Give Yourself Grace to Not Be Okay
By
Theresa Polley
On
October 4, 2022
November 1, 2022
IN
-
Self Care

I know what it feels like to pretend like everything is okay – when it clearly isn’t. It’s challenging to put on a happy face to the world, while inside we’re suffering. Whether it’s mental or emotional pain, the effort to keep up a facade of “everything is fine” is exhausting. And no way to live.

And while it’s okay to not be okay, it’s also okay to tell people what’s really going on with you. It’s okay to say, “I’m not okay, I’m struggling, and I’m having a hard time.”

With all that’s going on in the world, know that you are not alone. Many of us are struggling. We're not okay and there’s no need to pretend that we are. Pretending to be something we aren’t takes a tremendous amount of energy. And I don't know about you, but I don't have any extra energy right now.

If all you did this week was survive, that’s enough.

Identify What You’re Feeling

Oftentimes, when I’m not okay I don’t actually know what I’m feeling until I give myself the time and space to reflect. 

  • Grief – If you’ve experienced a devastating loss, even if it seems like it’s been “long enough,” grief and the overwhelming sense of loss may be hard to shake. Even a series of smaller losses can have a similar effect.
  • Anxiety – Constant uncertainty, not knowing what’s next (the election, the economy) can lead to crushing stress and anxiety. Many of us feel safe when we “know” what’s coming. No one likes surprises - especially bad ones.
  • Fear – Anxiety over what’s happening – will your job be affected by the economy, will your grocery bill go up, will you be able to afford your rent – can cause fear over the unknown and a downward spiral into more anxiety or even depression.
  • Anger – Anger at your circumstances can start you on a path of avoidance which can lead to addictive behaviors.

Oftentimes, our culture and society don’t offer us room to not be okay. It can feel like there’s a sense of urgency to “get over it already.” We may believe we need to get over what is bothering us and move on, and sometimes that feels easier, but I believe that healing only comes when we allow ourselves time to fully process what we are going through. While there are no time limits or a specific right and wrong way when it comes to struggling and processing, if you find yourself engaged in self destructive behavior of a sense of hopelessness, you may want to talk to a therapist.

Activities that are part of our everyday routine give us a sense of purpose and control over our lives. Losing those routines may bring on depression, anxiety or both. As much as you can, keep your daily routine, but take breaks when you need to. If possible don’t take on any new responsibilities and ask for help from your partner or family member if you’re struggling.

Give Yourself Grace

One of the most important things you can do when you’re not okay, is give yourself grace. Here are some suggestions:

  • Be kind to yourself – talk to yourself like you would talk to someone you love and care about.
  • Stop judging yourself – know you're doing the best you can, even if it doesn’t feel that way.
  • Allow yourself time to process – take an hour, a day or even better a week or long weekend. 
  • Let go of "shoulds" – don't let anyone tell you (and stop telling yourself) that you should do this or that.
  • Make peace with imperfection – allow yourself to stop trying to do things the “right” way or perfectly. 
  • Let go of opinions, judgements and expectations – from yourself and from others. 

I was able to make peace (after years of struggle) with not being okay. Last year I suffered several losses. I felt like I'd lost so much in my life and I wasn't going to ever be okay. Even though I know deep down everything (good or bad) is temporary. In order to protect my peace, I had to accept everything is not okay, and I chose to be okay with not being okay. It's a choice I make every morning.

Give Yourself Time and Space to Not Be Okay at a Retreat

Allow yourself the time and the space to not be okay - whatever that looks like and as often as you need to. Make caring for yourself a priority. You deserve it.

Join us for a weekend women’s retreat at Retreat in the Pines. We are located outside of Dallas-Fort Worth, designed to cultivate community, connection, and mind-body healing – just for women – in a serene, inclusive sanctuary. 

Leave your worries at the gate, get comfy and enjoy: chef-prepared meals, gentle yoga, guided meditations and as much rest as you want. Find connection, clarity and exactly what you need. View All Our Retreats

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Theresa Polley

Theresa believes ALL women have the right to live life on their own terms. In 2004, she created Retreat in the Pines to give women a safe space to be their authentic selves without apology while finding the healing and renewal they deserve.

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