from the blog

Feeling Sad or Overwhelmed? Try This

I tend to be a positive and hopeful person, but I’ll admit that yesterday I was feeling DOWN.  There is so much going on in the world right now (and in my home state of California), that it can feel hard to remain hopeful.  But when I lose hope, it feels even harder to keep going, and I lose my motivation to help others, which feels very foreign to me (and, honestly, feels BAD).  

Today, I’m feeling much better, thank goodness.  And so I wanted to share some of the things I do when I’m feeling down.  Because yesterday, I needed the reminder.  

So here is an incomplete list, in case you need it.  Also, I’d love to know what you do to feel better if you’re feeling down!  I’ll add your ideas to the list, and then next time we need it, this list will be here for all of us.  


-Go outside into nature.  Put your feet in the grass, sand, etc., if possible.  Take a few deep breaths.  (If you don’t live in a place where this is possible, even looking at 

pictures of nature has been shown to have a soothing effect.)

-Call/text a friend (or a group of friends) that you can be honest with and who know how 

to lift you up.  

-Put on a favorite song and dance around your house.  (Just this morning, I was 

dancing around the kitchen with my kids to the song “Good As Hell,” and it got my day 

off on the right foot.)

-Meditate/Pray/Slow down and go within for a few minutes.

-Journal.  Write about how you REALLY feel, no holds barred.  Sometimes just 

witnessing your own feelings in this way can shift them.

-Do something, even something very small, like giving a compliment, to help someone 


-Watch a show or movie that makes you laugh.  (Last night my son and I watched a bit 

of an episode of The Simpsons, and I was howling with laughter.)

-Read something that inspires you.  (I love poetry, for this purpose.  It takes you out of 

the thinking mind and brings you deeper into your body and senses.)

-Take a bath.  

-Cry.  It helps move your energy, and sometimes you just need to FEEL what you’re 

feeling in order for it to move on.  

-Write a list of things you are grateful for.  Make sure that at least some of them are small (like your morning coffee, a favorite song, your favorite time of day….).  

It might be helpful for you to print this list (or write your own) for times when you’re feeling low (this can be a hard time to remember the things that work to turn such a feeling around).  Also, please remember to be gentle with yourself when you’re feeling down.  Make space for whatever is arising, and remember that, though it often feels like you’ll never get over this difficult feeling, you always do.  The feeling always passes.