Parents – The following information is a glimpse into the discussion that the RYC Youth Educator , Miss Jess, had with fourth grade students about dealing with Sad Feelings.
Th fourth graders explored the emotion of sadness and talked about the ways in which we experience sadness and ways to move forward towards feeling better.
All the different feelings that we experience throughout a day, and a lifetime, make up a beautiful rainbow through which we can experience life in a full and rich way. Every color of emotion has its place and is important, but we want to be sure to keep some colors from taking over for too long and stealing the show. Sadness is one of those emotions.
Everyone feels sad sometimes. Sadness is a natural human emotion and a reality of the life we live. The children and I discussed how the degree of sadness we feel depends on the situation and how some sad feelings can last longer than others. It was agreed that even though it is natural to feel sad from time to time it is best to try and feel better when we can.
Here are some ways we discussed dealing with sad feelings:
1. Notice when you are sad and respect the moment.
As much as we may not want to feel sad, it is important to take a second to acknowledge the moment and show ourselves a little understanding when we are feeling badly. Once we have taken this moment, then we can look for something to do that will help us to shake off the mood.
When we are feeling sad, it’s often easier to try and push off our feelings and distract ourselves. Many children utilize screens in this way. Screens provide an immediate distraction and disconnection from feeling in the moment. Instead of screen time, a good outlet could be to hang out with a good friend or go for a bike ride. Convert that energy into something uplifting!
2. Take a second to think positively.
A moment of sadness can be a good moment for reflection. Think about one or two good things about yourself or your situation. Look for the good. Maybe there is a lesson to be had. The children were very receptive to this and offered a lot of wonderful ideas!
3. Think of solutions.
Coming up with ways to solve a problem or cope with a situation can help you feel -- and become -- stronger, more confident and resilient.
4. Get some support.
Everyone can use support at times. It is a strength to know when you need the people in your life that believe in you and care for you to give you comfort. Talking about sad feelings help to keep sad feelings from piling up and becoming overwhelming.
5. Work to put yourself in a better mood.
You can try and shake off a sad mood by doing things that put you in a more positive mood. Maybe you can play a game, ride a bike, dance or take a walk. Or maybe you can try playing music, making art, or reading. Sometimes just spending time with someone you like can make you feel better. Have some fun!
The children and I also spoke about how healthy habits can help to keep sad feeling at bay.: how nourishing our bodies with healthy foods and getting enough sleep and exercise are helpful. When we don’t physically take care of our bodies we can become grouchy. Lots of things can make us feel badly when we are already uncomfortable to begin with.
Lastly, we spoke of practicing gratitude. It is easy to forget all of the good things that are happening in our lives, especially when we are all very busy. Taking the time to notice the good things in our lives, no matter how small, helps us to keep things that are sad in perspective and helps to keep sad things from taking over.
Being grateful can be something as simple as your favorite shirt being clean to wear to school. No thought of gratefulness is too small!