How to Make Yourself Feel Better when Sad (and Depressed) - 19 Ways.
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Maybe you’re asking yourself, “what is wrong with me?” because you find yourself feeling down and sad, or maybe even depressed. Let us reassure you first that there is nothing wrong with you. As the above two charts show, several Americans also go through feelings of sadness, anxiety, and depression. And thus, it is perfectly normal and part of life to feel melancholic and sad every now and again.
Feelings of sadness and in extreme cases, depression are as old as humanity. These are feelings that are an inevitable part of life. We will all feel sad at one point in time or another in our lives. And when those feelings of sadness come, it is important to find healthy, good and helpful things to do to make you feel better.
And in this article we will be showing you some helpful ways to make yourself feel better when sad and depressed. The results of the above surveys carried out, especially the more recent one for 2021 that reveals a sharp increase in cases of depression, show that it is all the more important to have conversations around helpful ways to make ourselves feel better when sad (and depressed). Come along as we explore together ways of making yourself feel better when sad and depressed.
We have more for you in this very rich and helpful article on How to remain positive in difficult times.
What to do when you are feeling down – 19 Ways to make you feel better when sad.
This list of 19 items of things to do to make you feel better will go a long way in making you feel better when sad.
Sometimes, our feelings of sadness and feeling down could be a result of being overworked or just tired. Tiredness and inadequate sleep as a result of being overworked can affect one’s mood and definitely make you grumpy and unhappy. And thus, a generous amount of sleep would do you a world of good.
And even if your sadness has nothing to do with being tired, turning off everything and getting a generous amount of sleep still helps greatly. You wake up feeling refreshed and energized after at least 8 – 10 hours of sleep.
Check out How to stop thinking while sleeping for helpful suggestions on not thinking of what may be making you sad while sleeping.
2. Go for a jog/run.
This would help clear your mind even more. Jogging/running will get your juices flowing, not to mention the added health benefit of keeping fit that it comes with. Have your favorite mindfulness/jogging music on as you jog. It would help with giving an amazing sense of calm and refreshing energy after the jog. This would in turn lift your spirits and have you energized.
3. Take a walk.
If jogging/running isn’t so much your thing, or you want to vary your routine, taking a walk is another great therapeutic way to make yourself feel better when sad.
The walk will help clear your head and lift your spirits.
4. Go out to a movie.
Look for a funny movie and/or romantic comedy to watch on the cinema’s movie list and remind yourself that life is meant to be filled with laughter and fun. Getting lost momentarily in the world of the movie you are watching is another good therapeutic way to deal with feelings of sadness and feeling down.
5. Take a long drive.
Long drives have a way of clearing your head and recharging and revitalizing your batteries. It normally helps to have a motivational or inspirational song or message playing in the background. This would help with filling your mind with positive helpful thoughts on the drive rather than having negative thoughts. You can also use the drive to speak to yourself and motivate yourself.
6. Have a self pep-talk.
Positive self-talk has an incredibly powerful effect on lifting one’s spirit. When you speak to yourself, those words have a way of either making or breaking you because it comes from a place of deep belief. And so, turn this powerful tool into your best weapon.
Tell yourself that things may look bad but they will be better. That you will not let sadness or depression ruin or rule your life and that you are in charge of your life and would make it. Whatever positive self-talk works, find it and speak it to yourself and you would be amazed at how much better you will feel.
You can also check out How to think positive when everything is going wrong to help you with the mindset disposition for having positive self-talk.
7. Just cry.
Crying has an incredibly releasing power and brings untold relief. You don’t need to cry in public. But do not hold back the tears in the privacy of your room if you feel the need to bawl out your eyes because of the sadness and pain you might be feeling. Releasing your emotions in this way would help you deal with the hurt, pain, sadness, or grief you might be feeling.
8. Go for a swim.
Swimming is another incredibly therapeutic leisure activity that helps with making one feel better when sad. Gliding away in the water brings an incredible sense of calm that would leave you feeling energized and refreshed afterward. And not forgetting the awesome health benefits it also comes with.
9. Hang out with friends.
Depending on what is causing you to feel sad, it is sometimes best to be around good friends when you feel sad. They would provide helpful succor in uplifting your spirits and ensuring that you are not drowning in a sea of sorrow. This is especially important if you are going through sadness as a result of grief and/or the loss of a loved one.
You would like this related article on Benefits of surrounding yourself with good friends.
10. Get busy in the kitchen.
Whipping up something in the kitchen is another great distracting and therapeutic activity for feeling better when sad. Whether your favorite thing to do in the kitchen is cooking a new type of dish or baking a different kind of confectionary, get busy in the kitchen. You would feel better afterward and especially when you settle down to enjoy what you prepared.
You can even make it more enjoyable by inviting your friends over and making it a cooking session and picnic or barbeque combo. The cooking combined with the enjoyable company would definitely lift your spirits.
11. Help someone.
Doing something selfless always makes one feel better when sad. When you help someone else, it releases feel-good hormones that would lift your spirit. It also shows you that your life may not be as miserable as you think it is and that there is so much more to be happy for and live for.
Check out our article on Ways to show generosity to others for some suggestions of ways and activities you can engage in to help someone else.
Carrying so many sad thoughts on your mind can weigh down heavily on you mentally and increase the heaviness that comes with feeling sad and unhappy. And this is why journaling is a very good exercise to engage in especially when you feel sad and unhappy. It would help you get out how you feel on paper and unburden your mind from the weight of sadness.
Journaling helps you process how you’re feeling and why you’re feeling the way you feel. It is a great way to interrogate and process your feelings. You will notice that after writing how you feel down, you would feel a lot lighter and not weighed down.
13. Weekend getaway.
A time away to a different setting and environment would give you fresh energy and have you revitalized and reinvigorated.
14. Meditation exercises.
Meditation exercises like yoga are great mindfulness exercises to engage in especially in times when you feel sad. Such mindfulness exercises have a calming and uplifting effect on the mind.
15. Spoil yourself.
And why not spoil yourself for a treat. Remember you have only life and you don’t want to spend all of it feeling sad and miserable. Spoil yourself to one or more of the following:
16. Talk to a trusted confidante about how you feel.
Talking about how we feel to a trusted confidante/friend helps in processing our feelings and coming to terms with them. And who knows, maybe your friend would have one or two helpful nuggets to share. Remember that a problem shared, is a problem solved.
It is however important that you talk to someone you trust wholly and not someone who would either go around sharing what you’ve told them in confidence or someone who would make you feel even more miserable.
17. Break something/smash a few glasses.
This one is a bit unconventional and rather dangerous given how harmful broken bottles can be, but it is known to help with getting out feelings of frustration and unhappiness. Be sure that you wear protective clothing or are at least adequately covered. And smash these glasses in a contained/confined space where it will be easy to gather all the debris together without having them all over the place because this would only be harmful to you afterward.
Planting something either in a small backyard garden or flower bed is another activity with a great calming and relaxing feeling.
19. Face up squarely to what is making you feel sad and find a lasting solution.
Ultimately, all the above 18 things are temporary fixes to solving the problem of feeling sad (and depressed). A more sustainable solution to the problem is to face it up squarely and find a solution.
And to do this, the following are helpful steps in that process:
Accept that you are not feeling good and/or happy.
This is important because often we tend to downplay how we feel by either denying that we feel that way or choosing to sweep our feelings under the carpet.
Do some soul-searching to identify why you feel the way you feel and what could be the cause of it.
This helps you to confront the issue head-on and stop avoiding it. It would also help you know exactly what the problem is and where it started from.
Seek (professional) help.
There is no shame in asking for help. A problem shared is a problem solved. Most often, the problems that make us sad are easy to deal with once we step out to get help.
What do you do when you are depressed?
Depression is a little more serious than feeling sad. Depression is more psychological and needs more attention. You can still try out any of the 19 things listed in the first section but it is imperative to seek professional help if you suspect you might be going through depression. Speak to a counselor and get professional help.
Depression not timeously treated could lead to other more serious health challenges like high blood pressure and even a heart attack. This is why it is important to get professional help as soon as you realize that your feelings of sadness are starting to take on a more serious outlook that may be the onset of depression.
Frequently asked questions.
1. Feeling down about yourself, how do you feel better?
In trying to feel better, engaging in any of the 19 activities listed in this article will help you feel better.
2. Is making fun of others to make yourself feel better a good way to make yourself feel better when sad?
No, this is never a good way to feel better about yourself. You may get a temporary dark sense of satisfaction at the expense of the person you are making fun of, but it will never fill the vacuum you feel on the inside. Making fun of others to make yourself feel better is a cowardly way of trying to deal with whatever is making you sad.
A better approach is to engage in healthy and constructive ways of feeling better, such as the 19 ways listed in this article. And remember that ultimately facing the issue head-on and dealing with it is a more sustainable way of dealing with the problem.
3. Feeling depressed, what to do?
The best solution to depression is getting professional help. Professional help will ensure that you deal with depression quicker to avoid having to deal with other health issues such as high blood pressure.
4. How do you make yourself feel better quickly?
Temporary quick fixes to feel better can be gotten from any of the 18 activities listed in this article. But to get a more sustainable solution, item 19 on the list would be the best to adopt.
5. How do you calm down when you’re sad?
Take deep breaths to slowly calm down. Remind yourself that you are strong and will pull through. Take a cold or hot shower depending on your preference, and take a long nap. By the time you wake up, you would be calm, collected, and feel better
6. What do you do when you’re sad?
You can take any of the 19 steps listed in this article to make yourself feel better when sad.
7. How do you feel better when you’re down?
If you engage in most or all of the 19 activities listed in this article, it will help you to feel better when you’re down.
Feelings of sadness (and depression) are an unavoidable part of life. Feeling sad or unhappy does not, therefore, make you abnormal. How you deal with such feelings of sadness or unhappiness is very important to your well-being. And that is why engaging in all or most of the 19 activities listed in this article will be helpful when you are feeling sad.
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