When you want to make yourself feel better, what can you do for yourself or give yourself that no one else can give you?
Firstly, permission to be upset. I can’t get through to the feeling better without first letting myself really feel the feeling bad. So the first thing I give myself is space to cry, be it quietly for 5 minutes in my office with the door closed or for loudly, sobbingly, for 2 hours in my bedroom. I give myself a chance to let it out: in that time, while I’m feeling everything overwhelmingly, my mind is free to turn over every aspect of the situation so I can see how I feel about its various angles.
Once I’ve let it all out, I talk it out. I gchat someone, or start writing a blog post or an email. I sit and sift through all the thoughts and feelings I had in the letting-it-out time to create a narrative, parsing out how I really feel from the insecurities and doubts my inner critic raises, and asking myself the heavy questions to make this talking worthwhile. Presenting my feelings to the person they concern makes me feel relieved, even before they’ve responded (not that waiting for the response doesn’t provoke an anxiety all its own).
Other things I like to do throughout this process: take a long soak in the tub, complete with bath salts and oils and bubbles and general pampering. Bake — taking ingredients and making something out of practically nothing is really cool, and results in delicious treats that I can share with others to spread joy around.