It’s okay for it to suck.

You wake up in the morning feeling bleh. You go through your usual rituals, but they don’t get you in your usual positive mood.  You go through the motions of your day-to-day and just can’t get yourself motivated. You don’t feel like you could write a masterpiece today, or even finish up the loose ends on your to-do list.

You’re just plain unhappy. And life sucks, if you think about it more closely.

So what’s a girl to do when she feels like cuddling up in bed and hiding from the world for a day? (Well, you could do just that.)

There are a few things that I have discovered that help me get through the suck without beating myself up or worrying whether my bad feelings have ginormous meaning and I’ll have to change EVERYTHING about my life tomorrow.

Here’s what I figured.

The gentle suck day survival kit

Honor the suck. Pretending that something doesn’t suck and telling yourself that you shouldn’t feel this way won’t do a damn thing. It’ll just make you feel guilty and make the day suck even worse.

Whenever I have a suck day, I acknowledge that it’s there, and that it doesn’t make much sense to try and psyche myself up about the joys of life. Because if it’s a suck day, I’m feeling bad about mostly everything, and all the sunshine and optimism in the world won’t do the trick. Trying to convince yourself it’s all good is disrespectful. You’ll know you’re fooling yourself and will lose trust, because obviously, you’re not willing to take care of yourself when you need to.

Take real good care of yourself. When you notice that you’re feeling generally unhappy and unmotivated, it’s important to honor those feelings. How do you do that? You go easy on yourself. You let go of the big ambitions you had for the day and focus on what you need to do to take care of yourself in the moment.

This could mean lying in bed for the next two hours, or reading a book, or watching some bad TV. Maybe it was just a small rush of suck and you’ll be back to normal afterwards. Maybe it’ll take another day of doing the absolute minimum amount of work before you’re recovered.

Also keep in mind that taking care of your work can be a form of self-care too. Sometimes the best thing we can do for our peace of mind, is to crank out some work and meet the deadlines so when you decide to crush into bed, you can do so without guilt.

Don’t fix yourself. It’s okay if it still sucks. You might pull out all your self-care tricks and still feel like shit. When I’m in that place, I often can’t help but think: “If I’m giving myself this free time right now, I better enjoy it! Why don’t I feel like doing all the fun things I usually don’t have time for?”

Well, because you’re in a bad mood. And bad moods are just as much a part of life as the good ones. Life can’t always be rainbows and unicorns, and you can’t be happy 24/7. If you were, it would feel stale and boring after a while.

Remember one of those times when you left a time of suck behind you and suddenly all was well in the world? The tea you had in the morning was just marvelous, you’re feeling grateful about your work and in awe of the freedom you’ve created for yourself. Those waves of gratitude and love often come after a period of darkness, whether that’s an hour or a week. Trust in that.

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One Response to What to Do When Everything Plain Sucks: A Gentle Suck-Day Survival Kit

  1. paula says:

    Iris, thanks for addressing this important topic. Remaining hopeful is one of the most challenging things when all feels dark. It takes a lot of stamina not to give in to despair. Trusting that joy will return is hard. However, when joy does return, sometimes it feels richer for the darkness I’ve been through.

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