I sometimes struggle with this false idea that things are supposed to be easy and if they are not, something has gone terribly wrong. I tend to think this way when it comes to relationships with others and especially when it comes to my relationship with myself. I’m working on it.
I’ve been reading the blog Big Mouth. Leif is an extremely brave and beautiful young lady sharing her journey of self love and finding herself. I’ll let her introduce herself though so click here to check out her blog. Reading as she shares her journey has continued to inspire me along my own self love and self discovery journey.
Its not always easy.
I’m having a particularly rough day today. This is not something that is uncommon being that I struggle with depression but I try really freakin hard to keep from having these kinds of days. These are the days when I feel like “i’m failing” or “i’m not trying hard enough”. My brain goes into all-or-nothing thinking, overgeneralizations and emotional reasoning. [If you want to get science-y, these are cognitive distortions. As a health coach I know these things (as I study cognitive coaching and neuro-linguistic programming) and even I still have to battle with my mind. This is why having someone to help you work through these road blocks, whether its in your weight loss efforts or on your self love journey, is so important.]
I was half way through my rough day when I realized “Hey, i’m having an emotionally difficult day but man, I’m handling this better than I would have in the past”. In the past I would have spent all day ripping myself apart and re-playing in my head what a “bad” person I am (usually as a result of one mistake I may have made). I would have cried for most of it then reached out for some emotional reassurance from somewhere, anywyere.
Today however, wasn’t so bad. I felt the emotions come in and I recognized them right away. The all-or-nothing thinking and unhealthy thinking patterns followed shortly after. I observed them come through and right away I thought “Nope! I’m definitely aware of how i’m feeling but you are not about to come in and try to make me feel even shittier because most of you aren’t even true”. That was not easy. Yes, I still spent most of the day in bed but i’m ok with that. I studied for my exam. I made myself a bomb ass breakfast sandwhich and watched YouTube videos. I sat there with myself and my emotions and I soothed myself.
That was the best rough day I’ve ever had. None of us are immune to the occasional rough day so its best that you are aware and prepared. Here are my top 4 ways to handle a rough day:
- Learn to identify your triggers: Self awareness is key! How did you get here? Take a few steps back. Did something happen recently that upset you? Are you stressed about something? Are you hurt about something? A lot people have a hard time admitting they are hurt, or angry and will burry those emotions until something else triggers them. Also important when it comes triggers is knowing the things that exacerbate your triggers and emotions in general. People will drink or party as way to keep from having to deal with what they are feeling.
- Write it down: Put what you are feeling on paper. Getting it on paper also allow you to look at it, organize your thoughts and come up with ways to find a solution. I’ve had a journal ever since I could remember and most of the time just writing things down and releasing it makes a big difference.
- Move your body. Go for a walk, hit the gym or dance. Moving your body releases endorphins and endorphins make you feel awesome! …well better at least. [Random: I cant read the word endorphins and not think of dolphins!!??]
- Meditate. I believe there is so much power in stillness. You hear yourself more clearly. You hear Spirit more clearly. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy or complicated. Just spend a few minutes in silence. Its your time so find a technique that works best for you. Some people like to sit in silence and clear their minds. Some people listen to their breath or reflect. Its completely up to you.
There are so many other things you can do to get yourself out of a funk. You have to be self aware to know what your mind, body and spirit need. You have to listen to your inner voice because usually its whispering to you far before the funk even appears.
Healing doesn’t happen over night. Staying balanced is a life long pursuit. Just like being fit and healthy is a daily act, so is emotional health. Be compassionate with yourself and know that as long as you are showing up every day and doing your best, you are on the right track! What matters is that you show up.
You’re doing great! Keep going. I believe in myself and I believe in you.