I remember that first year after my adult kids left home. It was one of the worst, especailly during the holiday season. I felt alone, uncaring and overwhelmed by crappy feelings. I could feel myself starting to fall into a depression, something that I had done once before during a really trying time. And I did not want to revisit that state of mind.
I had to Steer Clear of Depression and Move to Delighted.
Depression and sudden life changes can make us feel alone when in reality we are never alone. There is always someone who cares, who needs you.
I had to find a way to go from Feeling Crappy to Being Happy.
Crappy feelings kept me in a stagnant place that never changed. After all my kids still needed me (just not in the same way), my husband needed me. I needed ME.
I needed to find a way to go from Bitter to Better.
I had to quit being angry and resentful about the circumstances. After all, I raised my sons to be independent. What did I expect, them to live with me forever?
But saying you want to be happy is not as easy as doing it. I had to learn to think and act differently. I had to basically change my mindset to a more positive one. And believe me, some days I had to really force myself to find the happy! It can be unpleasant to realize that it’s you that is causing yourself to be unhappy.
I mean, the kids are happy and moving on with their lives, right? Even your hubby seems to be accepting the situation better than you.
I researched different methods of how to change my thoughts. At first I was doubtful. But I remembered back from before when I was depressed. My doctor had prescribed medicine to help but it had such bad side effects that I quit taking it (with her approval).
So that left me on my own to fight it.
I took a lot of missteps but eventually found ways that worked for me. One way I wish I had known sooner was to enlist the help of others to help me along my journey. A coach, a course or challenge, therapy, meditation, yoga, any of these would have sped my journey to happiness along.
I know you might be unsure how this can help you go from crappy to happy, but the mind is a powerful thing. Using positive thoughts, affirmations and being grateful for the good somehow turns your sad feelings into joy. Make it a point to do something that brings you joy every day. It can be as simple as buying yourself flowers or visiting with a friend you haven’t seen in a while.
6 Things You can do to Go from Crappy to Happy
You might have to fake it for a few days.
Faking happiness is a lot easier than you may think. You can start with nothing more complicated than smiling. A fake smile will do in a pinch, but if you can get your entire face, including your eyes involved. Give smiling your best effort, even if you aren’t feeling it.
Fight against a natural tendency to be negative.
This is easier said than done. Since this bias to negativity is hard wired in our brains, it takes a lot of time and effort to build new, more positive habits. Remind yourself each morning that your mind is trying to force you to focus on the negative stuff and that it takes a conscious effort to balance it out by being mindful off all the good and happy things in our lives. Replace a negative thought with a happy one as soon as you realize you are doing it.
Look for the happiness in your sadness or overwhelm
First of all, take a little time to process and grieve. Then move on. Begin creating your happiness. Start by focusing on gratitude. Think about the many people and things in your life you are grateful for. be grateful for the time you had with your child and the pleasure it was to watch them grow to adulthood. It won’t be easy but the overwhelming feelings of loneliness and sadness will fade and much better things are ahead.
When you’re having a bad day, or are feeling down, the best way to increase your happiness, may be to exercise. There is a strong link between exercise and an improvement in mood and well-being. Give it a try. Go for a 30 minute walk whenever you’re feeling depressed and unhappy. Sign up for a challenge so you have a reason to move. You’ll notice your mood starting to increase throughout the walk. As you get back, you may notice that you’ve feeling even happier.
Keep busy by doing stuff
Taking action and getting stuff done is just a part of who we are. You’ve seen it before. You feel proud, accomplished, and happy when you wrap up a big work project, or finish reorganizing your closet. It’s a great feeling and it’s what drives us to get things done on a regular basis. It’s motivation to get to work and take action. If you don’t have anything meaningful to do (like raising your kids), you may feel like you’re not needed.
The best way to turn that around is to find something, anything you can do to make you feel productive. Give it a try. The next time you feel down, force yourself to do one little productive thing. Go clean the bathroom, organize your book shelf, or do a load of laundry. Then use the accomplishment from that to motivate yourself to get something else done. Keep building on it, and before you know it you’ll notice your mood changing for the better.
Learn To Deal With Negative Thoughts and Emotions
Of course, we all know that life isn’t all happiness and rainbows. That would make for a boring existence. On the other hand, having negative thoughts, emotions, and the events and people that cause them are part of life. We have to learn to deal with them and make the best of sad situations to live a happy and content life. Here are a few different ideas and strategies that can help you do just that.
Put Them In Perspective.
Step back and look at the situation from a different perspective. Get some sleep, go out for a walk, and come back and look at it again. Try your best to see the positive side of things. Yes, there are undeniably sad and bad situations in our lives, but even so, most of them have a little flicker of something good in them as well. Find that positivity and hang on to it. Sign up for a short challenge with others looking for happiness. This holds you accounatable while giving you a sense of accomplishment.
Allow Yourself To Be Sad At Times.
There are also times when life just plain sucks. It’s ok to be sad. Don’t feel that you have to be happy 100% of the time. Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to take the time to be sad and grieve. There is a lot of healing and coming to terms with things that can only happen when you let the sadness in. Feel it, so you can start to heal and recover. This will allow you to get back to the happier version of yourself.
Look On The Bright Side And Find Your Way Back To Happiness
To make sure that happens and you don’t spiral down into a hole of sadness, despair and depression, you have to look for the right side, or the little flicker of light at the end of the tunnel. Look for it, focus on it, and use it to find your way back to happiness. Maybe that little flicker of hope is simply that you’re not feeling quite as sad as you did yesterday. Or maybe it’s a call from a friend, or a neighbor dropping off a card. Grab on to it and use anything good and positive in your life to lead you back.
Being an empty nest mom can be one of the saddest experiences you’ll have. But you can lessen how much it impacts how you feel. Learn how to find the joy in every day life and hopefully, you will skip over a lot of the depression and be ready to move on to a more exciting, fun filled life.
You’re kids want you to be happy and living a life you love. Find your happy.
P.S. Feeling crappy sucks and it can last indefinitely if you don’t take the reins to steer it in another direction. Why not join myself and many others in a quest for happiness.