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Saturday, 15 October 2016

How To Survive A Bad Day


After what feels like months of positivity, bad days seem to be coming with alarming regularity. By a bad day I mean one of those 24 hour periods in which it feels like everything that can go wrong, did. I'm sure you know the ones I mean, we all have them occasionally (or not so occasionally). By the time I crawl into bed I am secretly congratulating myself on surviving it, and praying that tomorrow will be different. I don't know about you, but so often these things seem outside of my control. Each new incident prompts a mental screaming of "why me?!".

 Yesterday was one of those days for me, even though last Monday's coffee-prompted-sobbing seems so recent in my mind. Hadn't I had my quota of bad days this month? Apparently not, and the final straw of a precious piece of jewelry breaking unleashed a fresh torrent of tears. Luckily I have counselling tomorrow, so I can go indepth as to why that particular ring might hold so much emotional value (not least because I have barely taken it off in three years), but in the meantime I thought I'd pause and think about how to improve upon one of those days once the seemingly unstoppable ball starts rolling.

Allow yourself a little sympathy: Things really aren't working right now for you, and that's rubbish. Give yourself a few moments of love and support: today isn't your day, but that doesn't mean you're not a wonderful human being, and it doesn't mean that other days won't be your day. You're probably still winning at life overall, today is just the exception to the rule and I'm sorry you have to go through it. Get a hug from a friend, or share what's going on with someone. You deserve a lot of love right now. 

Don't diminish your feelings: Sometimes when I try to explain why I'm feeling so terrible it sounds silly: it really isn't all that bad in the grand scheme of things. If that helps you feel better then use it, but for me I just end up feeling worse because I think I'm making it up. You feel like things aren't going well, and I wouldn't want to minimise that for you. Feel those feelings, otherwise they'll just end up coming out sideways. 

Take each minute as it comes: So often it is the aggregate of little things that makes a day turn into one of those days. All I ask of you is to keep going a minute or an hour at a time, rather than overwhelming yourself with the enormity of it all. Each smaller step is achievable, so focus on that. 

Remember you survived the last one: When talking about favourite pieces of advice recently, a friend of mine told me this: "Remember that day in high school that you never thought you'd get through? Well you did, and you're here." She's 100% right, and remembering your capabilities is never a bad thing. You did it then and you can do it now. 

Find small solutions: You probably can't fix everything, but what can you fix? Sadly the pearl is now missing from my beloved ring, but the rest of it still means a lot to me. I've decided to keep wearing it, even though it looks different, because it has become such an essential part of who I am and the main source of my sadness was feeling like I was losing that connection. It is not a perfect solution, and at some point I hope to replace it, but in the mean time it's one that's working for me. 

If you can, laugh: Sometimes things get so ridiculously bad that I simply have to laugh about it. This is so context dependant, but finding light even in the worst of situations (and I've seen people do it in some pretty horrific circumstances) can brighten you up for a few small moments. 

In truth I hope you don't have any bad days, but since they sometimes feel inevitable I at least hope that these suggestions will help. Most important of all is to remember that you won't always feel this way. In the front of my diary (yes, that diary) I keep a postcard of a quote which says:

At the end of the day we can endure much more than we think we can. 
- Frida Khalo

Now my problems are nowhere near that of the incredible Ms Kahlo's, but she's got a point. We are all strong, capable human beings even when we don't feel like it. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and work hard on looking after yourself and soon positivity will start to creep back in. 

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6 comments:

  1. So sorry that you had another bad day thrown your way. My top tip is always 'be kind to yourself' as everything/everyone has clearly given up! This is s great post with great advice! Thanks Liza :)

    www.englishgirlinnewyork.org

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  2. Nice tips.when I have one of these days I just take time to make everything I enjoy doing,watch a film.read a book or even go on a solo walk.have a great day xo

    Todaysouhaila.blogspot.com

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  3. Awe I'm so sorry you had this kind of day!! I know exactly what you feel like because I also had a few months of positivity and now it feels like one bad thing after another. Life does come in waves though and I promise this will pass. This is some AMAZING advice that you've given. I like how you mentioned finding small solutions. We always attempt to gain some sort of control in these situations, but more often than not, a lot of it is out of our hands. There are some things you can actively find solutions for and others are just things we have to accept and know that the pain that comes from them will pass with time. We tend to use "worry" as a means of feeling productive during these times, but really, we're just wasting our time. Worrying isn't being productive or finding a solution, but we tend to use it in situations where there typically is no "solution" because it's not in our control. I like to give myself what I call, 'worry time'. For 10 minutes, I let myself just sit there and let my mind go out of control and worry about anything that can or will go wrong and I find that after 3 or 4 minutes, I run out of things to worry about. I guess we tend to repeat something in our heads over and over so many times that it feels like every other little thing is piling on top of that and it becomes SO overwhelming.

    I also love how you talk about not diminishing your feelings. I used to be so bad at that! But you have to remind yourself that your emotions are COMPLETELY valid because you are feeling them. That is all there is to it. This hurt you because you are feeling pain. This brought you joy because you are experiencing happiness. It's so simple and somehow we try to troubleshoot our way out of it and invalidate the way we feel. This is so common for women especially because of the gaslighting epidemic, which I could go on about forever but I feel like I've already rambled enough here! Haha.

    Your posts are always so thought-provoking and I love that you are always 100% honest and open. I hope you're able to unwrap what the deeper value of that ring in counselling. I also LOVE that you are so unafraid to discuss going to see someone to talk about it. I don't understand why it's something people are ashamed of and though I sometimes feel the same way, counselling really changed things for me when I started going 3 years ago. It's just going to talk to someone and gaining more clarity about your life - something I think everyone could benefit from.

    Anyways, if you can't tell, your writing always seem to spark something in me and then I tend to ramble on forever about it. You are someone I admire so much and I know that you already hold the strength inside of you to overcome this, which is why life has thrown it your way. So much love your way and you can always message me if you need someone to talk to. <3 <3

    Misha K | www.mishakhan.com

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  4. I'm definitely saving this post for future reference, you speak so much sense (as always!). I hope you're feeling better soon lovely lady ♥ xx

    Toasty

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  5. I love what you said about taking each minutes as it comes. I've had a few rough days lately and when I get upset my emotions tend to snowball in a downwards kind of way, but slowing down and not letting one upsetting moment throw off your entire day is so important. Most problems can always be solved, and they usually don't take the entire day to solve either!

    www.thesundaymode.com

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and share your thoughts with me. I read and reply to each and every one.

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