Last night, I shared a post on social media about a bad day that I was having. I’ve been taken aback by the outpouring of support and solidarity that I have received in response to this post, and I wanted to share a little bit about this here on my blog.
You can click here to see the FB post I am talking about and read all of the comments.
Here is what I shared:
Today was not a good day. I had terrible anxiety. I cried about 12 times. I argued with my husband. I got angry at people (mostly myself).
For the last 10 years I’ve been coping with anxiety in all natural ways, and it works really well about 90% of the time. But the other 10% of the time, on days like today, I feel crazy and wonder if there’s something really wrong with me.
And still, there’s a big part of me that believes that it’s really normal, and really HUMAN to feel a little bit crazy sometimes. To have ups and downs. To experience the full spectrum of emotions that the human experience affords us… even when they are uncomfortable.
So tonight, I’m ending the day the best way I know how… with beach walks and hugs from my little family. Tomorrow I’ll try again. I’ll do some more yoga. I’ll take some supplements. I’ll use my essential oils. I’ll get outside. I’ll eat more veggies. I’ll work a little, read a little, and relax a little. I’ll enjoy some alone time and then some family time. I’ll try to have a better day and give myself grace even if it doesn’t work out that way.
I don’t know why I’m sharing this. Maybe in hopes that this helps someone out there who feels similarly. Maybe in hopes that someone says “me too” and lets me know I am not the only “crazy” one. Maybe just because I needed to get this out so I’m not bottling it all up inside, and writing is my best outlet.
Either way, this is me today. My life is not a highlight reel. We all have good days and bad days. If you happen to be having a bad day, you’re not the only one. And we might both be just a good night’s sleep away from our next good day. I certainly hope so! Goodnight, friends. Be well!
In just the 12 hours since I shared this post, I have received hundreds of likes, comments, and personal messages.
And here’s the thing. What I wrote is really not that special! I think that the reason that so many people felt called to respond is because they saw a piece of themselves in what I had written. We ALL have bad days! We ALL have feelings of anxiety, fear, anger, frustration, and sadness. It’s just that we don’t always talk about it.
This is the downside of social media. We are surrounded by people sharing the very best parts of their lives. And there’s nothing wrong with that… I do it too, and I get it! We all want to remember and hold onto the good days, the happy moments, the great times.
But, the shadow side of that is that in ONLY acknowledging the highs, we make ourselves wrong for feeling the lows. And in doing that we do everyone a disservice.
The human experience is not all good, no matter how much we wish it could be. We are meant to feel ups and downs, highs and lows, elation, sorrow, and everything in between. This is all a part of life! We need to get real about our life experiences and normalize not just the good, but also the bad.
When all that we see around us are shiny, happy moments, we feel that there is something wrong with us when we do not feel shiny and happy. But the truth is that there is NOTHING wrong with us. We are perfectly normal in ALL of our human experiences, in all of our feelings, in all of our shortcomings, in all of our imperfections.
This does not mean that we should stop striving to be happy. In fact, just the opposite. In having the courage to acknowledge and feel ALL of our feelings, we are able to move through them more quickly. We are able to get curious about our patterns and begin to truly heal them. We learn to appreciate the good moments even more. It is in this process that we find TRUE happiness.
So, what can we do about this?! How can we start to normalize the not-so-happy feelings?
I have 3 suggestions –
1) Be as kind to yourself as you would to a (Facebook) friend. I think that part of the reason why my Facebook post received so many interactions, is because as humans, we are naturally programmed to want to help one another. (And I am so grateful for that!)
When we see that someone is struggling, it is in our nature to want to help, to reach out with a comforting word, to let them know that they are not alone, and that whatever they are going through is perfectly normal, and that things will get better.
But, the problem is that we don’t always extend these same niceties to ourselves! How many of us judge ourselves for having a bad day? How many of us beat ourselves up after making a mistake? How often do we obsess over arguments and past hurts?
We are all our own worst critics. It’s time for us to work on the relationship that we have with ourselves. It’s time for us to start treating ourselves just as kindly (if not moreso!) as we would a friend, acquaintance, or stranger who is going through a hard time.
2) Talk about how you feel. – The ONLY way that we will every normalize anxiety, depression, anger, rage, and sadness is by talking about it! We have to get real and start talking about ALL of our feelings, NOT just the ones that we think are “good” ones! They are all good. It’s all good. We are all good! We need to stop labeling ourselves, judging ourselves, and compartmentalizing ourselves. We need to stop hiding parts of who we are. We need to start speaking up about all of our experiences.
You don’t have to talk about it on social media. But you can talk about it to your close friends, parents, husbands, partners, and other loved ones. The important thing is that you get it out there. Make it a part of your everyday conversations. Let the people you love and trust see ALL of you. I promise they are strong enough to handle it. Chances are, they will relate. In sharing our struggles, we give others around us permission to share theirs, or at the very least to see that they are not the only ones going through something.
So, start talking! It’s the only way to normalize these feelings and start creating a change.
3) Be your own advocate. – YOU are always the #1 expert on YOU. When you are going through a difficult time and begin sharing about it, you may receive advice and suggestions from others who want to help, which is great. However, always trust yourself and tune into your own inner wisdom. YOU are the one who knows what’s best for you.
If you are feeling mad, sad, anxious, or depressed, it’s time to advocate for yourself and give yourself what you need. Do you need to go for a run? Do you need to take a break? Do you need time alone? Do you need a night out with your girlfriends? Do you need a hug? Do you need to talk to a therapist? Do you need outside help? What do you need?
Figure out what you need and then don’t be afraid to ask for it.
To be honest, it was a little scary for me to share this post yesterday, but now I am so glad that I did. It certainly helped me see that I am not alone, and that even more people than I was aware of share in similar struggles.
I was a little bit nervous to share about my own struggles, not only because they are not often talked about publicly, but also because I thought it might damage my credibility. I mean… part of my job is helping women who are struggling with stress and anxiety! Would anyone trust me to help them if they see that I still struggle myself?
But, now I am starting to see that the reason why I am an expert on anxiety relief is BECAUSE I still struggle with it myself! The fact that I still have my own challenges, but am 100% committed to working my way through them is what allows me to relate to my clients and support them in the ways that I want to be supported myself.
In my experience, the best kind of coaching is about getting support and guidance from someone who is just a few steps ahead of you, not about learning from some sort of holier than thou superhuman who has every aspect of life figured out! (Does this even exist?) I understand these struggles firsthand. I am always learning, always growing, and always devoted to living my best, happiest life, despite whatever challenges I may be facing. I am here to help you do the same.
So, if you are struggling with feelings of stress and anxiety and are looking for some support… here are some resources to help you:
1) I currently offer 2 different ways of working with me privately. One is a one time strategy session and the other is a 3 month package for women who are looking for ongoing support. Click here to learn more.
2) If you are a mom with young children and you want to teach them healthy ways of coping with their feelings (while learning them yourself), my Yoga With Littles course is currently open for enrollment at a special presale price of 50% off! This special offer ends tomorrow 7/31, so click here to check it out now before the price goes up.
I started teaching yoga to my daughter when she was just 2 months old, because I didn’t want her to grow up with the same struggles with anxiety that I did. If you can relate to this, this course may be the perfect gift for both you and your child(ren)!
I hope this message serves you in some way. Let’s go out into our lives and create change. Let’s be brave enough to stand up for ourselves and our wellbeing. Let’s be real and share how we feel. No matter what we see pictured around us, life is not a highlight reel!
Take good care and be well my friends.
Lots of love,