Why You're So Sad, and What Can Help.May 03, 2020
So last week I was angry AF. Remember the vacuum cleaner incident?
Now I feel sad. I'm sad for my son, who, as an only child, has no one to socialize with. I'm sad for the people who have lost people. I'm sad for the people who can't deal, so they are going to weird conspiracy theories. (Last week I was mad at them). I'm sad for the way things were. I just want to walk around the mall with a Starbucks, meet friends for dinner, go to the gym. It's a yearning for my old life. And then some days I'm like, ok, I'm good, I got this. Then I cry again.
What's up with that? And do you have some days where you feel like you're fine, and adapting, and the next day you crash? What in the actual F is going on??
Right now we're living in a weird unstable environment, where things are changing daily. Remember how our brain looks for sameness and stability? When it can't find it, it goes back to the past, to draw on old emotions that it knows. Often, because we are living in instability, it goes back to the negative.
Anger comes first (which is why, in my work, it's always the first emotion we release). Anger gives us a semblance of control. If I can be pissed off and yell, I am DOING SOMETHING. But anger is tiring. And, as we know, it's not real. When I work with a client, anger is almost always another emotion. It's often actually sadness.
We are all grieving right now. For what was. And that's ok. It's ok to feel sad for a bit. But constantly looking to the past doesn't help you. It's like when you find an old picture of yourself at 18 in a bathing suit and obsess about looking like that again. Not gonna happen.
Acknowledge the sadness as real and appropriate in the moment and then ask yourself what is going to help you to be more resourceful. What does help us is looking ahead, and focusing on what we do want and taking some action. Action always helps. If I'm sad about my son being on his own, what can I do, now, to help that sadness? What can I do that is kinda like my old life? Or can I set up new activities and create a new, temporary life so I am happy now? (I have discovered paint by numbers, something I would have NEVER done before, and I'm obsessed!)
What's important now is to give yourself permission to feel the things, but don't get bogged down by them. Feel them, learn from them, and make choices for resilience.
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