“How to Keep Out of the Snares of Long-Term Sadness” by Joan Y. Edwards
Sadness is a feeling that can be extremely intense and actually cause you pain. It can be a fleeting moment in time, or it can last a long time. Sometimes you are sad for a couple of days or a week at the most. Sadness that lasts months at a time may be called depression. You want to keep out of the snares of long-term sadness. It’s a sickness in itself. In order to help you keep out of the jaws of the depression traps, I believe my suggestions and those in the resources will help you.
Are things really as bad as they seem?
Are you jumping to conclusions?
Did you cross the bridge of bad things before you got to it or before it even existed?
- Worrying causes sadness.
- Focusing on the worst-case scenario of what could happen
- Failure to be able to accomplish what you want
- Loss of a job
- a break-up with a friend, a friend moves away
- a pet is lost or dies,
- Being sick or seeing someone sick
Of course they say sadness can deepen into depression. I want to help you prevent that:
How to Lessen Sadness
Recently, I’ve been surrounded by people who were close to death…so close they were afraid they were going to die. I, too, had thoughts that they might not live, but hoping and praying that they would live. With loved ones on the verge of dying, I was extremely sad. I know it must be hard for them. Months and months of illness, in comas or coughing so much, you can’t think straight is difficult for those who are sick. Then I happened to think. I should be celebrating that my friends are still alive. They are very much alive. I was crossing the bridge of death before it was built.
In 1994, many moons ago, my ex-husband died, two uncles died, and two others died within a few months of each other. I was devastated. I felt like they were all screaming at me saying, “Come on up here with us.” They wanted me to come up there to heaven with them. I told them, “Sorry. I’m not ready. I’m not coming up there yet.”
Four years ago on March 18, 2009, my Mother, Ethel Darnell Meyer died. Last year on March 25, 2012 my older sister, Judith Carolyn Thomson died. When people in your immediate family die, it may affect you more than you realize. You and I must say to them, “Sorry. I’m not ready. I’m not coming up there yet.”
With yourself and your loved ones, you want control of the situation. You want to stop sad things from happening to them. It is definitely not always possible to do that. Once you let go and say, “It’s all right if they go and it’s really great if they stay, it releases that stress inside your emotional self. You’ll notice your muscles aren’t as tense.
Thinking that if they die, you cannot live may lead you into a long state of sadness, into depression. Make an effort to create a balance in your life so that you are not too sad.
Focus on setting a goal for something you would enjoy doing in the near future. Give yourself something to look forward to doing. Those who are sick or who have died don’t want you to spend the rest of your life being sad. They wouldn’t want you sad for months and months. They would want you to achieve your dreams and be everything you can be.
The older I get the more I think about the possibility that my time for dying is getting closer. But then, you say. “Joan, everyone is getting closer to the time when they will die.”
You’re right. Some people die before they reach 70. Not everyone who is in their 70’s dies. Not everyone who is in their 80’s, 90’s, or 100’s dies. It all comes down to when God is ready for you, he’ll call you whether you are 10 minutes old or 115 years old. Methuselah died when he was 969 years old according to Genesis 5:27. I personally think they must have counted years differently back then.
Being calm enables you to help those who are caretakers of the sick and the dying. When and if they die, then you can deal with it. After you’ve admitted the possibility of death and also the possibility of living, it is best to focus on making the best of the situation. Focus on living. Be thankful for as many things about that person as you can list.
Do something new. Go somewhere different. Get books to learn something new. Make something. Bake something. Try not to focus in your mind about them dying or being dead. Focus on the fact that right now, they are alive. Do everything you can to help them live. When you’ve done everything you can possibly do to help them live, then you’ll be happy with yourself, knowing that you did everything you could to extend your loved ones life. God will certainly be happy with you. If God is happy with you, don’t worry about anyone else.
- Prayer – Remember that not only does the sick person need your prayers but also the doctors, nurses, technicians, janitors, cooks, etc. in the hospital need prayers and thanks, too.
- Flowers, food
- Phone call
- Money to help defray medical costs
- Money for services in the hospital that’s not usually provided – nails, hair stylist.
It is important to do things for you so that you will have the power and energy to do things for others. Here are a few suggestions of things to do for you:
- Take a bath or shower.
- Put on your favorite outfit.
- Treat yourself to a rubdown massage.
- Get your hair styled.
- Get a manicure and/or a pedicure.
- If a man, get a shave at a barber shop.
- Eat at your favorite restaurant.
- Watch funny movies.
- Watch a sad movie.
- Read a good book.
- Listen to your favorite music.
- Take a walk.
- Go bowling, play basketball or a sport.
- Go grocery shopping, get stuff to make a favorite dish
- Play cards or other games.
- Create or paint pottery.
- Build a bird house or other creation from wood.
- Write a story, poem, or song about you and the person who is sick.
- Take Vitamin B Complex and Vitamin C… Ask your Doctor or Health Care Provider first. This may calm your body and help you lessen stress of your body and mind.
- Talk to a friend about the situation. Just talking about it and sharing your feelings lightens your load.
If you are a caregiver, remember that you must take care of you so that you can take care of your loved one. You are a blessing and a gift. Like the flight attendant tells you on a plane, put the oxygen mask on yourself first, then help others put on their oxygen masks.
I really liked reading “12 Things Happy People Do Differently:” http://www.marcandangel.com/2011/08/30/12-things-happy-people-do-differently/
- Jacob Sokol. “12 Things Happy People Do Differently:” http://www.marcandangel.com/2011/08/30/12-things-happy-people-do-differently/
- Lisabetta DiVita. “What Are the Causes of Sadness?” http://www.livestrong.com/article/89621-causes-sadness/
- Sen. “Stop Being Sad:” http://www.outofstress.com/stop-being-sad/
- Web MD.”Causes of Depression:” http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/causes-depression
Thank you for reading this blog post. I hope it keeps you out of the snares of long-term sadness. Please share ways that help you handle sad situations.
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Celebrate you three times today. Once for what you were, once for what you are, and once for what you hope to become. Visualize it as if you’ve already achieved it.
Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2013 Joan Y. Edwards