I've been involved in several books that deal with sadness, one is even called 'The Sad Book'. It dealt with my feelings about my son's death. There is no happy ending. He doesn't come back to life. My first reason for writing it was because I wanted to sort out how I felt. The second was that children were asking me how I felt and I owed it to them to answer them straight. A third reason has emerged as people have started to read the book to each other: it gives people a chance to say what kind of feelings they have, how they've responded to loss or how they are handling feelings of sadness.
I set up Wellbeing Escapes 11 years ago and it's been very interesting watching the emergence of wellness travel from truly embryonic beginnings to where it is today. My team and I have the privileged position of speaking to our clients on a daily basis which allows us to understand their needs but also the challenges that they are facing in their lives.
Short-term distractions such as alcohol, drugs, pornography, sex, and over-eating are often used to tune-out from the pain of emotional fatigue. However, these distractions only temporarily mask the symptoms of fatigue and stop us from more effectively monitoring and managing the cause of our distress.
If all we do is drain our flames with the concerns of everyone else, then all that is left are some ashy embers and jagged coals. Anger and resentment enjoy these conditions, and we can't love others with such feelings. We just want to run, escape, blame and punish, often passive-aggressively, because we begrudge everything.
What is it that makes you happy? For many people, life satisfaction will be influenced by many different factors, including their family and education. For those working in the education world, the aim of achieving happiness for pupils once they leave school and become adults may be a motivating factor, but rarely something they can focus on day-to-day...
Short term happiness is easy to come by, but can leave us feeling miserable and exhausted. My little list of happy makers will not bring you instant gratification like a glass of wine or slice of cake would, but trust me, as a person who has survived two mental breakdowns, these are tried and tested long-term happiness boosters!
Coping mechanisms come in all forms - whether it looks like a bottle of red after a tough day, avoidance of social situations or munching on biscuits all day at work. We either need to find alternative coping mechanisms for the circumstances we can't change, or address the source of stress and anxiety in the first place.