According to my Instagram account, I lead a very glamorous and tropical life in the Caribbean and I have the always pretty, always bright, always sunny pictures to prove it. According to my Facebook account I am Miss Positivity, all wrapped in gold paper-mâché, with a pink bow on top and farting confetti, while bursting into song. Although farting confetti would be one cool superpower and I would love nothing more than to be able to carry a proper tune for that matter, my real life is at times very far from the image I have created online.
Like most super heroes, I have a secret identity. One that I try to keep hidden. One that is not allowed to come out and play. At least not in public. This hidden identity can be dark at times, is humorless, down and just sad. This identity can shit on anyone’s parade and take down happiness in one well organized coup.
Yes, I too feel down and super unhappy at times.
In fact, I have recently spent a whole day crying for no apparent reason, while secretly hoping I didn’t have to face another day (my bad days can get very down and dramatic).
This is how I cope.
Side note: This is a how-to on general sadness and the feeling of being down and is not meant for anyone who suffers from any kind of chronic depression or other mood disorders. I do not proclaim to be an expert or a doctor.
It’s ok to feel sorry for yourself and it’s ok to take a sad day. We can’t always be happy go-lucky and things don’t always go our way. You are not perfect. You are not superhuman. You can’t always be the best at everything and you are definitely allowed to fuck up once in a while. Let your feeling of sadness wash over you. Take it in. Embrace it. It is a part of who you are.
Take your sad day alone but have someone on standby in case you need to talk or better yet, in case you need someone to bring you junk food and ice cream (don’t overdo it though). It’s good to have a designated sad-day person. In my case that is definitely not my husband. As much as I would prefer this not to be true, he is a man and men are problem solvers. He will try to analyze my sadness and try to solve the problem or worse yet, he will tell me to “woman up”. It’s the last thing you need to hear when you’re feeling like crap.
Don’t try to figure out what it is that is exactly bothering you. Not yet anyway. Sometimes it’s one thing, sometimes its a series of unfortunate events that can lead to your mini-breakdown and sometimes it can be completely hormonal. Just experience the sadness and try to identify the issue later. Identifying the issue is important though. Your sadness can indicate something that is not quite right in your life that you would not have noticed otherwise.
There is nothing like a cold beer or a glass of wine when you’re feeling like crap. DON’T. Stay away from alcohol and while you’re at it, try to avoid coffee too. Alcohol has that magical ability to make you feel better than you really are one moment and worst another. Not to mention that it can lead to very bad ideas, like calling your ex in the middle of the night to profess your undying and eternal love or impulsively quitting your job in an email.
Whenever I feel like it, I write down my feelings of anxiety and sadness in a journal or just in a note on my phone. As a blogger these notes come in handy later (like right now) and writing shit down sometimes just takes some of the sadness away and in the least can give you a better perspective.
Stay away from social media. There is just nothing more annoying or downright depressing than watching other people’s seemingly perfect little lives, while you are feeling like shit. Social media is where most of us play pretend. It is where our lives are always glamorous, the sky is always blue and where we always look our best. Although social media is a very important part of my career life, it is still the one thing I try to switch off, whenever I’m having a particularly bad day. In my case, there is nothing more annoying than watching millenials, usually with hundreds of thousands of followers, exploring parts of the world I can only hope I’d get to see at least once in my lifetime.
I like to just sit on my couch, junk food or a pint of ice cream on my lap watching one horrible tearjerker or Lifetime movie after another. Sometimes these movies can help you put your own issues into perspective. Your life is shit, but it could always be worse.
Turning off my phone or at least putting it on silent mode is another way I cope with my sad days. The last thing you need when you’re feeling down is a conversation with that always-negative person in your life or your boss bitching about deadlines.
Last but not least, I sleep. Take a nap in the middle of the day. Sometimes your lack of sleep is the cause of your sadness to begin with and always remember that sleep and rest can cure almost anything. Go to bed early at night. You need the rest to be able to face another day tomorrow.
Time to hit back the next day.
Wake up early and tell yourself that today is a new day full of new possibilities. Tell yourself that today is a great day. Now, smile and get out of bed, make yourself a cup of tea (no coffee yet), take a shower and face this new day like the strong “unfuckwithable” woman that you are. Treat yourself today. You just went through a sad day, it’s time to reward yourself. Book yourself a mani and pedi, get a new haircut, schedule a massage, go shopping or just do what I do, do some research on your next trip.
Something to remember: there is nothing wrong with seeing a psychologist. Regular therapy can help you put your life in perspective and keep sad days away.
Tell me, how do you cope with your sad days?