Some Days Suck. Even I cringe writing that. Really Susie? Whole days? Um….sometimes. The more capable I get at managing my mind the less likely it’s a whole day but, yes, there will be sucky days. I had a DTS (day that sucked) on Saturday and I’m writing about it because it’s through sharing our human experiences that we find comfort and strength to have our own experiences. The next time you have a DTS, I hope you find comfort in knowing two things: (1) you’re not alone and (2) nothing has gone wrong. Life is supposed to be messy. Life is supposed to be tumultuous. Life is not supposed to be about walking around in a field of daisies with a rainbow overhead. There are moments in your life where you will want to lie in a ball and cry. This is normal. This is part of being human.
On Saturday I knew I would have some difficult emotions to manage. I knew the energy in my space would be negative and I did everything I could to set myself up for success ahead of time. So how did I end up in a public place, crying and looking around for a bin to throw up in? Because I’m human. Because emotions are energy in motion and some energy is LARGE! My experience Saturday helped me process some big emotions from big events in my life with big players. Often DTS are a result of AFGO (another f’ing growth opportunity) and that was true for me. My day helped me learn where I was not being a friend to myself, where the expectations I had for myself were unrealistic and unkind. Would I have liked to have had a calm, relaxed Saturday with my partner? Sure. But truly, I am happy Saturday happened. I’m stronger. I’m smarter. I’m closer with my most important relationship: myself. I did not let myself down. Rather, I showed up for myself. Some days don’t go as planned…even when using all the tools and calling on all of the support we have. Saturday showed me how very far I’ve come in my emotional intelligence and my ability to be compassionate to myself during it. It also reminded me that no matter how suck-y the day is, it’s crucial that I do the following things.
1) Be Kind To Me. Above all else, I do not need to add my own criticism of myself on top of any experience that I’m having. What do I mean? In the past, I’d be inclined to turn on myself and say things like: “You should know how to manage this”, or “You shouldn’t be this upset about this anymore”, or anything else involving the word “SHOULD”. However, if I feel sad or upset, there’s no amount of should’ing on myself that will make that feeling go away. I must feel it. Feel it to heal it. I was so anxious on Saturday I almost threw up. Shaming myself on top of that strong emotion would only have made it worse. I had to sit with that anxiety and feel it. One of my favorite mantras to tell myself when in a difficult situation is “Nothing has gone wrong here”. Telling myself that everything I”m feeling and experiencing is for a reason, whether it’s an AFGO or not, brings me relief. Do you have any mantras or sayings that bring your relief?If I feel sad, there’s no amount of should’ing on myself that will make that feeling go away. Click To Tweet
2) Pull Out Your Tools. All of them. Try them all: Meditate. Journal. Exercise. Cry. Punch a pillow. Dance. Color. Do not sit and wallow. Sitting and wallowing is different than sitting and feeling. Sitting and wallowing is playing the victim in your life. How do you know if you’re playing victim instead of feeling the emotions? Two easy ways: (1) acting as if life happens to you, as if you don’t have a role in it. Saying things like: ‘Poor me, look at my life.” and (2) blaming someone or something else. If my husband hadn’t said this, I wouldn’t have felt that. If they didn’t offer me a brownie, I wouldn’t have eaten it. I urge you: Don’t do it. No one else controls how you feel. My DTS involved my parents but at no point did I blame them or make them responsible for how I felt. I felt how I felt because of the thoughts I was thinking. That is fine. I’m in charge of the thoughts I’m thinking and, thus, how I’m feeling. That’s empowering. Believing my parents (or anyone else) can make me feel a certain way or have some sort of power over my life is disheartening and crushing. Please don’t do it. Accept responsibility for your emotions from a place of kindness to yourself. Sure, I felt like crap. Being able to say “It’s okay Susie. You can feel sad. You can feel hurt. You can feel disappointment” instead of waiting for someone else to change in order to feel better was empowering for me. I am in charge of me. Always.
3) Surround Yourself with Supporters. Surround yourself with people whom I call “safe containers”. People who will allow you to feel without trying to fix. People who will listen to you without judging you. If you don’t have supporters around you, surround yourself with podcasts and audiobooks of supportive messages. Get a coach and then make it a goal to open up more to a friend who you think could be that safe container for you. Do NOT call a critical parent or friend. Do not settle for someone who will tell you why you shouldn’t be feeling what you’re feeling. You need to feel your feelings, not have someone shame you for those feelings. Your inner critic will have already tried to do that. You are feeling a certain way and you need to move through that emotional experience. Remind yourself that your most important relationship is the one you have with yourself. You can be your own safe container. Your role is to be your own best supporter. That said, you are human and humans are wired to connect. When you’ve gotten through your DTS, make it a priority to find one or two supporters other than yourself. A professional coach, therapist, and/or friend. You are never alone. You are not feeling any emotion that others haven’t felt. Reach out. Please don’t do this alone. We all experience DTS and we all move through them. Sometimes with more grace than others but we move through.
Thank you for letting me share my experience and the three steps that can help you when you have a DTS. They do happen and the less you resist them or turn inwardly critical, the more you can move through them with ease.
If you’d like some free journal questions to help you along in your voyage of self-discovery, click here. If you’d like the list of books that I shared with my newsletter subscribers on relationships, email me at Susie@SMBwell.com.