I’ve been through depression a few times (as you might recall from a few of my other blog posts). It’s not easy. I don’t think it’s ever as easy as we want it to be, especially.
I have some friends who have had some bad news lately. There are family troubles, health issues, and grades and tests to worry about.
Here are 4 of my go-to things to do when you’re feeling sad, no matter the “why” or “how.”
1. Rest. As much as you can, as well as you can, as often as you can. Some people think sleep is an escape. And while I would caution you from using it too too too much (like, more than 12 hours a day too much) I would say it’s healthy. Sleep is a way the body heals itself, and I like to think that includes the heart.
Too much of my own depression was further complicated by the fact I couldn’t sleep that much. A lack of sleep is hard on the body, no matter how happy or sad, but especially sad.
2. Take a bath. This is my favorite one. It forces you to put down the phone, computer, and everything else. When I was pregnant I would run up my water bill by just taking a 30-minute shower. And then I would go to my gym’s shower and do the same thing.
There’s always been something about water that made me feel comforted; like the earth is sad for you too, and it wraps its warmth around you to help you feel better.
3. Pray. While it’s really something that should be first on the list, I always feel better about praying after I’ve had a nap and a shower. There’s something more ordered to my prayers.
4. Finally, talk with someone. Texting counts. I actually recommend talking if you are more extroverted and texting if you’re more introverted. But it always helps to write out the problem, and to get feedback from others. Chances are, someone you reach out to will know what you’re going through.
When some of my teenage students come to me with their problems, I can help them out. When I go to someone else who’s older or has more experience in an area of my life, it’s easier.
And it helps if they are more objective about it, too. I love my mother, but she can’t tell me I’m her favorite author without lying (I write fantasy, and she loves her historical fiction books.) And I know it, but I love her for trying.
And even if you’re not sad, or you’ve never had depression, please remember these things for others, and be on the “receiving” end. Listen as they talk, watch their kids or dog while they sleep, cook a meal for them while they take their bath. There’s nothing sadder than having someone say they will be there for you and then make you feel like you’re talking to a wall.
Any other suggestions? Feel free to give us some advice in the comments section!