1. Have a good cry.
When I’m sad, I give myself time and permission to really feel my feelings and sob. After a good crying jag, I feel cleansed from the inside out. There’s no shame in letting your tears flow—it’s a healthy way to release intense emotions instead of bottling them up.
2. Write about it.
Writing your thoughts and worries down on paper can help you look at them from a new perspective and understand them better. You might even arrive at a solution that you couldn’t see before.
3. Spend time with yourself.
Removing yourself from a situation that’s making you feel bad and giving yourself a chance to calm down and take care of yourself is an excellent way to help you cope with a shitty situation. Meditate, do some bedroom dancing, play your favorite video game, go for a run—do whatever it is that makes you feel like yourself again.
4. Spend time with your friends.
Because while alone time is important, you don’t want to get stuck there. Even if you have to force yourself the first couple of times, make an effort to get out there and discover the world around you. Or invite people over and do all your favorite slumber-party activities: pull everything out of your closet for a dress-up session, watch scary movies, play truth or dare, dye each other’s hair, etc. Make a bushel of happy new memories to overtake the sad ones.
5. Talk it out.
Whom you talk to is important: Make sure it’s a supportive friend or family member who’s good at listening, or a professional like a therapist or counselor. Whenever I’m anxious or sad, talking about it with someone I trust makes a huge difference. It speeds up my acceptance of my circumstances and my ability to come up with solutions.
6. Get moving.
Whether it’s bike riding, bedroom dancing, running, yoga, or whatever sport or activity you enjoy, physical activity has been shown to make you feel happier and more relaxed. It’s also fun!
7. Get crafty.
Creativity and imagination give you the power to transform reality. You can channel all your feelings into making something beautiful (or beautifully ugly, if that’s how you’re feeling).
8. Eat something yummy.
Though some people try to dispute this fact, those people are wrong: Stuffing your face with treats can make you feel better at any time! And if you like cooking or baking, that process can be comforting in and of itself—and you get delicious food to eat when you’re done!
9. Distract yourself.
Watch funny animal videos on the internet, play your favorite video game, do anything that you know is going to keep you away from your negative thoughts. (Believe me, animal videos can work miracles!)
Tomorrow will be a new day! Sleeping is good for your immune system and your mood, so a nap might just be the best medicine when you’re down. And who knows: Maybe you’ll get to go somewhere cool in your dreams—somewhere far, far away from whatever’s ailing you. ♦