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It's Okay to have a Bad Day

... week, month, or year. Something I feel like many of us are starting to realise over the past couple of years is just how much pressure we are all putting on ourselves all of the goddamn time. I'm as much to blame for this as the next person, but particularly recently, I've realised just how much of a front I can put on - especially on social media. For those of you who follow this blog and my Twitter, you will no that I'm no stranger to being honest about how I'm feeling (if I'm in a foul mood and there's a certain reason why, y'all best believe I go on a Twitter thread rant,) but I've noticed that I don't always do it. Sometimes I will gloss over how I'm feeling and just say "I've been feeling down" or "I've been quite negative lately but it's A-Okay now!" and that's not the honest truth; truthfully sometimes I've been hitting rock bottom. So, why do we hide it?

It seems that especially with this social media-focused world we live in, we like to show face and pretend everything is hunky-dory. We will purposefully filter what we want others to see and tailor our personalities, thoughts, feelings, and appearances to portray either our best selves or the preferred self. I'm definitely guilty of this on the likes of Instagram where I will share my real life and photos, but I won't necessarily have it in order, have it reflecting my true self, or sometimes even giving the whole story. We all seem to be competing to have good lives and living up to this "success society" we millennials have developed. We also seem to see it as a weakness to say "hey, I'm not having a good day" and take time off, slow down, or ease off the pressure - it's okay to have a bad day and more than okay to share it all however you see fit, and here's why:

You're Not Alone
First and foremost let's state the obvious. Absolutely everyone has bad days at some point in time. We can have bad days, weeks, years and more. It can just be from things seemingly snowballing in the luck department and just irritating you for a day, or it can be something deeper than that causing issues such as mental health, bereavement, relationship problems, money worries... there's so much to consider but to coin a cliché, everyone is going through shit. Always. People are always dealing with a variety of things and you should never feel you need to hide it or smooth over it. You're as entitled as the next person to feel how your feeling and sharing can help as someone else can vent about it all alongside you and you both will feel a load lift from your shoulders.

It Won't Always be an Easy Fix
The reason I think so many of us hide our bad days as sometimes going to bed early and thinking "tomorrow is a new day" won't fix things and I know I worry about sounding like a broken record - so it's much easier to just say nothing at all, right? No! Speak up. If I'm having a particularly bad time with my anxiety for example, I tend to share this with my colleagues and students because I don't know if the feeling will improve in an hour or in several months. I find being honest about it helps those around me understand what headspace I am in so things run a little smoother. It stops me from losing my patience with someone or snapping and that really helps things. Although I would never say "I'm having a hard time right now" is some sort of *get out of jail free* card or an excuse that should be thrown around, admitting it can be the first step to getting on to the right track, however long that track might take to improve to a satisfactory level. Sharing how you are can help with the fixing as it can take a long time or several steps may need to be taken to reach that end happiness and stability once again, but outside help can always be welcomed.

Know Your Bad Day Comforts
As no one is a stranger to bad days, I think many of us have therefore developed coping strategies and comforts for when those bad days roll around over the years. For me, music always helps, tea heals a lot, and having a cry in sheer frustration often lifts the hazy mist that clouds my judgment and logical, problem-solving thinking. I am one of those people who go into complete melt down when I'm having a testing time and that can be catastrophic for my mental health, my sleep pattern, my friends and family, my job, and diet. It can effect it all so knowing how to intervene to soften those blows really helps me. If I'm particularly strung high about something and panicky about it, I find making a cup of tea will calm me down and make me start to think "right, what am I actually going to do to get A to B?" and that can help me form a plan of action. It doesn't always work and you should never beat yourself up about not being able to form a plan of action as sometimes? It's just the way life is panning out and there's sweet FA you can do about it, but if you think it's a tangible problem you can solve, know how to improve your mood to snap you back into problem-solver mode, seeking the joy and happiness for your soul once again. If I'm just in a terrible mood as I mentioned before, having a good cry or listening to music (certain bands/singers/songs for certain moods) can also help. If you coping mechanism tells you to sit in bed all day watching Netflix - do it. If it tells you to get your butt to the gym and to punch the living shit out of the punch bag - do it. It's your bad day, you decide how to deal with it in the best way for you.

Start Over. No, Really.
This might sound silly to some, but if your bad day is just stemming from that "woke up on the wrong side of the bed" feeling, literally kickstart your day again. If you have time, take a couple of minutes to just lie on your bed, close your eyes, take in some deep breaths then get the F back up. Hop in the shower, clean your teeth, get dressed in new clothes, do your hair, makeup again etc... Starting all over again is like wiping the slate clean and giving yourself a second chance. I have very rarely taken this approach myself in the past but I'm trying to adopt it now as it really helps the mind get refocused, re-energised, and realigned to take on the day. It can halt things before they get out of hand and stop a whole day being wasted or ruined.

Appreciate that it's Never Forever
Not only does every single person go through bad episodes, but you should always remember they are just that - episodes. They might have longevity but they never last forever and that makes you appreciate the good times *so* much more. Think about that relationship break up that tore you to pieces as a teen - you got over it. Think about that awful job with the bullying manager that you used to hate going to everyday - you change your situation and things got better. Even if you're sat reading this right now, and you're in one of those positions and it feels like it will never end, I've never promised anything more than I will right now: everything will be okay and things will always get better. I know some situations may never seem like they have a light at the end of the tunnel, but they will and it might be only small, be bittersweet, or maybe even not the outcome you were expecting, but things do change and "this too shall pass".

If you're someone like who likes to think that everything happens for a reason (whether it's fate, divide intervention, cosmological, or something even beyond our philosophical thinking), bad days can just be blips in the road that are there to test us, make us more resilient, make us good at making decisions, and making us the people we are today. If we didn't have bad times, we wouldn't appreciate the good we have, we wouldn't exercise all of our emotions and honestly? I feel that life would be kinda dull. This isn't meant to make anyone feel terrible for having a bad day or make people think "yeah but you've no idea what I'm going through!" because of course I don't - every bad day, feeling, or more is subjective to the individual experiencing it. It's unique to each person but as I've promoted throughout this post and will continue to do so in life, talking about it and getting it all off your chest is healthy and helpful for many. Don't feel pressurised to having a seemingly perfect life that is only filled with joy and laughter. Tears, tantrums, pain, suffering, and guilt are all feelings that are just as valuable to our existence and should be exercised as so.

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