Admittedly, this time of year is always hard for me as my social media becomes bombarded with pictures of people attending balls, partying, and holidaying with friends and family. And if I’m honest, I have times when seeing this doesn’t make me feel so good! I know this feeling isn’t forever, and I know that I have so many things to be grateful for. But at the same time, I’ve learnt it’s okay to have these moments. I’m allowed to have times when I think, you know what? Being ill sucks. It’s rubbish not being able to leave the house. It’s rubbish not being able to walk. It’s rubbish not being able to see my friends and go out. It’s rubbish feeling exhausted 24/7.
When I have these moments, I know I’ll be perfectly okay again soon. Maybe I’ll be perfectly happy again in 5 minutes, or maybe it will take a few days. But feeling like this is okay, and it doesn’t make me any less positive or strong, it simply makes me human.
We live in a society where a lot of people may be under the impression that it’s not okay to have a bad day. We are often told to brush our feelings under the carpet, or to simply “cheer up”. But by avoiding our sad feelings or pretending they don’t exist, it will only make us feel worse. With each bad day or moment, there are so many lessons we can learn:
- You’re only human – It is impossible to go through life having zero negative thoughts. We all experience the feelings of anger, sadness, joy, jealousy, happiness, frustration. You are not a machine, no one can just switch off negative emotions! Although we can minimise them and choose how we respond to them, we cannot stop them from being there.
- It makes you appreciate the good times – If you don’t experience the lows in life, you wouldn’t be able to appreciate the highs. You can’t appreciate happiness, if you have not experienced sadness. You can’t appreciate feeling pain free, if you have not experienced pain. If life was always good, you wouldn’t be able to appreciate the good times. Emotions such as sadness, anger, and frustration, are an opportunity to be grateful for the times of joy, happiness and laughter.
- You will learn – You can learn something from every moment in life, including the bad times. See your bad days an opportunity to recognise what things are helpful and unhelpful to you and each time you will come out stronger. For example, I have now learnt during times of celebration, such as early summer months marking the end of exams or New Year’s Eve, to avoid social media because it simply isn’t going to make me feel that great!
- You know you can get through it – How many bad days have you had in a lifetime? Probably more than you can remember! But you are still here reading this post. Meaning each time you had a bad day, you got through it, and that’s what counts. Always remind yourself during hard times that you’ve got through it before, and you will get through it again.
- Sometimes you just need to let it out – All of us can only take so much emotion. Sometimes the emotions we feel can become too much, and we just need to let it out by having a little cry and feel sorry for ourselves. Often this is healthier than bottling it all up, because if you bottle it up you then might reach a point where your emotions “explode”, and you will find it a lot harder to cope. Just remember, although it is good to let it out, try not to wallow in your feelings for hours and hours as this will only make you feel worse. We will talk more about this in my next post, “How to Cope with Bad Days”.
- No one is perfect – You cannot sail through life being untouched by negative life events, it just isn’t possible! There will be times in your life that will be hard, and some of those times you will find harder to cope with than others, but that’s okay. We can’t all be expected to stay positive through every life event, as no one is perfect. We all have our limits and breaking points.
- You don’t need an explanation or reason for feeling sad – Sometimes you can wake up and feel sad for no reason. Occasionally it can be due to something underneath the surface which isn’t visible, such as our hormones, body and brain chemistry, past experiences, or genes. You don’t always need to validate why you’re feeling sad.
I hope this post can help you recognise why it’s okay to have bad days and it will help you to reflect on all the things you can learn from these moments. Furthermore, I hope it reminds you that you are not alone when you feel like this. Come back on Thursday to look at my next post, “How to cope with bad days”.
Metta, E xx