We all have those days. We wake up feeling low, uninspired, unmotivated and we have no energy to get out of bed. Totally normal, right? So how come when it actually happens to us we feel bad and guilty about it?
Having ‘bad days’ is inevitable. And it’s essential for our mental health to acknowledge that it’s ok.
It’s ok not to be perfect, it’s ok not to always perform at your best, and it’s ok to have ‘bad’ days. It’s human.
In a way it’s inauthentic to live life where everything has to always be perfect.
As humans we do our best to avoid discomfort and so when we don’t feel great we search for ways to numb these feelings - food, cigarettes, alcohol, Netflix… Now, I’m not saying that taking few hours to watch Netflix or eating your favourite comfort food is bad. The question is - do you choose it as a coping mechanism because that’s what feels best for you? Or is it an unconscious act to avoid discomfort?
Ok now, all this is nice in theory, but how do we actually deal with feeling moody, down or emotional?
And do we always have to deal with them?
Few weeks ago, at the end of a busy month in my business and personal life I woke up on a Monday feeling low, uninspired and unmotivated to work or to do anything. I decided to ‘push through’ and basically ignored my feelings. It was by far the most unproductive Monday, but I thought: ‘it’s ok tomorrow will be better.’ Well, guess what? I woke up on Tuesday feeling the same way and because I felt guilty about my unproductive Monday I decided to push through the day again. Lesson not learned, history repeats itself, and again an unproductive day, which ended with even more guilt, frustration and more 'blah'. Wednesday was full of commitments so canceling wasn’t even an option and then Thursday, again same story: ‘it’s the end of the week and I haven’t finished anything on my to-do list. I’m just gonna get it done.’ Finally, on Friday I woke up with some self-compassion and realised what I should have done on Monday - take the day off! Relax, slow down, go for a walk, take naps, read books, take a bath, all the rest and self-care... This time I listened and took the whole weekend off, and woke up the next Monday feeling focused and energetic!
If only I have accepted my feelings and listened to my body on Monday…
Sometimes when we're feeling blah, we get worries that we're going to feel that way forever. We think there’s no way we’ll ever be motivated, inspired, energetic, lively and positive ever again so we try to get rid of it or 'fix' it.
Our feelings are not bad and they are not a sign that something is wrong with us, they are a way for us to communicate with ourselves. So instead of negating them, why don’t we ask ourselves what purpose are they trying to serve?
Sometimes the best thing you can do is let the feelings pass, and sometimes your feelings are 'shouting' at you to take action. There is a reason for you feeling the way you feel and you need to figure that out.
The common thread in both cases is listening to your intuition.
'Case 1': It's just 'one of these days'. Sometimes feelings are there for us to simply accept them being there and trust that they will pass. Resisting them will only make them more intense. Let the feeling pass without ignoring them (pushing through) but by acknowledging that all feelings are valid and tomorrow is a new day.
If this is the case, you want to turn into your intuition, ask yourself: What will be most nourishing for me right now? How do I want to feel and what can I do to bring myself closer to this feeling? Sometimes what you need is more self care (walks in nature, yoga, meditation, warm bath, etc.). Sometimes what you need is a 'conscious distraction' - meet with a friend, watch Grey's Anatomy or go to your favourite local cafe and order your favourite cake. All options are legit when you take a moment think it through...
Instead of immediately trying to “fix” things or criticising ourselves for a lack of productivity we need to learn to give ourselves a break. Sometimes it means giving into it for a day or two.
I recognize that the blahs might just be my body’s way of telling me it’s tired or stressed or overworked and I need to just give myself a break.
'Case 2': There is a reason behind feeling like this. Time to dive deeper... Start with naming the emotion: What is it that you feel? sounds easy, right? but if you ever tried to do it you'll probably agree that it's actually quite hard. Do you feel - lonely? sad? stressed? afraid? angry? I also like to use the acronym HALT, which stands for: Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. It’s a quick way to assess your feelings - and pinpoint what you need. Identifying your emotion gives you your power back, once you name your emotions you can start identifying what's wrong, which area of your life is out of alignment?
This step requires more inner work and further self investigation which I'll cover in part 2.
Hope this had been helpful for now! The next post is more about our intuition and how to tap into it.
You're not always gonna get it right, be patient with yourself, we are all work in progress. This is where compassion comes in. Approach this process with curiosity, and instead of feeling guilt ask yourself: What lesson is this situation trying to teach me? This way your are choosing growth over perfection (which doesn't exist anyway!)
I would love to hear from you! How do you deal with feeling low, moody, emotional?