I was feeling a bit consumed with a few heavy things on the inside the last few days and I felt necessary to get some fresh air and hike it off – something that’s worked on me when I feel down. There are some days where it’s going to feel hard and you run into situations with yourself where you may deeply question your existence and your purpose. There are things in our lives that could trigger us to go into a downward spiral: getting into a conflict with someone you care about, someone, whether you know them or not, say something to highly criticize you, not getting the result you hoped on, having a day where everything just seems off, just to name a few. When you’re not feeling okay, your energy levels could change and you get into a deeper rabbit hole with yourself.
I can’t tell you enough how many situations throughout my life where I’ve been affected by the actions of others that made me blame myself or if it was a situation outside of my control that made me see myself in a negative light. I’m a person who’s hard on herself and I’ve dealt with all kinds of hate, betrayal, unappreciation, and discouragement – just the worst feelings you can experience. I was not the woman I am now because I almost had no great coping strategies for these feelings of anxiety or depression but as I learned from others and found myself through a long journey of self-love and self-renewal, I was discovering little ways of how I shouldn’t be that hard on myself.
It’s okay to take your own time and slow down.
First off, I’d like to mention: it is okay to want to grieve and not feel like everything’s going great and that you may not want to ‘exist’ for the day. We aren’t put on a permanent pedestal to always be positive and I want to remind you that taking your own time to gather yourself is OKAY. Of course, we can’t forget that life still continues where we have to pick ourselves up to go to work, pay those bills, feed ourselves, etc. but there are some things you can do to remember that everything is going to be okay. You will find the light again in these dark days.
Just because someone doesn’t see everything you can offer doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with you.
The problem isn’t always about you, even if the world can one day seem like it’s against you. Sometimes, people can just be assholes. Sometimes, there’s something others are going through that can shake a reaction within you and it’s our duty sometimes to not take it to heart. But, if you are like me who has empathy, you may be bound to care and hey, don’t change. Your feelings are valid. You are trying your best and the right people will see that and understand you and respect you for being the caring person you are.
Failure isn’t always a bad thing.
If your feelings are related to a situation where you felt you failed at something or felt rejected, mistakes are going to happen along the way when you’re trying to accomplish something. Or whether it’s looking and applying for hundreds of jobs (which happened to me – I was unemployed for a long time!) and getting rejected from them, this only means that the right job hasn’t found you yet and the right job will see you as the most suitable candidate. Or if you’ve been dating around and it still hasn’t gone anywhere, it just means you haven’t found the right person (you WILL know when they are right from the way they treat you, respect you, listen to you, and if the timing is just right and you won’t have to question it at all). With those places and people that couldn’t accept you, it’s THEIR loss.
Remember, sometimes, it gets worse before it gets better and you will fail a few times but you just learn from them all. It also builds you with a thicker skin.
You can shift your focus elsewhere at the moment.
You could be focusing on what’s bothering you and have a “magnifying glass” over those problems, but try to put down that magnifying glass and lookup. You know how people say when you’re feeling the blues, you should keep yourself busy? There’s a reason why that’s a common solution. Keeping yourself busy with a hobby you like to do, an activity that makes you work for it, or being surrounded by people who care to make you laugh could ease your pain. You could pick up a book to read, cook your favorite meal, listen to upbeat music that makes you want to dance or waste time away watching whatever you want on Netflix/the TV.
This could also be your chance to be veryyy creative (and hard times can do that to you), so consider starting on a creative project (making artwork, putting together a DIY home decor or furniture, write a new blog post, etc.). Even if you don’t get started on a lot of these things, just researching things on a different subject that’s aside from your problems can keep you very busy. Give yourself homework to walk away from and push aside those problems for a moment.
You can change your environment.
I always think that if you feel like you’ve been stuck indoors all day everydayyy, change it up. Sometimes being inside leaves us feeling like we actually are stuck and it starts to psychologically play mind tricks on you. You may also be in an environment that triggers you with negative emotions and it’s easy to feel negativity in the air if it involves people you live with, so sometimes finding other friends to stay with temporarily can be a good time to get away.
There’s a big reason why I adore the outdoors so much and spend as much time as I can to be outside. It gives me better air to breathe for one and I know I can see life outside (birds, plants, trees, etc.). Whenever I hike on some mountain, I always think about how small my problems seem from where I am.
You don’t need to “feel good” to feel good.
And by “feel good”, I mean you don’t need to start drinking and thinking you’ll numb away your feelings if you think that the choice of being drunk will help. I get that it can be pleasurable, but you don’t want to have a hangover and then feel worst the next day. Why do that to yourself? It’s okay if you want to have a glass of wine or one beer bottle to feel chilled out, but if you’re prone to using drinking as a coping mechanism when emotions hit, then that’s a problem you may need to address. Trust me, I get it.
You may not know everything or can process everything right now.
Sometimes, it’s also best if we don’t know some things at all. No matter what the situation is that gets to you, just learn to breathe and accept what’s currently happening. It may get you to a point of overthinking and digging deep into a lot of “why’s”, but that will just affect you with a cloud of unhappiness and guilt. It’s okay if you do not know what you want to know right now, sometimes it takes time to unravel some answers and sometimes you will never know. You’ll just continue to stress yourself out if you keep hovering that “magnifying glass” over.
This too shall pass.
I love this saying from a Persian adage because it’s from a fable of a king who asks wise men to create a ring for him to make him happy when he was feeling sad. It touches upon the nature of humans going through the good and bad times and that’s the cycle of life sometimes for us. Whatever tough time you’re going through WILL pass and it may take time to get past a point of finally coming out okay, but this proves one thing: you have hope so don’t give up on it. You will acquire new things, experiences, and feelings that will make the tough times easier for you.
I hope that this post helps you remember things when you’re not feeling okay, which can be hard at times to process as we are feeling anxious or depressed, and I sincerely hope things get better if you’re going through anything devastating. You are never alone in it and there are so many people (like me!) who will listen and care and stand by you. And if you know anyone who needs that support, remember, it only takes a few words to empower someone.
You can be just like a cactus, who rests all winter and experiences rain, but then bloom beautiful flowers when it’s springtime.