Tuesday, January 12, 2016

I hate down days...

Oh, I understand they're a part of life. Not every day can be a feeling great, icing on the cake, ponies and rainbows kind of day. I get that. The thing that scares me about down days is... well... me. It doesn't take much for me to slip into a dark mood, one where I'm feeling sorry for myself, for anything and everything that's ever gone wrong in my life. Strep throat in third grade? Add it to the list.

I don't like myself when I'm in my dark place, and I can guarantee no one else does, either. Even my furbabies know to steer clear on days like these. A joy to be around, I am not. Here's the thing I've learned, though...

My usual way of dealing with such days was to push through them. Force myself to be active, be productive, be social, when all I really want to do is stay in bed and grump. However, it's taken me many, many years to learn this doesn't work for me. The harder I push to make myself sunshiny, the longer I linger in the dark. Because I can't be productive, creative, or even civil when my mind, body, and soul are hurting. I end up having two or three miserable days because each non-accomplishment fuels my feelings of despair and failure.

So I'm trying something new. Instead of pushing against my emotions on days like these, I'm embracing them. Accepting that I feel badly for whatever reason. Realizing that a down day is not the end of the world; it's a pause on life. And we all need to pause sometimes, as long as we keep in mind that pause is not the same as stop. Didn't finish that to-do list? It'll be there tomorrow. I promise.

My newfound realization doesn't make me like down days any more than I used to. For me, lazy days are only fun when you plan to be lazy, not when some inner mechanism outside of your control forces you to be. But maybe by letting the bad flow through me the same way good does, I'll have a more balanced life.


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