We all have days where we struggle to find our gratitude or access our joy.
Maybe we’re experiencing upheaval or loss in our lives, or we’re simply mired in depression and anxiety. At the time, it can feel like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, no relief from the endless pain, and no one who truly understands our exact experience of life.
On these days, we don’t need to hear cliches or be on the receiving end of unsolicited advice (although solicited advice is often appreciated). We don’t need to be told to pull ourselves up by the boot straps or to simply think of happier things.
What we need is to go through the experience of a difficult day and to accept that it’s how we feel. More than accepting it, we need to be able to feel the way we feel without being shamed for it. Often, we even have to forgive ourselves for feeling less than our best.
I had a week recently where I was simply angry. I was mad as hell all week about one thing and another. I struggled with that anger because I didn’t want it. I didn’t want to feel that way. I wanted to float through the week on a soft little cloud of joy, trailing rainbows, and sparkles, and butterflies of happiness. But, that’s not how I felt.
I had to accept it and forgive myself for feeling angry and irritable. What I needed during that dark time wasn’t what I need on a normal, cheerful day.
There are a few things that we all need to know when we’re struggling through those days, wondering when they will end.
This message is for you, dear reader. This is for anyone who is there right now, sitting in the dark of a day that seems insurmountable. May it be of benefit.
You. Are. Enough.
You are stronger than you realize.
You are more capable than you know.
You are resilient.
You are worthy of love and kindness.
You are seen. I see you.
You are never alone.
Who you are, your life, matters.
You are important to others.
You are worthy of compassion.
You are more than your bad days.
You are allowed to not be okay right now.
You are allowed to feel grief or fury or any other emotion that you feel.
You are worthy of your own forgiveness.
You don’t owe anyone an explanation for how you feel.
You have a reservoir of love and joy inside you, even when it feels that you are running on empty.
You cannot pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself when you feel less than your best.
Your best is different on any given day. Today, do your best for how you feel right now.
You deserve self-care. Drink plenty of water and get plenty of rest.
Eat more fruit and vegetables. Or, indulge in comfort food. Whatever you need right now is okay.
Talk to yourself as gently as you would a friend. Be a friend to yourself right now.
It’s not being selfish to take care of yourself.
It’s okay to say “no.”
It’s okay to take time to rest.
You are worthy of respect.
You are worthy of consideration.
You belong on this earth, even if you haven’t yet found the place that feels like home.
It’s okay if you don’t have the answers right now.
You deserve to be treated well—by others as well as yourself.
Who you are is more than okay; who you are is perfect.
It’s okay if what you need right now is a nap.
It’s okay if today you took a mental health day.
Your thoughts and feelings are as important as your physical health, and it’s okay to take care of them.
You are enough (because this bears repeating).
It’s okay to lean right now. On your family or friends, on a therapist, life coach, or wellness professional. Use your support system.
It’s okay to ask for help.
Please don’t isolate; reach out and let someone else help you. Don’t do it for you; do it for them. The people who love you want to help you when you’re struggling, just like you do for them.
You are not your mistakes or your flaws any more than you are your flesh and your bones and the blood running through your veins. You are so much more than that. You are complex and unique and amazing.
You are loved.
You are strong enough to get through anything.
I believe in you.
Author: Crystal Jackson
Image: Lesly B Juarez/Unsplash
Editor: Lieselle Davidson
Copy Editor: Emily Bartran
Social Editor: Taia Butler