Rough patch, a bad day, a major setback. Sometimes, it seems like one thing goes wrong after another. And another, and another.
Sometimes an unexpected challenge or an obstacle might come your way, and you find yourself stressing out, worrying and not knowing what to do. And, some days, you just have nothing. Zero motivation, no creativity. All of the sudden, you’re being plagued with self-doubt.
You think you have to be strong all the time.
You think you’re not allowed to cry, to admit that you’re not okay.
It’s okay to not be okay.
This is something that I’ve been struggling with for the last couple of months. I don’t know if these strange and sudden changes in my mood are part of the grieving process; I don’t know if things will ever go back to the way they used to be. What I do know, is that admitting that I’m not doing too well, even to myself, wasn’t easy.
Why do we always feel the need to be strong? Why do we feel guilty when taking a time-out? I was overwhelmed with such guilt. How can I sit here and cry and feel sorry for myself, when I have some much to be grateful for? There’s so much work I need to get done, I don’t see anyone else making excuses for themselves.
IT’S OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY
IF YOU’RE FEELING UNINSPIRED
Know that it’s okay. Don’t resist feeling “bad” just because it seems like you’re the only one who feels lonely, or lost or unmotivated- you’re not. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing and remember that we all know what it’s like to “not be okay” even if most of us don’t talk about it .All those feelings are normal, we all go through this sometimes. Is it a fun place to be? Fuck no. But it doesn’t last forever.
Whenever I’m feeling like this, I get paralyzed with self-doubt. “Oh God, I write about mindfulness and being happy and staying present and here I am, sitting on my bathroom floor, crying, because I had a bad day, wtf is wrong with me?!” In moments like this, I feel almost as if my authenticity is being compromised. It’s just a confusing place to be.
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned during last couple of months though, it’s that the more you resist feeling “bad”, the worse you’ll feel. Yes, you have to keep trying to get better, but don’t force it- allow yourself to heal and learn to be patient with yourself. Think of those bad days, as a passing cloud- you can’t see the sun, but you know it’s there. You know that eventually, it will come out.
Know that your feelings are temporary. Sometimes it does feel like you start to lose control over everything- this is why in my experience, sticking to your regular routine is crucial. A few years ago my mom ended up in a hospital and I had to not only take over some of her responsibilities but also worry about her getting surgery on top of everything, while also working and taking care of my family, driving around all day, going home then going back to the hospital. I felt like I was about to go into a nervous breakdown and end up in a hospital myself. I was tired and irritated all the time.
I allowed that overwhelming feelings to take over. I didn’t meditate, I didn’t get my daily workouts in, I ate crappy food, I didn’t keep up with my gratitude journal- I didn’t do any of those things that help me stay sane, happy and motivated. I think that this is why keeping up with your regular routine as much as possible is very important during stressful times.
Make sure that you’re not spending most of your time on the couch, make sure that your sink is clean, your laundry is done, your bed is made- these are all things that will make you feel much better while you’re trying to work through your problems. You don’t have to keep up with all your usual chores, take it easy if you must, but sticking to your routine, even partially, can make a big difference.
When you get in that funk, it’s very easy to start blaming yourself, or others for your problems. It’s very important that despite whatever it is that you’re going through, you forgive both yourself and anyone else you might be blaming. I think that we all tend to be way too hard on ourselves, overanalyzing every situation that might have played out differently if we made a different decision, etc.
It’s okay to not be okay. You’re allowed to change your mind, to take a break or leave a situation you don’t feel comfortable in. There’s no need to blame yourself for any of those things just like there’s no need to feel bad about… feeling bad.
We should all be allowed to fall apart sometimes so that we can find ourselves all over again.