I had a bad day the other day. I woke up and felt off, just mentally heavy and not myself. So I tried to do a couple of things that tend to make things better on days like this. I took a walk, journaled, listening to an inspiring podcast, and read a book that usually helps pick me up. None of it worked.
My dizziness came back, that feeling in my head like I am a million miles away, where looking at anything makes me eyes hurt. It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest, and I felt close to tears a million times. I yelled at my kids and criticized them for things that had nothing to do with them. I lashed out at those around me and felt unable to find ANYTHING to make me feel better. I couldn’t even remember what makes me happy on a good day. My brain was full and heavy and simply unable to function. It was literally, a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. (Name that book!)
I could name a million reasons why I felt like a volcano about to explode, spewing forth lava on everything in my path. We’re moving in three weeks and don’t have a home yet, I’m homeschooling two kids, then there’s freaking quarantine and all that bullshit. Emails and deadlines and house closings and showings and A MILLION FREAKIN THINGS. It just all came to a head. My body said ENOUGH and told me to back the f$@% off.
Most days when I am feeling anxious I can easily find some piece of joy or something to make me better. I can identify the thought or feeling that is making me feel bad. And then days like the other there was nothing that can make it better. Other than to not fight it. To let the shitty feelings flow through and to stop resisting them. I’m working on doing this better. To admit to my husband that I can’t handle it sometimes. That I’m floundering and I don’t know what I need, but continuing on as if nothing is wrong isn’t it. To admit, this is too much for me, I need a minute. A day. A week. That is is okay for me to fall apart sometimes, that I will pick myself back up and all will be okay.
Because it will. There is always another day, another chance.
The next day I woke up and felt better. The heavy things are still here. All the things to worry and stress about are still on my plate. Yet I felt that I could breathe again, that it wasn’t overwhelming. What I have learned is that these bad days are never forever. Sometimes they are just here to get through, and then in retrospect, teach us things.
Here is what I have learned about extra anxious days:
1) What has helped me is to talk to someone near me and admit what I am feeling. This is the hardest for me, because in the past I have tried to be “perfect” and put on the front that I can do anything and be relied on. I am learning it is okay to admit I am not doing well and that I don’t have to be perfect in order to be loved and valued. That I can put down the heavy weight of expectations and let others carry it for a minute. This is a process and I am still working at it! Each time I go through it I realize that the people around me are willing to help and to carry me if needed, I just have to be vulnerable and open myself up to asking.
2) When I am not feeling myself I start looking for little things that I know bring me joy. I move my body (walks are great), a do a ten minute meditation (this one is great), and I journal and read my favorite self help book. I do some drawing, watch a favorite movie (Father of the Bride) with my kids, I take a nap if I can, I read romance books. 99% of the time this works. On the days it doesn’t work I am working on surrendering. Just letting it be a really crappy day. Repeat the affirmations “Everything is going to be okay,” and “It is okay to be sad right now.” Release the need to make things better and just BE.
3) Know that bad days usually pass. Maybe you will wake up the next day and things will be better? Maybe they won’t. Know yourself and have someone you trust be able to assess if you might need help if it lasts a long time. If you simply can’t get out of bed or can’t stop crying or there is nothing that helps you. My anxiety is typically helped with all the things I mentioned above, but sometimes you might need a doctor, a therapist, or medication. It is okay to ask for help and to admit that things just aren’t okay.
I hope this helps any of you going through tough days (MONTHS??) out there. These days are stressful and knowing that the sun always rises and each day is a new opportunity helps me each night when I go to bed on bad days.
And again, if you need someone to talk to, I am here.
P.S. If you’re interested in one on one coaching on anxiety, self worth, and confidence, you can sign up here! Spots are limited so that I can focus on you. I would love to help you feel better and more like YOU.