Six Tips for Sad and Hard Days

Do you ever feel down? Blue? Like life is too hard?

I’ve learned a few things that help me in these moments of feeling downhearted.

Six Tips for Sad/Hard Days

1. Take Care of Yourself | I made myself take a walk today even though I didn’t feel like it. Getting outside is good for my spirits. You might eat good food, do yoga, go to bed a little early, watch a funny movie, or take a bath.

2. When a Task Feels too Hard, Choose Another Task | Turn off the computer. My work is primarily creative, which means I use my mind and energy to write, plan/record videos, and work on presentations. This week I’ve had a very hard time thinking clearly and mustering up the energy to create something new. Days like this, it’s best to put the computer away and either choose more passive work (read articles and books) OR do something completely physical. I’m in the midst of decluttering Wogayu’s room which is a good alternative toĀ thinking creatively.

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3. Surround Yourself with Truth | Read helpful books (for me, the Bible and books like this one), listen to encouraging music, and talk with good friends who love you and speak the truth. Writing favorite quotes or Bible verses on post-its and sticking them above the kitchen sink is always good for me. Make aĀ gratitude list adding more to it each day.

4. Surround Yourself with Beauty | Pick or buy flowers (I bought pink tulips), light candles, take that walk I mentioned above. If you have time, plan a day trip somewhere beautiful. Sit in your yard with a mug of coffee or tea.

5. Keep Life Simple | This is especially true if your low state lasts more than a few days. Cut out unnecessary tasks, cook simple food, make room in your days to breathe. If you are grieving, be gentle with yourself – it’s a long journey.

6. Be GenerousĀ | Generosity and gratitude give us joy. Getting out of my head and into the world helps me be less self-focused and puts my life in perspective. People are in need (financially, emotionally, practically) all around us. Take your kids and shovel a sidewalk, buy treats and deliver them to friends, mail a real card to someone you haven’t connected with in a long time.

I remind myself I won’t feel this way forever; as I tell my kids, “Feelings come and go.”


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Encourage one another, my friends, and if you’re feeling low, try some of the tips I shared.

What would you add to my list? Leave a comment and let me know!

With hope for the journey,

Lisa

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRIĀ® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

18 Comments

  1. Donna
    February 16, 2018

    Thank you….
    Feeling completely overwhelmed today….
    Trying to juggle work and 4 kids…and on our 2nd week of flu,including myself, and so very sad today for many reasons….thank you for this…

    Reply
    1. jacqueline
      February 16, 2018

      Love – keeping it simple

      Reply
      1. Lisa Qualls
        February 16, 2018

        Yes – very simple. Thanks for commenting, Jacqueline.

        Reply
    2. Lisa Qualls
      February 16, 2018

      You’re welcome, Donna. It’s been a hard week for me too.

      Reply
  2. VAL Manzo
    February 16, 2018

    i find music I thoroughly enjoy to be transformative.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      February 16, 2018

      Me too.

      Reply
  3. Lori Glasscock
    February 16, 2018

    Good reminders as I navigate one of those days/weeks. Change has been hard around here this week.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      February 19, 2018

      You’ve had so much going on, Lori. I hope today is better.

      Reply
  4. Sonya
    February 19, 2018

    As always, Lisa, your words are honest & humble & helpful. We have had our share of tough days & I needed these reminders. I keep a stack of 3×5 cards with encouraging verses on my desk for quick grabbing when I get overwhelmed. Thanks for sharing your tips. ā¤ļø

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      February 19, 2018

      That’s a great idea, Sonya. Thank you!

      Reply
  5. Nicole
    February 19, 2018

    Thank you for this post, Lisa. I hope your days are improving.

    I love that you included “Be Generous.” When I worked in a children’s home, I noticed my girls thriving most when they were helping others and yet I forget that I also thrive when I’m helping others.

    It’s such a huge blessing to get a break from focusing on me. I’ve noticed lately that it’s also a huge blessing for our family to take a break from focusing on us.

    Thank you for this list!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      February 19, 2018

      It makes a huge difference, doesn’t it?

      Reply
  6. Lizzy
    February 19, 2018

    really needed this truth today, and just to know others feel it to. thank you

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      February 19, 2018

      You’re welcome, Lizzy. Take some deep breaths and remember that this feeling won’t last forever.

      Reply
  7. Amy
    February 22, 2018

    Thank you so much, Lisa! I feel like my kids from hard places are stuck, and I am not able to help them as long as they don’t want any help. I found a song that I have had on repeat the last few days. Maybe you would like it too?? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r49V9QcYheQ&feature=youtu.be
    Praying for you and your family!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      February 22, 2018

      That is beautiful, Amy. Thank you! “He’s in the waiting.”

      Reply
  8. RoseAnne
    March 19, 2018

    Such a great ā€œguidelineā€ for difficult days. Parenting kids from hard places makes this list necessary. Itā€™s not easy to take care of ourselves as mothers but essential in order to continue to care for those who depend on us.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      March 20, 2018

      Thanks, RoseAnne, I hope it’s helpful. It’s so easy to get pulled lower and lower if we don’t make proactive choices.

      Reply

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