Things to do When you're Sad
Sometimes, you just feel low. There might be a reason. There might not be a reason. Either way, you’re feeling sad and that’s OK; you’re not alone. As humans, we all have this (annoying) predisposition.
We want to feel better, but we simply can’t shake the feeling. We want to feel happy and forget about our worries, but our minds won’t let us. We want to book a one way ticket to Bali and sit on the beach, listen to the sea and sip Fiji water… But we’re not Kim Kardashian.
Not to worry. In this little friendly Lemonade Box Blog post, we’ll give you 6 free or very cheap activities/self-care rituals you can practice when you’re feeling low and restless. You’re not alone; we’re here.
1. Wake up earlier
Ever heard of the expression “if you snooze, you lose”? Well, we’re here to tell you that it’s true. Hitting that snooze button can ruin your whole day.
Sleep expert, Adam Tishman explained that pressing snooze meddles with your body’s natural wake up system, causing you to feel more exhausted throughout the day. This tiredness can affect your mood and cause you to feel very low.
On the other hand, waking up earlier can relieve feelings of sadness. Spirituality scholar, Theresa Cheung validates this, stating that “people who get up earlier are healthier, happier… [And] more positive”.
It gives you more time to plan your day, get things done and feel as fresh as a daisy whilst doing so.
2. Exercise (even if it’s just a little)
Recent studies have discovered that exercise can treat mild to moderate depression in the same way as antidepressant medication. The difference is, exercising brings you an abundance of alternative benefits and doesn’t leave you with potentially harmful side effects.
Exercise fights depression in numerous ways. It encourages various changes in the brain, including neural growth and new activity patterns which boost feelings of relaxation and well-being. Similarly, exercise releases endorphins – these are chemicals in the brain that make you feel both good and energised.
More simply, exercise is often the distraction your mind (and body) may be craving. It allows you to take time out for yourself. Time that is just for you. You might want to take the dog for a walk in the local park or ride your bicycle into town.
These are excellent ways to get in your exercise, because whilst it releases all those endorphins we spoke about, it also allows you to see the all the beauty and nature that surrounds us in the outside world that we sometimes forget about.
3. See your friends and family
We know, we know. When you’re feeling sad, it’s likely that the last thing you’ll want to do is see anybody besides a dark room, your bed and Netflix. As fitting as that may sound, it’s unfortunately not going to help you feel better.
From our own personal experiences and coincidentally, according to research, engaging in social activities help relieve feelings of depression and isolation.
There’s a bunch of things you can do. Here at Lemonade Box, we like to see our friends and family. We don’t always have to talk – not if we don’t want to, but it makes us feel less isolated being in their company.
However you choose to socialise, just know that even if it’s just a little, it will help your thoughts from completely consuming you by giving you a nice distraction. If you choose to discuss your feelings with your friends or family (which we know isn’t the easiest, but we do recommend), then that’s even better. They might even give you a few better ways to relieve these feelings!
4. Take time out just for YOU
More often than not, the reason you’re feeling so low is because you rarely have time for yourself. Always doing university work? Constantly running after the kids? Perhaps even pushing yourself too hard to get that promotion? Stop. Take a step back. Relax.
We understand that you have things to do. That’s completely fair and you should always push yourself to be the best that you can be. But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be looking after your physical and mental health in between that.
Studies have shown that those who don’t take time out for themselves often encounter serious problems. These problems might include depression, anxiety or mental breakdowns. Makes sense, right? How are you supposed to maintain a happy outlook on life if you’re constantly pushing yourself and doing things you hate?
Having goals is brilliant and you should always set them for yourself. But, you also need to do different things that you enjoy. Your mind can’t perform to the best of its ability if it’s constantly working. It needs time to unwind.
There’s plenty of ways to do this. Run yourself a nice hot bath, put on a face mask, light some candles, throw in a bath bomb and read your favourite magazine. You deserve to be pampered. If this doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, there are plenty of alternatives. Go for a swim or a run, read that new book you’ve been talking about, cook up your favourite recipe or practice yoga.
The list is endless. Your time on Earth wasn’t made just so you could work or do things you don’t particularly like. You deserve to enjoy yourself from time to time.
5. Write things down
There are various types of writing that are known to help people feel better when they’re not quite themselves. During my battle with mental health issues, I managed to find my two favourites.
The first one is writing about my emotions. If you’re like me and you don’t always want to talk to other people about why you’re feeling upset, this is perfect. All you have to do is write down your daily thoughts and feelings. So, if you’re feeling angry or upset – even if you don’t know why, write it down. This allows you to offload your emotions without having to involve anyone else.
It’s particularly helpful for understanding your emotions better. For example, if you’re unsure as to exactly why you’re feeling angry, you may want to write down what you have done on that particular day. This allows you to recognise trends and triggers, helping you prevent negative feelings in the future.
The second one is a plan for the day. When I get up in the morning, I like to write down everything I want to get done during my day. There might be five things, or there might be ten things. Either way, writing a plan ensures my day has structure and allows me to be productive.
There is also the added benefit of being able to tick things off as I go along. It may sound silly, but marking something as done actually has an extremely positive impact on your happiness, as it encourages feelings of productivity and positivity.
6. Be kind to yourself
This is one of the most underrated practices relating to self-care.
Think of all the horrible things you often say to yourself in your head. Think about the time you missed that deadline, or you forgot to buy milk. Now imagine saying those exact same things to your friend because they missed a deadline or forgot to buy milk.
You probably wouldn’t, right? Right. You wouldn’t, because they’re usually quite irrational, hurtful things that could damage their sense of worth and self-esteem.
So, why do you say those things to yourself? You are no different to your friend. You have feelings and emotions and you deserve to be treated with kindness, just as anyone else does. You’re human and you make mistakes. This is OK. You don’t have to be perfect. But, to live a happier and healthier life, you do need to be kind to yourself.
A good way to express kindness to yourself, is to take a look at yourself. Every morning when you resist that snooze button and get out of bed, stand in front of the mirror. Stand in front of that mirror and say aloud five things you like about yourself. This could be based on your personality or appearance, it’s entirely up to you.
You could say “I like how long my legs are”. Or, you could be looking at your legs and thinking “I hate how long my legs are”. If this thought crosses your mind, remember that it is not kind. Instead, look at your legs and think about how they have taken you to all the beautiful places you have been in your life. Love your legs, because they’re yours.
We sincerely hope this post helps you manage any negative feelings you are experiencing or may experience in the future. Remember that all feelings are temporary. You will get through this rough patch and you will feel better again. Keep your head up.
If you would like to find out more about mindfulness, positive thinking and self-care, subscribe to our mailing list and/or check out more Lemonade Box Blogs here.
Before we completely wrap up, if you haven't already, be sure to check out our sister brand - Pyjama Drama Box! It's the UK's ONLY bimonthly pyjama and self-care subscription box, where you'll receive 1 full set of luxury pyjamas, plus 3-4 self-care goodies! Check out the website here.
See you soon you lovely people!
- Lemonade Box x