Why it's okay if it's not your day (your week, your month, or even your year)
I'm having a lot of fun with blogging again at the moment, finally tapping into what I've been wanting to do for months, and I think I've spiralled a little out of control with this title. But I mean, has there ever been a better time for a Friends quote?
It's October 3rd, and whilst I didn't wear pink today (a travesty to be honest), today was a good day. But a lot of days aren't, and that's okay. Over the past few months I've had quite a few bad days: ones where I've not wanted to get out of bed, ones where I want to isolate myself, or ones where I just feel like I need a break from everything.
Those days feel really awful. One bad day on its own is unpleasant, but when it drags on into two or three, or even a week, my anxiety flares up, because what if I'm getting bad again? A few years ago my mental state wasn't great at all, and although the rational part of my brain reminds me that I got through that before, and even if things *did* go back to that point, I could do it again. But the rest of me worries that I wouldn't have the strength.
This isn't going to be a woe is me kind of post, or some kind of signal for help, because I really am doing okay, so don't worry. It's more a look at how I've changed my mentality around bad days.
Bad days crop up for a whole host of reasons, and none of them are more or less important than any others, as they have the same result. You're not weak for having a bad day, or for getting upset about things, and here are a few honest examples of triggers that have kick started a bad day for me recently:
- waking up from a bad dream
- reading an email at work that sounded like the other person *might* have been annoyed at me
- PMS (the main culprit if I'm honest)
- ugly crying, and then remembering what I look like when I ugly cry
- not having the breakfast food I wanted in the house
- having to wash my hair
- being tired
- getting hangry
- looking at pictures of my hamster that died a couple of years ago (for real)
All of these things on their own are quite trivial, but when I'm feeling low and susceptible to sadness, they're enough to take me that one step over the edge into a bad day. Recently, I've tried to stop battling my way through a bad day by repressing my sadness or turning it into anger. Instead, I'm trying to consciously change my habits and outlook.
Bad days happen, and they're really shit. In the past I've always thought that having a bad day is a sign of failure for me: I'm clearly not doing a good enough job at being happy. But that's just not true. When the day isn't going the way I want, or when I feel really down, I'm learning to take a step back. This is partly why posts on my blog have been a bit more sporadic. Instead of forcing to do things I 'should' be doing, and feeling guilty if I don't, I'm listening to my body and what I really want. If that means lying in bed and reading all evening to focus on a narrative that isn't my own anxiety, then I'm learning to be okay with that. Equally, if I feel like I can't sit still, then going for a walk or doing some chores and making the house nicer can be helpful.
Usually I'm plagued with petty little illnesses all of the time. Any passing cold or stomach bug makes its way right into my life, but I haven't been properly ill *touch wood* in a couple of months now, and I think accepting my bad days for what they are is really helping. I'm allowing my mind time out when its struggling with life, and so I'm not burning myself out as much and I'm getting the kind of self-care I need. Yes, having a bad week or a bad fortnight really scares me still, but they're no longer made worse by a constant barrage of guilt for not writing a blog post or getting a certain number of likes on Insta. Instead, I'm taking a step back, and it's making it okay, even if it's not my day.
This isn't meant to be a weird preachy post: I have bad days all the time, and I struggle with a lot of them. I get frustrated at the idea that self-care for me sometimes means specifically being not productive, but I'm trying to learn that it's okay for us to have bad days, even if it feels like you're moving backwards with life during them.