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???

More from Beliefnet and our partners
previous posts

“Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I” wrote US songwriter Lorenz Hart about the feeling of infatuation. It’s blissful and euphoric, as we all know. But it’s also addicting, messy and blinding. Without careful monitoring, its wild wind can rage through your life leaving you much like the lyrics of a country song: without a wife, […]

When does reciting scripture become a symptom of neurosis? Or praying the rosary an unhealthy compulsion? Not until I had the Book of Psalms practically memorized as a young girl did I learn that words and acts of faith can morph into desperate measures to control a mood disorder, that faithfulness and piety can disguise acute […]

One of my mom’s best pieces of advice: “Hang with the winners.” This holds true in support groups (stick with the people who have the most sobriety), in college (find the peeps with good study habits), and in your workplace (stay away from the drama queen at the water cooler). Why? Because we actually become […]

For people prone to depression and anxiety – i.e. human beings – the holidays invite countless possibility to get sucked into negative and catastrophic thinking. You take the basic stressed-out individual and you increase her to-do list by a third, stuff her full of refined sugar and processed foods, force her into social gatherings at […]