Prepare ahead for the sad times

being sad

photo courtesy of Google images

One of the most popular posts to date on my blog was the one immediately prior to this one, about giving permission to yourself to be sad sometimes.  As readers have said to me, it was liberating to read, because we tend to put pressure on ourselves to be happy and smiley all the time, and when we’re not, people will often probe by asking ‘are you OK?’, which can be really irritating even though their intentions are good!

Here is something that I have pre-arranged with my family and some of my friends:  when I am having a down day, I can just tell the other person it’s a down day, and that it means I need some space and ‘alone time’; my mood is understood to not be a reflection of my relationship with the other person. This works well because the other person is relieved from wondering how they should treat me, and they don’t get offended because I may be grumping around.  Of course, this agreement works both ways, and I want them to tell me when they just need some down time too.

In our workplaces, this certainly can be more challenging because we probably cannot create these pre-arrangements with every person we work with. Plus, it’s rather socially unacceptable in western society to admit we may feel down. The increase in awareness and education about mental health has increased, but society still has a long way to go in this matter.

We can always start with ourselves by giving ourselves permission to be sad on occasion. Consider trying to pre-arrange an ‘alone time alert’ with your loved ones.   It’s about giving ourselves and others permission to be human, and to feel the emotions of our human existence.

13 thoughts on “Prepare ahead for the sad times

  1. Hi Wendy,

    I have just started to look into meditation and mindfulness after suffering yet another bout of anxiety and depression, I have to say the insight so far has been enlightening. I’m not out of the woods yet but I am starting to have a different perspective on matters. One thing I have learnt over the years of suffering is that fighting how you feel does no good at all, quite the opposite of how Western therapies operate. I started meditation after reading a book on Morati therapy, and stumbled across your site this morning. I have added to my favourites and will keep a close eye on it!! Keep up the good work!

    All the best,


    • Hi Mark! Thank you – you have made my day. It seems you are from the UK and I am from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. To connect in something meaningful such as what you are experiencing is simply wonderful.

      One of my students recently told me that she has had depression for most of her life, and has been on medication and going to counseling. By learning meditation and mindfulness, she has been able to cut both counseling and medication in half, and she feels good a lot more of the time. She has become one of my biggest followers and wants others with depression to know the power of meditation and mindfulness.

      Good for you Mark, by reaching out to me and also for being curious and exploring ways to have different perspectives on life. We are human, and will continue to have ups and downs, and all the crazy human emotions, but when we have tools like this, and are able to see different perspectives, it makes all the difference in the world to how we function and experience life.

      I have so much to say, maybe that’s why I started the blog 🙂 I’m actually a fairly quiet person.

      FYI, if you would like to subscribe to my blog so you get an email notification every time I have a new post, just put your email address into the field on the right side of my blog. You can choose to receive the notifications immediately or weekly (using the manage subscriptions option in the email you will get). I don’t sell email addresses or anything 🙂

      Thanks so much Mark, and you boosted my day as I feel that opening myself up helps others.

      • Hi Wendy,

        Thanks for the reply and your email.

        My meditation is in its infancy at the moment, and to be fair its not always easy as its so alien to me to have a calm mind, but I do try and practice every evening.
        One thing mindfulness opened my eyes to is how much we miss going on around us, as most of us live in our heads a lot of the time. I have always been one of those people who ‘will be happy when x has happened’ and never enjoyed the moment. If I don’t make a great meditator I can at least take the fact that all we have is now and to try and enjoy that.

        I notice you have promoted Eckhart Tolle on your website, I found his work a little hard going to be honest, maybe I will come back to it at some point. At the moment I am reading a book by Mark Williams. (feel free to tall me off if I am not allowed to mention authors etc on your blog)

        Ps I have subscribed to your blog.


      • Hi Mark,
        It’s wonderful to hear how you have discovered the wakefulness that mindfulness brings to your life. Meditation is a skill that can be honed, and I think it’s important to know there are many different explanations of meditation and techniques. I always tell my students that it is not about emptying the mind, because I think it’s unrealistic for 99% of us to do so. Many feel they ‘aren’t doing it right’; understand that each session is what it is. It’s good to go into each session with no expectations, no judgment and experience what you are feeling.

        I found Eckhart’s first book: ‘The Power of Now’, very hard to get through, but the second book ‘A New Earth’ is much more readable, and if you watch the webcasts on the Oprah website that discusses each chapter, the book really makes a lot more sense. Even those who were the biggest skeptics of this book & Oprah’s webcasts told me they really got a lot out of these. However, you are right – maybe it’s a matter of timing, and someday it will be the on the path for you.

        And I certainly don’t mind if you mention good resources that you value. It helps all who read this.
        Thanks for commenting! I value it highly,

  2. I like this idea.

    I have a friend who both of us get the impending doom feeling once in a while. Nothing is wrong but you feel the sky is falling. I can tell this friend… It’s an impending doom feeling day and she understands. We didn’t pre-arrange but we understand each other.

    • Hi Shaunah, that’s great. Real friends are those who are there for the good times and the bad, and understand and help especially during the bad. Thank you for the comment!

  3. I agree, though I have not done so for a while. I think it is time to make it a part of my life again. It was when my children were small that I did this, so they could understand if I acted differently or short tempered that day.

  4. This August, a good friend of my daughter’s passed away while cliff jumping in Pemberton. He was only 27 years old and one of the nicest boys you could ever know. When I meditate each day, I start out by crying for Ben. I have found this extremely healing. I have given myself permission to cry every single day during this quiet and private time and it’s helping. I read your previous post, Wendy, and it’s so honest and helpful. I enjoyed the comments, too.

    • Hi Kim, thanks for sharing such a tragedy that has obviously affected you and many others. Sometimes we just cannot explain or understand why such things happen.

      I felt re-posting this from earlier this year would be helpful. Many tend to think that when we break down or simply get sad, we are being weak and we shouldn’t be doing that. We need to remember that we are human, so have emotions and ups and downs. Experiencing our emotions is part of being alive.

      Thank you for your openness as I’m sure it will help others.
      Love and light to you,

  5. Wendy, This definitely spoke to me! The other day was one of those days, and I had to explain to a friend that I was in my “hermit” phase…and that I had to stay there until my extrovert decided to come out and play! (P.S. Thank you for noticing my new pastel posted today..)

    • Vera, that’s interesting to hear. I hope your friend understood. Sometimes people take it personally; that’s why it’s good to ‘pre-arrange’ if you can!

      All the best to you,

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