I recently spoke at a sports center for youth about this topic.
Some ideas about what to do include:
Telling someone who is trustworthy what is the reason you are sad and addressing this with them. Having someone show they care can be very helpful.
Doing some things you enjoy; a sport or art, for example.
Listening to happy music.
Spending time with friends.
Eating healthy food and also food that you enjoy, in moderation.
Reading a good book or listening to a radio program you enjoy. Watching a good movie.
Playing a game with friends or family.
Play with or cuddle with a pet.
Cuddle with stuffed animals, blankets, pillows.
Telling yourself encouraging things. In the movie “Corina, Corina” a little girl became withdrawn and mute after her mother died. Her dad hires a nanny who helps her to cheer up and get back to life and school. Whoopi Goldberg’s character tells Molly, “Maybe they won’t like you? Are you kidding? Have you looked in the mirror today? That’s the most likeable face in America! You’re goin’ about this the wrong way. You have to think to yourself: “My name is Molly Singer and there is no one in the world better than me.” That’s what you’ve got to say to yourself. Try it!”
Mindfulness – click here for an exercise in mindfulness for kids.
Remember and think about things one is thankful for.
What other ideas can you or your kids come up with?
A great video showing a healthy way to deal with the sadness of missing a loved one in the song ‘When Somebody Loved Me’ from Toy Story II.
It is helpful to talk to someone that is trustworthy about what is causing the sadness. If a child has lost a loved one or is missing someone who is gone sometimes it is helpful to write a goodbye letter if there was not a chance to say goodbye. It is also helpful to have special times and ways to think about all the good memories of the person and to talk to a trusted person about them. A counselor, teacher, or close relative can be very helpful as well as music or a special song that reminds them of the person they love. Creating pictures and art about them or writing down the memories is a healthy way to grieve and deal with that type of sadness.
For adults- a recent book by COO of Facebook Sheryl Sandberg
Rachel Hofer, LMHC