This morning I saw a post on my Facebook page that got me thinking...
According to some friends and family, many are experiencing situations that require them to practice patience, learn endurance, and generally cry in frustration.
I have several friends that have returned to--or are still attending--post secondary institutions, and have encountered difficulty with a professor or particular class. Another set of friends are going through relationship or family problems.
Troublesome experiences pop up in all of our lives at one time or another, and I find that whenever this happens to a friend or family member, I immediately feel as though I understand what that person is going through. Sometimes I wish that things were as simple as it was when I was a little girl, but I couldn't simply revert back to blissful ignorance.
It would be nice if I could say that I don't experience down times as well, but sadly, I experience them all the time. The trick is to figure out how to reverse the effects that they have on your emotions. I am not an advocate for 'sucking it up and moving on', as that just bottles your emotions. After a length of time, those bottled emotions are likely to 'blow'.
There are some essential tricks that I've developed over the years that tend to help me when I'm feeling blue.
1. Talk to someone. I talk to my Mom on a daily basis. She helps to keep me grounded, and has always been an excellent ear and a shoulder to cry on if I need it. She also knows exactly what to say to make me feel better. I also confide in my husband, though he has no clue how to respond to my emotional outbursts.
2. Take a hot bath or a shower. I find that the time alone, the warmth, and the steam always help me feel more myself when I'm down. Of course, this might just be because I've got children... I will get my husband to watch them as I escape to a warm shower, and I must say... it's heaven.
3. Do something that you enjoy. I love to read, paint, scrapbook, watch movies, and write. When my emotions are in a tangle, I find that writing a good, emotional, poem is a good release, or painting while listening to music is cleansing. Though even sitting down with a good book or a movie is quite nice.
4. If you need to, cry, scream, and punch a pillow. I have had a lot of crying moments, but the screaming and hitting a pillow moments are more seldom. Sometimes, though, a good growl of frustration and a few punches to a pillow can take the edge off your frustration.
5. If a situation makes you sad--stop it. You have a right to speak up. If something makes you upset, do something about it, tell someone, or ask for help.
6. Hug someone. My sons are always willing to offer a hug, and my dog is more than happy to oblige. Arrange to meet with a friend, or family member, for a talk and give them a hug when you see them. It feels good. It may encourage more tears, but that's ok.
--Keep in mind that if you've got children, it is important that they not witness a violent outburst or shouted profanities, but it is healthy for them to see the stages of grief and anger. By seeing their parents work through their difficult moods they will, in turn, learn how to work through them as well. My sons have seen me cry many times, and they're very compassionate. They have also seen me recover from my sadness. I take the time afterward to explain to them what it was that made me upset, and how I worked through it.
I hope that this helps those friends and family who are going through emotionally difficult times.
If you ever need an ear or a hug, I'm here.