How to combat sadness
SAMHSA’s National Helpline | SAMHSA
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SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.
Also visit the online treatment locator.
SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357) (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service), or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.
Also visit the online treatment locator, or send your zip code via text message: 435748 (HELP4U) to find help near you. Read more about the HELP4U text messaging service.
The service is open 24/7, 365 days a year.
English and Spanish are available if you select the option to speak with a national representative. Currently, the 435748 (HELP4U) text messaging service is only available in English.
In 2020, the Helpline received 833,598 calls. This is a 27 percent increase from 2019, when the Helpline received a total of 656,953 calls for the year.
The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.
The service is confidential. We will not ask you for any personal information. We may ask for your zip code or other pertinent geographic information in order to track calls being routed to other offices or to accurately identify the local resources appropriate to your needs.
No, we do not provide counseling. Trained information specialists answer calls, transfer callers to state services or other appropriate intake centers in their states, and connect them with local assistance and support.
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Last Updated: 08/30/2022
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5 ways to deal with sadness in summer | RBC Style
© Daria Shevtsova/Pexels
Author Alisa Taezhnaya
July 22, 2019
Summer is a season that is customary to wait for and enjoy every sunny day. However, it happens that the days are not always sunny, and fatigue does not disappear anywhere. Here are five simple ways to deal with summer blues without self-blame.
A simple solution, but very effective: a change of scenery to an unusual one breathes life into boring activity. With affordable internet, powerful charging for any device, and the lightness of seasonal clothing, you can get out to work, study, and meet outside without compromising productivity. It is more pleasant to write business letters from a bench in the park. Preparing for an exam in a foreign language - on a blanket in the park. Arrange with friends instead of meetings on the veranda to have small picnics in the air. Instead of having breakfast or dinner in the kitchen, move to the balcony.
There is no binding to one place - go to your friends' dacha to work from there. Choose outdoor sports, the outdoors as a meeting place, walks with audiobooks instead of evenings with a regular book, outdoor summer festivals. The more time you spend outside the four walls, the more you will remember the summer. And even if this habit is hard to start, the main thing is to start. Listening to music, sketching, shooting, reading, moving is always more pleasant in the air - you just need to remind yourself of this.
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Summertime means that we always meet with acquaintances and friends, spend a lot of time with those we missed during the cold season, go on dates and sit on benches. Solitude is generally considered something involuntary - a type of recreation with which something is fundamentally wrong: it is necessary to enjoy every minute with other people. At the same time, summer can be a very productive break for many introverts, in which a lot of things mature, come up with and happen - only without the obligatory participation of people from the outside.
Never be ashamed of your need to be alone and think about what kind of solitary activities bring you the most joy. Cooking dinner for yourself, making coffee, going to the cinema alone, lying on a blanket with a book, walking a lot, riding transport without a goal, traveling, lying in the bathroom, equipping an apartment - all this can be done in a company, but not at all necessary. Think about the criteria for quality loneliness for you, after which you are sure to feel good, and regularly return to this set during the blues.
Lack of time in the middle of the year is also a problem that can be partly solved in the summer. First of all, because from time to time some still go to rest and leave us alone. Each of us has a list of pleasant things that are constantly postponed, for which that very free day is never enough: the unfulfillment of plans for months can upset no less than specific bad news.
Consider what you are constantly postponing. Listen to all the good records from the last couple of years? Cooking the perfect dessert at home? Chat in your favorite area? Gather old friends? Go to the dacha to the grandmother? Come up with a strategy for yourself for five years? Cut and color? Go on a new date every day? Go to training? Make a change? Try to gradually implement the most pleasant things from this list, the thoughts of which bring the greatest satisfaction.
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Seemingly frivolous advice for getting rid of the blues - what do vegetables and berries from the garden have to do with a good mood? However, seasonal fruits and vegetables are always full of vitamins, our body is best prepared to digest them, and most vegetables, fruits and berries, which are sold in the summer for ridiculous amounts, can be eaten by the kilo and frozen for the winter. Every month there is a new set of seasonal fiber products that improves the condition of the gastrointestinal tract, gives vigor vitamins, plenty of water and natural sugars: it is nice to replace desserts and whole meals with fruits on a hot day. Plus, new delicious foods awaken imagination and the desire to cook: salads with cheese and fruits, fermented milk with berries, drinks with herbs are a great way to try something new and please yourself and loved ones with delicious food.
Finding the motivation for sports activities is difficult for most people all year round, but in the summer they manage to persuade themselves to go to training from time to time. Instead of the idea of “losing weight for the holidays” (often more destructive than beneficial in the long run), consider whether there is some kind of sports challenge / test that you can gradually prepare for and that will not lose value after a few months and will be easy to maintain .
Summer is a great time to get ready for running. Practice stretching. Proceed to the next level in any of the available workouts, from yoga to cardio. Start walking from 10 thousand steps a day. Defeat the jump rope or dumbbells. Fall in love with roller skates, a board or a bike. Set a serious but achievable goal for yourself and work towards it throughout the summer so that at the end you can proudly say that you have cycled 300 km, run those 10 km or can sit 100 times a day without even breaking a sweat. All these successes are made up of tiny incremental steps.
Goodbye sadness! How to overcome negative emotions?
Our emotions often behave like beings separate from us, presenting strange surprises. For example, a loved one says something pleasant, but at that moment we feel indifference, although, it would seem, we should have experienced joy. It’s not always possible to simply “wait out” negative feelings like a hurricane - they still find us and make us regret what we said or did. The good news is that everyone can cope with negative emotions - you just need to start treating them a little differently.
Where do negative emotions come from?
Any negative emotions arise when our expectations collide with reality. The obstacles we face in the outside world can be roughly divided into three types:
- Uncontrollable circumstances give rise to fear, anger and sadness
a giant icicle/tree/beautiful stranger (underline as appropriate) falls, scaring you half to death. When you return home, you find that ants have taken over the bathroom, cockroaches have taken over the kitchen, and aliens have taken over the living room.
- Metamorphoses of one’s own body give rise to shame and guilt
Incomprehensible spots appeared on the skin after a beauty procedure on the advice of a “good friend”.
- Desires of others give rise to anger, guilt and irritation
heel massage, and the boss cuts off the phone with another urgent task.
What to do with negative emotions?
In his lectures on negative emotions, Ruslan Narushevich, an expert in the field of interpersonal relations, notes that one of the most common and wrong ways to resolve an internal conflict is to suppress surging feelings. Often, when faced with obstacles, we begin to deny ourselves our most natural emotional needs: we think that we are too picky or touchy, we constantly cling to trifles. This attitude towards yourself only complicates the situation - your emotion will not actually disappear from rationalization. You have already experienced it! Your expectation no longer coincided with reality. And if you accuse yourself of captiousness and pettiness, negative feelings will only intensify. So what to do?
Take the role of an outside observer. The point of the exercise is to mentally name the emotion that you are experiencing, instead of plunging into it with your head. If you learn to recognize your emotions before they overwhelm your consciousness, you will have a chance to hear the voice of reason and not succumb to it. Perhaps next time, instead of wishing a painful death to the guard who did not let you into the parking lot, you will be able to mentally step aside and understand that the situation is absolutely not worth your nerves. In addition, the question “how do I feel right now?” it helps to notice the unpleasant little things that surreptitiously poison existence: cold, uncomfortable posture, a boring movie... These kinds of details can usually be eliminated very simply: close the window, sit back, turn off the TV. You just need to be able to notice it and realize it!
Andy Puddicombe, a former Buddhist monk and author of the world-changing meditation app Headspace, compares thoughts to cars moving in heavy traffic. Instead of standing on the side of the road and watching the traffic, we often rush after one or the other car, in the end, not moving anywhere. Fussy running around takes time and effort, when you can just step aside and calmly figure out where and why to go.
- This is also true for our emotions: we can get so carried away by our own feelings of guilt for eating a chocolate bar, unwillingness to go to the gym and resentment towards a husband who is late, that we will simply not be able to get out of the vicious circle of the same experiences. In this case, meditation, even if it is very short and spontaneous, is a great way to develop the habit of being aware of the emotional state so that you don’t experience anything like that again.
- Can't or don't know how to meditate? Get an emotion tracking app that asks you about your mood on a regular basis (Stop, Breathe & Think, How Are You, Moodnotes, MoodTools, etc.) Most of them will likely offer simple breathing exercises, short meditation tracks and tips to try. about how to calm down.
- Another way to keep track of your mood is the Morning Pages. Author Julia Cameron details this practice in The Artist's Way. Every morning you should start with three pages of text, and you need to write by hand everything that comes to mind, without filtering thoughts at all. Thus, you unload your mind from experiences and let go of many obsessive ideas.
The second step is to develop a positive attitude towards negative feelings. Even from hard experiences you can benefit! Any emotions that we experience are a signal for action: fear, guilt, irritation, anger are messages from our subconscious mind that help us better understand ourselves. If you regularly listen to your own feelings, you can find many patterns in yourself that work without our knowledge. For example, you may notice that you are often suspicious when you interact with men: your basic program is not to trust them. If you notice this and assume that men are, in principle, good guys, then perhaps gradually you will learn to simply accept attention and love, not suspecting malicious intent, and you will begin to experience joy more often. Treat negative emotions as sources of information about yourself!
The expression of negative emotions is the most difficult and important step on which your relationships with other people depend. Therefore, it is important to remember a few simple rules:
- Do not take it out on others before you realize what is happening to you. If you still decide to complain to someone, give yourself time to calm down a little and choose your words carefully. That is, not “you ruined my whole life!”, But “darling, I would be so pleased if you cleaned up after our cat today!”
- Do not share negative emotions with those for whom you are responsible, primarily with children and subordinates. They rely on a sense of security nearby. You need to share the accumulated fatigue and sadness with equals or with “seniors” - friends, loved ones, parents. Children do not need to know how much you hate the "krivorukov d" who laid this tile in the yard, just as you probably could do without your husband's lamentations that again no one listened to him at work, but "he spoke" .
- Separate emotions from problems and talk about one thing: about problems - without emotions, and about emotions - without connection with specific problems.
- Allow yourself to experience irrational emotions, but try to monitor them and speak openly about their irrationality. If you feel that today you are in a bad mood and you will find fault with everyone in a row, just announce to others: “Today I am angry. Don't take my words to heart!"
- Don't delay showing your emotions. If something hurts you, give yourself time to calm down, but talk about it as soon as possible: “I'm not pleased that you are now comparing me to your ex. You better not do that." The accumulated claims will take much more nerves and strength.
If you still understand that emotions are stronger than you, and you feel very bad, try to reduce the emotional intensity:
- Breathe deeply. During times of stress, breathing often gets confused - close your eyes, focus and try to inhale and exhale as slowly as possible.