5 minutes, depending on the circumstance. And everyone knows crying makes you sleepy, so if you can, schedule your cry sessions closer to bed time, like before your spa shower. Then, you’ll be ready to sleep peacefully. A good cry can be so cathartic. Let it all out and just let yourself feel the tears and the pain. Eventually, you’ll realize it doesn’t hurt as bad as you thought it would.
And with that, I end this post with best wishes to my girl, Hilary, the Ariel in our Disney Princesses clique, my fellow women’s marcher, the patient desk station neighbor who took the brunt of my nervous start as a clinical dietitian. Safe travels and best wishes on this new chapter in your life. Know that you change others around you for the better…now crush it!