12 things to do on the saddest day of your life
We all have bad days and we all have sad days. But some days can be just insurmountable. These are the moments in our lives when our hearts have been not just broken, but shattered.
Friends and family may try to encourage you to shake off your sadness. “Distract yourself,” they say. “Come out and drink with us,” they say. I am here to tell you that on the saddest day of your life, this is bad advice. Do not distract yourself. Embrace your sadness. Acknowledge it and process it, for if you don’t it may well come back to haunt you in the future and nobody wants that.
Your sadness may come from the end of a relationship, a betrayal, a loss, an event, or something completely unique to you. But, this is an opportunity for some major self awareness work. And I promise you, there will be a day very soon when you notice, that by some miracle, the clouds have cleared and you will see there is hope and light in your future.
In the meanwhile, here are 12 things you might try on the saddest day of your life:
– Listen to guided meditations: I swear these saved my life. There are tons of them on YouTube and putting on the autoplay option lets the meditations stream. I listened to them at night, during the day curled up on the couch, on the bus … and they helped. They let me know I wasn’t alone. They assisted me as I embraced the suckiness of my situation. They told me of brighter days. They made me better aware of who I was and what I was feeling and told me it was ok. Some really good ones are Guided Meditations by Michael Sealey and Guided Meditations by Jason Stephenson. Also take a listen to spiritual adviser Teal Swan who has some smart advise to give on any number of topics for self awareness.
– Cry it out: Absolutely. Cry your eyes out. Sob into your pillow, drool, get it all out. Crying is therapeutic and you must get the sadness out of your body. Studies have found that crying helps to wash out chemicals and toxins linked to stress and high emotions. This is why we often feel better after a good cry. Higher levels of adrenocorticotrophic hormone have been found in emotional tears as compared to those of reflex crying and so, I don’t care if you are man or woman, find release in crying if that is what you need to do. Don’t hold back.
– Exercise, meditate, or do yoga to release the pain: Our bodies retain our pain, and sadness is probably the lowest vibration we can emit. Moving our body is a great release for our pain, for centering ourself, and to remind us we are alive despite the heartbreak which we believe may be killing us.
– Talk to people, surround yourself with your loving tribe: I tend to be a cat when I’m hurt. My instinct is to go to dark corner and hide. Isolation is not a good option. Maybe for a day. Maybe for two. But eventually, flee to the arms of those who love you and know you best. Interaction with friends who accept you and love you as you are can be a healing balm and they might even get you to laugh.
– Consider a therapist: I can’t claim to know, as I write this post and as you read it, what has made you sad. But if it’s a big thing – something you will really need to work on to recover – perhaps a therapist is the way to go. These good folks will let you talk it all out and will lead you to viable solutions.
– Watch great movies: Binge watching Star Trek, episodes of Downton Abbey (for the third time) or even autoplay TV series you love can help alleviate your mind from the hard work you have been doing. Because yes, as I tell you to embrace your sadness, there also needs to be a bit of relief.
– Make a music playlist: Music – the great equalizer. It moves us to tears, cheers us up, causes us to dance, and puts us to sleep. Having a playlist is a handy thing to have. Make a play list of sad songs. Make a play list of happy and uplifting music. Do what comforts your soul.
– Read about people who have overcome great challenges: JK Rowling. Steve Jobs. There are so many of us who have faced incredible challenges and come out on top. It wasn’t easy and it took great courage and bravery, but they took control of their situation and that’s why they can inspire us today. Read about them, or watch their speeches from commencement addresses or on TED. Oh yeah! TED!
– Take up a new hobby: Maybe not right yet, not on the saddest day of your life, but plant a seed. Consider the things you used to do which you loved and may have neglected. Maybe something new that you now have time for. Write, paint, express yourself creatively. Get involved in new projects. Perhaps volunteer for a worthy cause. Think about the future and how YOU can best prepare yourself to be all that you can be.
– Embrace your inner child and tell her/him it’s gonna be ok: This was important for me … maybe due to all the guided meditations I listened to, but yes, in meditation I reached out for the hurt, scared, lonely little girl and hugged her. I told her we were in this together and that I would not leave her alone. I wiped her eyes and told her it was going to be ok. She believes me.
– Find compassion: Have compassion for yourself. Forgive yourself for any mistakes you might have made and don’t spend time contributing to your sadness by adding quilt or regret into the mix. Consider the pain of others and send love and light into the universe. Reminding yourself of your compassion is a heart healing endeavor.
– Connect with the saddest part of your body and ask it what it wants, and then give it to it: Oh hell yes, need a bath? Do it. A walk? A good solid cry? Some sleep? Need to scream? Ask the pain that is manifesting in your body what it needs. Listen. And then give it what it needs.
In closing, I wish you love and healing. And remember, you can’t be found until you’ve been lost.