Feeling sad isn't a nice feeling to feel. You just want to curl up and hide from the world to wallow in your sorrow, but instead it becomes our instinct to stick on a happy mask and just grin and bare it. Somehow, it's easier to show our real feelings when we think we have a reason to feel that way, such as a family death or a relationship breakdown. Because you can't ever be ‘just sad’ without a reason - right?
Wrong, in fact. It's perfectly normal and perfectly valid to be ‘just sad.’
I was like you once. I never knew that you could be ‘just sad.’ I thought that there was a reason for every feeling a human could ever feel, and so when I had these sad days, I hid it from everyone because I didn’t think anybody would understood. I felt so alone, like there was something wrong with me. I thought that if I talked about it, I would be judged and told to ‘get over it’ because my life was good, so I had nothing to be sad about.
But I was wrong. One day, when I was getting counselling for my anxiety and PTSD, I spoke to my counsellor about how I was feeling and how I knew it was stupid to feel sad when I had nothing to feel sad about and for some reason, I felt ‘just sad.’ Then she said the most surprising thing to me:
‘It’s okay, that’s completely normal.’
I never would have thought that it was okay or even normal to feel the way I felt. She went on to tell me how everyone had those days and it was just a part of life, but it was okay to feel that way and I shouldn’t feel ashamed or stupid or alone - because I wasn’t any of those things. I realised then that I truly wasn’t stupid for feeling that way, and I wasn’t alone because other people felt the same way as me. From that point onwards, I was more open about when I felt ‘just sad’ and I was told by my mum and my friends that they’d felt that way too, and they still feel it sometimes. So many people feel this way and it’s okay.
So for when these days arrive, here are some tips to make those days a little easier to deal with.
2) Spend time with positive people
If you spend time with people who are optimistic and positive, they can sometimes help to change your outlook and make you feel more positive about the future. But even if this doesn't happen, being around people allows you to talk about your feelings and lighten the load.
3) Get some exercise
It can help your mood to get outside for a bit and get moving. Whether it's a gentle stroll, a jog or a run, or even a bike ride, this outdoor alone time can help to clear your head and get your thoughts in order to make you feel calmer and more at ease. Also, there's the scientific side of it in that it releases dopamine and endorphins which are your feel good hormones and so there is evidence that exercise can make you feel that bit happier.
Just being sad, is totally okay and totally normal. However, if you experience this sadness for most of the day, everyday or for over two weeks accompanied with any of the following symptoms, you should visit your GP for a check up:
This is not an exhaustive list but you can find a more detailed list on the NHS website.
These symptoms could indicate depression rather than being just sad so make sure to go to your doctor to see if they can help you get better.
Just remember: it's okay.
You're normal and it's all okay.
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