What I Do When I Feel Sad…
In today’s social media and the airbrushed world, it is hard to know who is really feeling what. One thing I know we all feel is the pressure to feel good and positive all the time. Well, that is simply not possible, in fact, it is important to feel however it is you are feeling and not force your feelings down. Before I had breast cancer, I made sure I did exactly that. I would ignore my real feelings and just power through and pretend that everything was ok. Well, I don’t do that anymore! It is one of the many lessons I learned after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
Embracing sadness after a breast cancer diagnosis
Now when I feel sad, I allow myself to feel sad and I pay attention to why I am feeling sad. The key here is to pay attention to yourself. Our feelings are not meant to make us judge ourselves, they are simply an indication of what we are feeling. That’s it, it’s really that simple. As I type these words, I am feeling sad. It is the day after Thanksgiving and it was my first Thanksgiving after my divorce. Although the day itself was very nice and I got to spend it with my daughters and parents, it still made me feel sad to be divorced. I woke up this morning and felt like crying. So, I allowed myself to feel how I was feeling without trying to change it. I instead just accepted that this was how I felt and reminded myself that it isn’t going to last forever. I focus on how I talk to myself (my inside voice especially) and I pretend like I am talking to my best friend. Think about what you would say to your best friend who is sad and say the same thing to yourself! I often wonder why we treat others so much better than we treat ourselves? I think we are all guilty of this at some point. So here is your opportunity to change that. I also sit with my feelings instead of trying to distract myself. I used to make sure I was so busy, that I would have no time to pay attention to how I felt. Once you pay attention, then that makes it very real, which is exactly what I was trying to avoid all along.
Let yourself feel your feelings
Sitting with my feelings has been a very good new practice for me. Pay attention to yourself more than you pay attention to anyone else. This has been my new mantra. I also focus on only doing things that feel good and bring me comfort when I am sad. A few of those things are making myself a hot ginger tea, taking my little dog Douglas for a walk without my phone, taking a power nap, or practicing meditation. The point here is to respect yourself and how you feel, allow yourself to sit with your feelings and do things that feel good to you, and don’t forget the most important part - make yourself talk KIND!
Have you gotten a second (or third) opinion after your breast cancer diagnosis?