The Counselor’s Corner

It’s OK to Feel Sad


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Mental Health Awareness

Mrs. Carroll, Counselor

Sadness is often seen as a negative, but it’s not.  Some people don’t see the point of sadness.  Others are afraid to feel sad, it’s uncomfortable and not fun.  A lot of us are not taught how to be there for ourselves when we are sad instead, we are taught to avoid sadness and toughen up.  What happens when we try to put emotions in a closet and not deal with them, they spill over at some point and dealing with that mess is much harder than had we just acknowledged it in the beginning.

Sadness is a sign that there is something about you or your situation that you want to change, and this gives us an opportunity to learn about ourselves.  Some examples of why we are sad may be because I am in a relationship I don’t want to be anymore, or a friendship has ended, or there has been a death of a loved one.  Grief is all the love you want to give to your loved one but no longer can.  The happiness of that love turns into sadness when it can’t be given away to that person.

It’s normal to not want to deal with sadness alone and one of the best ways to deal with sadness is either with a therapist or a trusted friend.  Just talking about your sadness out loud is healing.  Other coping skills can include journaling, going for a walk, doing a hobby, yoga, cooking or listening to music are a few tools that may help you process your sadness.  Sadness is not permanent, and your heart will heal again.  When we can get through sadness in our life, it reminds us how resilient we are.

Sadness is not depression.  Depression is a mental illness that affects your mood, how you understand yourself, and how you relate to situations.  Depression can come out of the blue and stick around for a long time and it is deeper than sadness.  Often people struggling with depression may feel worthless, hopelessness, unreasonable guilt, and sometimes it is expressed through anger or irritability.  Unlike sadness, it doesn’t go away on its own.

During COVID we are all feeling sad about having lost our normal.  A lot of students are fortunate enough to see their friends but there are also a lot who are not able to.  #ASK5 is where you check in on five friends to make sure their mental health is ok.  Reach out to five people; friends you don’t see, family members, teachers, this little act of caring goes such a long way for the person receiving it.