By Macey Bishop, Art by Emma Ensley
There is a time for being sad and there is a time for telling yourself to just cut it out! Sometimes it feels so comfortable to wallow in your sadness, put on a melancholy song, lay in bed, and let your tears soak the pages of your journal. BUT these are all things that can help you reach MAXIMUM SADNESS. Occasionally, it’s good to soak it in and feel all of the feelings, but there comes a time when the clouds in your mind must part and there are many ways to say “Hey rain clouds! Get outta here!!!”
1. Force yourself to have a dance party.
Put on something that you listen to when you’re happy, and jump around to it. I recommend Come On Eileen by Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Dancing With Myself by Billy Idol, or something more modern like Love Myself by Hailee Steinfeld. Trust me, getting out of bed and dancing might not come easily while in a funk, but if it works for Meredith Grey and friends, it can work for anyone! (This is where you can draw some how-to-sad-dance inspiration.)
2. Give yourself a pep talk.
Look in the mirror and tell yourself it’s gonna be okay. This can be something simple like telling yourself that you have made it through 100% of the bad days, or something that takes more thought like listing everyone you love. Heads up-they probably love you too! It helps if you make eye contact with yourself, maybe even try to smile. If it’s hard to conjure up positivity out of that mushy confused brain, check out the Babe Vibes Pep Talk Generator. Babe Vibes is full of things to get you out of that rut. You can even write your own personalized pep talks and stick them up on your mirror, walls, or hide them as nice little surprises from yourself to yourself!
3. Go outside.
Fresh air often causes a fresh feeling mind. Try to take a walk around your neighborhood, a forest, or even your backyard! This can allow perspective and a little movement for your rusty limbs. For bonus points turn your phone off. (Or bring it with you and put it on silent-it’s important to be safe while going on a walk alone!) Don’t scroll through Instagram while walking because sometimes seeing endless pictures of happy people can be a little depressing. Just breathe in and out for a moment.
4. Create anything, everything!!!
When most think of art, they picture paintings or sculptures. I believe that art can truly be anything. One of the definitions of art is, “works produced by human creative skill and imagination” (thanks Google). It takes creative skill to paint, but it also takes creative skill to make a bomb ass sandwich. You can create a collage with an old magazine, or use a Rookie Mag premade collage kit! It’s hard to screw up or feel dissatisfied with your artwork when it takes the simple skill of glueing. (Not that I am underestimating how skillful you must be to glue things. I understand that this can be a messy task.) Art doesn’t always look pretty, it may even look like solving a math problem! Write out your thoughts, scribble an interpretation of your feelings, bake a cake, dye your hair, do a science experiment, write a poem out of cut out newspaper words, draw miniature pictures on leaves, dress up your pet, photograph yourself-the possibilities are endless. Channeling sadness into something more positive like a project can be awesome.
5. Make others happy.
While I think that it’s important to make yourself happy, I also think that it’s good to share happiness with others. Invite friends into your dance party, or your pep talk, your walk, or your creativity. Enough of “I just want to be alone!” This is about ending the wallowing! I often feel happiest when I leave friends anonymous love notes on their cars, give out hugs, make baked goodies to share, or cheer on my girls at their soccer games. It’s hard to be sad when you’re making other people happy.
None of these things are guaranteed to cause warm and fuzzy feelings, but they have a 90% success rate based on no legitimate study and just my own generalization of ladies with feelings. On a more serious note, persisting sadness cannot be cured by a simple dance party, please seek help if things get bad. These little tips can be done no matter how you are feeling! It’s good to create and walk and dance while you are happy too. It’s tiring to see sadness constantly romanticized on social media. I’ve seen too many pictures of glittery bruises and posts about how art is better when you’re depressed. I hope that you’re ready for your rainclouds to leave.
Macey is a seventeen year old girl from an island near Seattle, WA. She enjoys listening to vinyl, writing letters during chemistry class, talking to her dog, and drinking soy milk. Follow her on Instagram and Tumblr.
Emma Ensley is an artist living in Chicago by way of North Georgia. She has published artwork in Shabby Dollhouse, Library of the Printed Web and the upcoming Riveter Review. She recently started her own multi-disciplinary arts magazine, Babe Soda. Find her on Twitter here and Instagram here.