My friend, Martha Howard, sent me a copy of an old list that was published by Therese Borchard on her popular Beliefnet blog, Beyond Blue, in answer to the question, “What do you do when you’re sad?”. 

She asked it of Priscilla Warner, author of The Faith Club and soon-to-be author of a new book on overcoming panic attacks.  (The generous and uber-productive Priscilla reports on her many panic-defeating adventures and learnings at her own engaging, humorous, profound blog here. - really you must check it out when you have time.)

But here’s the list she gave to Therese - some of it may be outdated for Priscilla now, but it’s a fine list just the same (and I would find it so even if she hadn’t mentioned my guided imagery in #10).  So here’s how it went - Therese writes: 

Over the weekend, I e-mailed my friend Priscilla Warner to ask her what she does when she feels sad, when she experiences the emptiness in her heart, the hole in her soul that my writing teacher Laura Oliver talks about in Wednesday's video. She had these suggestions:

  1. E-mailing friends

  2. Thanking God every morning for returning my soul to my body, for Jimmy, Max and Jack and the love God planted in our hearts, for making us people capable of feeling the kind of love we feel for each other. Not everyone can experience that feeling. For keeping us healthy, safe and sound and free from serious injury or harm. For helping us to spread love around the world.

  3. Exercise

  4. Sorry, NO sugar

  5. I've been walking for 1 1/2 hrs - I'm so tired that I don't have the energy to be sad! And some endorphins too.

  6. A scented candle I love.

  7. WORK. Creative stuff - writing or making jewelry.

  8. Retail therapy - buy something, even if it's taking ten minutes to pick out the best oranges you can find that you know are really really juicy.

  9. Junk TV or movie watching - or go to youtube and surf around and look at stupid stuff.

  10. A great meditation CD I have - sorry but it does work... I love this woman's voice - check out Ruth Naperstack's (sic) website and panic attack CD – I am addicted to it.

  11. Change your addictions to healthy ones like panic attack CDs.

  12. A tiny piece of very dark chocolate.

  13. Listen to some sad songs, cry a little bit for release and then stop, force yourself to go outside and look at some flowers.

  14. Check out Beliefnet, read what other people have posted with such warmth, authenticity and generosity.

  15. Hug my dog Mickey a lot - somewhere I read that brings your blood pressure down.

  16. Call someone on the phone and admit that I'm sad even though I don't feel entitled to be because I am so very fortunate. Usually friends respond in a lovely way - the other day, my friends Monica and Anne showed up on my doorstep and forced me to come out of the house with them. They were only going to the shoe repair man, but I came along and focused on fixing my shoe instead of being sad. Distraction works. Confession: we did stop for a cupcake (sugary) which we split on the way home.)

  17. Remind myself that I have shifting hormones.

  18. Remind myself that even though the cause of my sadness is sometimes because my mother has Alzheimers and my father has been gone for years, and my children are leaving the nest, the very last thing any one of them would want is for me to be sad. Many many people would be sad to know that I'm sad (like the ones who dragged me out to the shoe repair man).

There’s something for everyone on this list, eh?

Take care and be well.