My mother passed away roughly nine months ago. It’s as if her death was some detrimental earthquake that severed my person into two different eras — the With Her Me and the Without Her Me, and I will never quite find a way over the divide to be with the former era. I made a list of all of the things that make me feel better when grief hits especially hard, usually in the early hours of the morning when everyone is just too caught up in work for me to bother (college) or when everyone I know is asleep (at home). Sometimes we all just need a pick up. Low and Behold: 10 Ways to Make Yourself Feel Better All By Yourself.
1) Drink something. Hydration is a key to life and is step one of the Feel Better Process. I usually like to drink tea because it makes me feel warm and sophisticated, but any drink will do. I tend to stay away from alcohol during times like these because for me it just ends up worsening my feelings. But anything else — coffee, water, orange juice, soda — I recommend.
2) Have a Snack. Whether it’s a handful of blueberries or a piece of pizza, adding something makes my see that my body is working and if my body is going, I must go too. Here I usually tend to stick to foods that aren’t my favorites, just because during these moods I have low self-control and I don’t want to regret anything else — like binging — when I get out of the slump.
3) Turn on The Lights. If my goal is to sulk in my sadness, then by all means dark is the way to go. But for me, turning on the lights or opening a window just makes me happier. I feel like a piece of the burden is gone. Just being in the dark makes me want to lay there forever and vamps up the thoughts in my head.
4) Write a List of Grievances. I used to do this all the time when I was feeling upset. In your head, all of your worries can seem like they’re never ending. But once you get them on paper, even if your number is substantial, it’s exponentially smaller than infinity. All I do here is take a piece of paper and write all of the things that I can think of that upset me — my mother’s death, the fact that Dartmouth didn’t accept me two years ago, acne, a grade on a paper. I usually write them in a colors other than black and just keep going until I can think of nothing else. Then I separate everything into three categories — things I can help change, things I can’t help change at all, and things that I just shouldn’t care about (Dartmouth).
5) Lighter Productivity. This can be anything — writing, reading, drawing, daydreaming, playing/listening to music. This sort of productivity makes my mental state feel better. I’m doing something. Even if I’m writing about how angry I am, I’m still doing something. It’s exercise for your mind.
6) Heavier Productivity. This is movement. This is going for a walk or run, cleaning the kitchen, or dancing it out in front of a mirror. Getting your body moving and your blood flowing a bit faster will always improve your mood.
7) Cleanliness. This can be anything from taking a long bath to brushing your teeth to just standing in the shower and thinking about virtually everything. I find that I always feel a little better about life when my body feels completely clean. It makes me feel brand new — and somehow has the ability to make my problems feel a little less relevant.
8) Sleep it off. Sometimes sleeping it off helps the most. I can wake up with a fresh mind. Typically tiredness just fuels my frustration and anger. If I can’t manage to shut my brain off, I’ll even take melatonin. I don’t do this often and it’s more of my last step, but sometimes it’s the only step that really helps.
9) The Ideal Me. I like to plot out who the Ideal Me is without getting discouraged. I write out my goals — physically, mentally, emotionally, and just go for it. Of course, I usually only focus on things I can actually change. So it tends to look more like “going for runs three times a week” rather than “growing five inches.” I like this step especially because when I’m feeling low, I can plan out exactly where I want to go.
10) Writing a Letter. I’m adding this one in the case of grief. Right after my mom’s death, I kept up with a journal in which I only wrote letters to her. As months have passed, I only write when I feel the need to. It’s essentially journaling except you can address it directly to the person you’re missing.
And there you have them! I think everyone can agree that feeling sad isn’t fun but I think it particularly can suck when you don’t want to be a burden or when you can’t pinpoint exactly what the problem is.
Self Help on Huffington Post