What Does it Mean to Feel Melancholy?

People tell me all the time that they are experiencing various states of melancholy. I sometimes wonder if people actually know what this word means. As Google defines it, melancholy is “a feeling of pensive sadness, typically with no obvious cause.” 

Somehow, it seems many people around me express a form of melancholy without even trying. So many people I know seem miserable on a day-to-day basis, and I can’t explain why. While forcing a smile can help you push through your daily routine, denying your true state of being for too long can leave you in a state of seemingly perpetual melancholy. Believe me, I’ve been through that.

I know when I’m sad, frustrated, or angry, I do what I can to try and deal with these feelings in a thoughtful and creative manner. I’m not always successful, but I do at least try. Writing is often my way of just getting the tough emotions out. It’s often not pretty. 

Unfortunately, many folks don’t find a way to properly express their emotions and thought processes in a constructive manner. Many folks often just ignore their issues and turn to escapism. It’s not that escapism is in and of itself a bad thing. But, as I have been very much an escapist in my past, I know you can drift far too away from reality. 

But, what concerns me is that I see many of my contemporaries use escapism as an excuse not to deal with what’s truly bothering them. It’s more an escape from reality than recreation. This is where things become a problem, and again, I’ve been there. So, I hate watching it happen to others.

What I’ve found is having constructive, creative hobbies is the way out of a melancholy state. It’s far too easy to sit around watching television or playing video games. You can be really into those things without an issue. But, you have to have a limit for them or they take over your life. I’m not being judgmental. I’ve been there, too. I just hate to see it happen to people who have a lot to offer, but are too distracted to take the best advantage of their time.

Entertainment is all well and good. I partake in plenty of it. Everyone needs to escape, sometimes. But, it’s also true that everyone needs to actually sit down and reflect. Keeping a journal, even if you don’t consider yourself much of a writer, is important. Indulging in some form of art is good, too. As long as you don’t let your escapism consume you completely, it’s OK. Balance is important. You have to keep yourself busy, too.

Each of us needs to find a creative outlet, whatever it is. If you have to escape, a TV show, movie, or video game isn’t terrible in moderation. Of course, books are far better than those options. Reading is far better for your mind, because reading forces you to use it! But, even reading can become an addictive escape if you’re not careful.

I feel like too many people, though, are still in states of melancholy even after partaking in even the most ritualistic escapism. This makes me very sad. I’m not feeling in a state of melancholy right now. I’m sad that other people are sad and simply refuse to admit it.

If you need them, I am open for hugs!

Love you all! XOXO

~ Amelia <3

Amelia Desertsong is a former content marketing specialist turned essayist and creative nonfiction author. She writes articles on many niche hobbies and obscure curiosities, pretty much whatever tickles her fancy.

2 thoughts on “What Does it Mean to Feel Melancholy?

  1. I sometimes find myself sad or melancholy for no apparent reason. The kind of sad where you just stare into nothing for several minutes before realizing you should do something. That is one of the main reasons I turned to crafting and making DIY projects. Your post really does have a lot of truth to it. I enjoyed reading.

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