Despite running a business devoted to nurturing health, happiness and bliss, I’m the first to admit – and even advocate – that life isn’t always awesome.
Crappy performance reviews with your boss, disappointing first dates, annoying neighbours and fights with your partner can all leave you feeling less than stellar.
But some days, you don’t even need a reason to feel bad. You just feel off. Ick. Down. Emotional.
And you know what? That’s okay.
It’s okay to be in a bad mood. It’s okay to feel angry, sad, moody and teary. It’s okay. You’re allowed to feel the way you do.
Now this doesn’t mean I’m giving you permission to launch into a ragey tirade with anyone and everyone you meet.
Instead, I’m simply saying it’s okay not to be okay sometimes. Nobody expects you to be your perfect, happy, bubbly self 24/7.
But if you’re struggling with this concept (and in a society of #authentic and #blessed, it’s easy to get caught up with the idea that we have to be perfectly imperfect … but still, you know, perfect), here is how to be okay with not being okay:
Give yourself emotional space.
If you’re having an off day and you feel intuitively that it’s not the right time to employ some of your get-happy-quick strategies, then give yourself time and space to not be okay. Cancel your evening commitments, cuddle up in your jammies and watch Netflix for the night. You’re allowed to take a night off.
How many times have you found yourself pushing back tears and holding back your emotions because of shame, guilt, fear or even just not being in the right ‘place’ to let go? But crying is a normal, human thing to do. That’s why we have tear ducts. We’re pretty cleverly designed like that. So let yourself cry. Allow yourself to sob. Give your body permission to release the emotion that you’re dealing with. You don’t have to keep it stored up inside.
Write it down.
When I’m upset, my mind races a million miles a minute. And even though I know my thoughts are steadily leading me in a downward spiral, I can’t seem to catch them fast enough to change their direction. It’s during these times that I free write. I grab my journal, pull out my pen and scribble down everything and anything that comes up. No editing. No pausing. Just pure brain regurgitation onto the page. When I feel like I’ve released some of my emotions, I stop writing. Now, this journaling doesn’t have to lead to any conclusions or solutions. It’s just a way to release and be okay with not being okay.
Tell someone you’re not okay.
Talking to someone you trust – and that supports you – is one the best ways you can be okay with not being okay. Now this doesn’t mean you have to indulge in a three-hour whinge session. You can just tell them ‘Hey, I’m not okay today. Wanna come over and hang out?’ Then you can go for a walk together (talking or not talking – whatever feels right), watch a movie, read a book and just be around someone else that loves and accepts you no matter what.
Create a maintenance program for your mental health.
I encourage everyone to see a psychologist or therapist at least once in their life. Why? Because just like mechanics know how to get your car’s engine humming beautifully, psychologists and therapists know how to help you nurture healthy harmony with your emotions and mental health. Consider it a green smoothie for your emotions. A glass of Kombucha for your mind. Healthy, nourishing and wholeheartedly supportive of balanced wellness.
And if you ever feel like you’re feeling more not okay than okay, please reach out to someone. Friends, family, loved ones and health professionals can help you through this tough time. Because you’re not alone. And you do deserve a happy + well life.
You can call Beyond Blue at any time for help, support or even just to chat with someone who cares: 1300 22 4636
Cass also owns and runs Wild Spirit Co., a creative copywriting (which is just fancy word for ‘writing’) agency devoted to helping soulful small businesses, entrepreneurs and start-ups communicate their brand with confidence. You can hire her for website copywriting, eBook copywriting and editing, sales page copywriting, article writing, blogging, editing, proofreading and more. Visit her site at http://www.wildspirit.co
A quintessential daydreamer with a penchant for cloud-watching, reading, yoga, hula-hooping and crisp, mountain air (or really, nature of any kind, but mountain air sounded way cooler), she can usually be found with a book in one hand and a journal in the other. The pen, of course, will be tucked behind her ear at some stage and quickly forgotten as she floats through the rest of her day.