Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Priscilla Warner: 18 Ways to Fill the Hole in the Soul

Over the weekend, I e-mailed my friend Priscilla Warner (who moderates the fantastic “The Faith Club” group in Beliefnet’s Community, to get to click here) to ask her what she does when she feels sad, when she experiences the emptiness in her heart, the hole in her soul that my writing teacher Laura Oliver talks about in Wednesday’s video. She had these suggestions:

1. E-mailing friends
2. Thanking God every morning for returning my soul to my body, for Jimmy,
Max and Jack and the love God planted in our hearts, for making us people capable of feeling the kind of love we feel for each other. Not everyone can experience that feeling. For keeping us healthy, safe and sound and free from serious injury or harm. For helping us to spread love around the world.
3. Exercise
4. Sorry, NO sugar
5. I’ve been walking for 1 1/2 hrs – I’m so tired that I don’t have the energy to be sad! And some endorphins too.


6. A scented candle I love.
7. WORK. Creative stuff – writing or making jewelry.
8. Retail therapy – buy something, even if it’s taking ten minutes to pick out the best oranges you can find that you know are really really juicy.
9. Junk TV or movie watching – or go to youtube and surf around and look at stupid stuff
10. A great meditation CD I have – sorry but it does work…I love this woman’s voice – check out Ruth Naperstack’s website and panic attack CD – I am addicted to it.
11. Change your addictions to healthy ones like panic attack CDs
12. A tiny piece of very dark chocolate
13. Listen to some sad songs, cry a little bit for release and then stop, force yourself to go outside and look at some flowers
14. Check out Beliefnet, read what other people have posted with such warmth, authenticity and generosity
15. Hug my dog Mickey a lot – somewhere I read that brings your blood pressure down
16. Call someone on the phone and admit that I’m sad even though I don’t feel entitled to be because I am so very fortunate. Usually friends respond in a lovely way – the other day, my friends Monica and Anne showed up on my doorstep and forced me to come out of the house with them. They were only going to the shoe repair man, but I came along and focused on fixing my shoe instead of being sad.
Distraction works. Confession: we did stop for a cupcake (sugary) which we split on the way home.)
17. Remind myself that I have shifting hormones
18. Remind myself that even though the cause of my sadness is sometimes because my mother has Alzheimers and my father has been gone for years, and my children are leaving the nest, the very last thing any one of them would want is for me to be sad. Many many people would be sad to know that I’m sad (like the ones who dragged me out to the shoe repair man).

So, Beyond Blue readers, I’m curious. What do you do to fill your hole in the soul???

  • Glenn Slaby

    I love to talk to people especially someone new, a stranger on line at the store. Any store CVS etc just to get out of myself slightly. A simple hello sometimes suffices. This contact helps crack the shield of darkness sometimes. Then I try to focus on the family and pets. It is so difficult, so painful.

  • C.

    I go to the source of my joy, God (Jesus), and ask that He fill that hole. I read the Bible and talk to God about what is on my mind and making me feel down. In His way, He almost always seems to answer me and refresh my soul, ie. my husband walks in and brightens up the room with his smile or the phone rings and I get good news, or I see something on TV that makes me smile or the quote in Scripture was just perfect. It is not like this every time but no matter what I feel blessed to be loved by my Creator.

  • nyjlm

    1- enjoy my children! When I watch them, and see how they suck every bit of joy out of life, I can’t help but feel my cup filling up.
    2- sit outside and look at the sky through the branches of the trees in our yard.
    3- take photographs- freeze the moment- see the small beauty
    4- read books
    5- breathe- meditate- guided imagery

  • Tricia

    Hi Glen,
    You will never know how much your saying Hello to the other person means to them.
    This is a Fact: MOST People Are Hoping Someone Notices Them!!!
    “It’s difficult and painful” Yup! And Most are Afraid..but, You’re Doing It!! ^I^

  • MBC“

    Sometimes or most of the time lately i hate everything …oooh im no happy with it. WHERE To go from here. Ive hurt people an d they have hurt me. I guess no one will ever meet up to your expectations. i’ll never meet up to theres. Suppose thats the bottom line. pick it up what ya didn;t p?u growing up better find on your own. No room for mistakes in this life I guess. will go on no matter what sooo fake it or whatZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ? how come people can just pass you by, not there problem or they dony know any how…whatever it comes down to what your going to do for yourself anyhow….blah blah blah orry just goihg on and on.

  • missharron

    To fill the hole in my sole: I feng shui. I arrange objects around me in a pleasing fashion as if I were
    going to take a photograph of it (that is actually what I do for a living too…..I am a photo stylist!
    but it can work for anybody). Putting my mind to a task that has a beginning and an end helps to
    define a block of time. I find if I define a block of time, then put them end to end, before I know it,
    an hour has gone by, I feel as though I have accomplished something (helps with the selfesteem!)
    my surroundings are more pleasing to look at and somehow that hole is filled.

  • Gail

    I am really fortunate to have this part time job, front desk at a nice retirement center, 3:30-9 PM Monday through Fridays. It’s my JOB to be friendly, caring, warm and helpful, and to call the residents BY NAME. No matter how I felt in the morning, it brings me up to go to work and be friendly and caring! So why don’t I do that more often in the rest of my life! I learn so much there that I do try to be active and caring the rest of the day. Like calling people BY NAME, such a gift, and such a positive energy that produces. Try it!

  • Tricia

    * I count each day as a separate life.
    * I spend the first cup of de-caf. vanilla coffee in *the sun-room/deck visualizing the things I want to accomplish and the unexpected moments of joy the day will bring.
    (* I use to drink it at 65 mph on the highway for years.)
    * During the day I *practice* letting go of any self-liminting talk by replacing it with my morning visualization and allowing my mind and heart to *feel* it.
    * I surround myself with positive people with positive attitudes. I avoid or limit people or things that are toxic to me.
    * I walk the talk: By being Positive. Saying nice things – and really meaning them.
    * I understand each day is a gift, so, I appreciate each day by reminding myself:
    This Day Will Never Come Again. How Shall I Live it?
    *I pay attention to the times I begin to emotionalize rather than think.
    I Stop…and Think: What would a logical and rationale person do in this matter?
    * I think health – not sickness.
    I free my mind of negative thoughts and attitudes and replace it with goodwill.
    I make a deliberate choice to eat one healthy meal every day.
    * I think of my life as a bank account.
    I try to give more than I take by making meaningful deposits of love and compassion every day.
    * In the evening I finish the day strong.
    I write five things I am grateful for (that day) in my Attitude of Gratitude Journal.
    Post Note:
    It took years of crawling over broken glass to arrive at where I am today.

  • The BB Community

    ((((((((((((((((((((We Care, MBC!))))))))))))))))))))

  • cathy

    Gail, I love what you wrote here.
    Tricia, I like this idea of “at least one healthy meal each day.”
    That means that if I have two healthy meals a day, I should feel happy instead of frustrated at myself for the one meal that was difficult.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Cathy,
    I too, also have one square piece of 85% dark chocolate every day.
    Doctor’s say it’s” good for for your heart.”
    That’s their story and … *I’m* Sticking To It! ^I^

  • Terri Tobias Mathis

    Sleep is so important and because of my daughter, I have become addicted to the feel of Egyptian cotton with 600+ thread count. The sheets provide necessary sensory/tactile information to induce my sleep. (as a professional I know this is important BUT didn’t apply it to my personal life until recently) blessings

  • anonymous

    -SLEEP-I now know about myself that less than 8 hrs and I am a bomb waiting to go off if the wrong thing is said or the littlest thing bothers me.
    -EXERCISE-gotta love the endorphins. I once saw a NIKE ad that had a picture of a shoe and a donut and it said: “You will never regret exercising.” I have repeated that to myself like a mantra to get my self to go exercise.
    -FRIENDSHIP-I find the one friend who I know will tell me what I need to hear. we all know which friends help us with which issues. That does not mean that friend will agree with me, just that she understands me, has my best interest at heart, and will be (carefully) honest with me.
    -EAT WELL-the no sugar thing is so true. I hate to admit it (or do it), but no sugar helps a ton.
    -CRY-After I let out the build up of sadness, I almost always feel better.
    -PET THERAPY-as previiously mentioned, animals are an amazing therapeutic too. They love us unconditionally and more reliable and consistent than any person I know (including myself).
    -QUIET-sometimes giving my brain a chance to rest and not repond to outside stimuli can be very calming.
    -POSITIVE SELF TALK-I remind myself about the good qualities I have and what I like about myself. I remind myslef that “I am strng” and “I can get though this.”
    -JOURNAL-I use writing as a way to express my feeling, sort them out, and give me perspective on the situation.
    I could go on. I have quite the collection of coping startegies. The key is actually using them…which I confess, I don’t always do. But I keep on trying. Practice makes (close to) perfect.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment anne

    my favorite Pastor came back to speak at my church in August, and he truly does feel like a father figure when he is preaching, and I truly missed him so very much, and when he was the Pastor the church felt so like family–with Thursday night truth, and wednesday night family night, and sunday night service, but now the church is only open sunday mornings, and for Kids Club, and barely feels the same, and I love the new Pastors preaching, but I miss so much, and do not know where I belong any more at all. Please help me know what to do, i wish I could ask my former Pastor, he gave such wise answers to any question, and I have so many questions

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