As I’m in my 2nd year at my current job, I’ve come to notice a pattern of my emotional and mental health. For the most part, I’d say that I’ve grown accustomed to the ebb and flow of my days, weeks, and months. The lows don’t seem quite so debilitating, and the hard days, while still worthy of the crawling-in-bed-and-never-coming-out mentality, seem to have stopped stalking me around this city at such a frequent rate.
However, there have been 2 significant times in the past couple of months where I just get the I-just-can’t-even feels. It’s the kind of thing where the tears keep flowing and I just don’t remember how I will ever find the optimism, inspiration, or energy to go full force for one more day. When this happens, it’s hard to know what to do or how to feel.
There’s just days where I feel like I just can’t even. Don’t we all? No matter our life stage, our current job or relationship status, there are just days that we just can’t even.
When this happens, I’ve noticed some sure fire ways to regroup and get another sleep to reframe my mind and clear the negative hopeless swirl.
- Vent…especially to someone who totally knows what you are talking about and feels for you. When I talk to friends or co-workers that know precisely what I feel and what has caused these feelings, I instantly feel validated. I don’t have to explain, justify, or convince. Chances are, they are currently feeling the exact same thing. Or, they were feeling it yesterday or not that long ago. If this person who you know will instantly understand isn’t in the room next to you, call them. ASAP.
- Take a long hot shower. I don’t know about you, but taking a long shower seems to re-center me and allows me the emotional and physical space to disconnect so that I can reconnect. It’s a break from reality that makes me feel like I’m washing all the bad vibes away.
- Think about what you would rather do instead. Maybe your “I just can’t even” has to do with your job. For many of us, we have quite the luxury of thinking about a career change and hoping and dreaming for what we’d rather do. Maybe it’s a relationship that’s causing the “I just can’t even.” Thinking and imagining an alternative is so helpful to me because it helps me realize that I’m not as stuck or trapped as I might think I am. Even if I stay where I’m at, that sense of freedom has become so key to me.
- Cry it out. But not for too long. But long enough. Sometimes these days bring tons of tears. Sometimes I just need to lay on the couch and recharge. But, if I’m holding back the tears, I always find it helpful to let it out. But! Watch out for that downward spiral of destruction that causes you to enter a cycle of self-pity and despair that makes these exhausted, hopeless feelings that much worse. I think we all can sense the difference between a good, long cry and a bad, long cry.
- Give yourself some grace. I find that I am way more harsh on myself than necessary. I beat myself up about things outside of my control. I am impatient with myself and the rate at which I learn things. Then, I feel bad about feeling so bad. I begin thinking that it’s wrong to feel so negative and hopeless, when relatively speaking, my current circumstance is not even that painful. Feelings uncover the things that are more deeply settled in our hearts and lives. Give yourself grace and space to feel these things and be okay with those feelings. Remember what is true about who you are. This day does not define you.
And when none of these work (because let’s face it, sometimes they don’t), I obviously go curl up in bed ASAP and go to sleep (of course after I’ve stress eatan all the chocolate and chips in my house) in hopes that tomorrow brings a renewed joy and spring in my step.
What kinds of things do you do to help cope with those days where you “just can’t even?” I’d love to hear from you!