Thriving Thursdays 6: “Persevering Through Hard Times”

*Sidenote: I am beginning a new experimental method within the Thriving Thursday’s series! Each week, a loved one or peer of mine will be randomly selected to give me one word/topic to write about. (I will state the word/topic given verbatim.) I am so excited to see what ideas unfold! If you would like to submit an idea, feel free to comment below. You may just see a post about it in an upcoming Thriving Thursday’s series post!* 

This week’s topic: “Persevering through trying times.”

Yes, I skipped last week’s post, and it’s not due to lack of material. I had 4 posts drafted but none of them seemed to convey what I wanted.

In short: I needed a creative break.

My mind {read: my life} feels like a jumbled mess.

Last week, I was in quite a funk. I love my life most days, but I was in an unexplainably horrible funk for days that no amount of good vibes & positive thoughts seemed to fix.

When I would start to feel better, something else would come crashing down. It was all weird and random stuff too, which made it more frustrating. For example: our move was 5 months ago, but somehow there were loose ends we had yet to tie up {due to circumstances outside of our control} that all unraveled last week amongst other trials.

When it rains, it torrential downpours and hails and sleets and floods…or something like that. 

I began “handling” it by bottling it up. Trying to suppress it. Putting on a happy face so as not to bother others around me.

And where did that get me?

Exhausted. Spent. Angry. Depressed. Isolated.

It was hard to laugh.

Not trying to be overdramatic, but honestly, it just was exhausting to try to laugh.

The worst part about all of this is that none of this behavior is normative for me. Sure, I have my moments like everyone else, but they are fleeting. It rarely lasts hours, let alone days. I just couldn’t shake it.

I began talking to my sweet, precious friend Lindsay. At first, I didn’t want to. But she could see right through my facade.

“So what’s wrong? Are you okay? You seem sad today.”

BOOM.

I unloaded. That was all it took. A caring friend & a simple question.

I told her everything, I didn’t hold back. I was real, honest, and vulnerable. She didn’t say much, mostly listened, and let me decipher through what was the core issue.

I am so thankful for friends who listen & love radically. 

She made me laugh again, she took me out for a treat, small simple things that truly made a difference. All because of a single question {have I mentioned how much I adore the human connection?!}

The most profound thing she said that day that I really took to heart was something along the lines of: it’s okay to not be okay.

We live in an overachiever culture. There’s an unspoken expectation that we constantly have to be doing everything in our lives perfectly or else we’re totally failing. We have to be the perfect student, perfect employee, perfect wife, perfect mom, perfect fitness/health guru, perfect writer, etc. Striving for excellence is healthy and productive, however this is frequently taken too far.

It’s ridiculous, constraining, and distressing. We are living in a world where people become physically sick due to overexerted themselves and being overly stressed. How are we able to get the most out of life if we are stressing ourselves out to the point of sickness?

Sometimes it’s necessary to “put a face on” when you’re at work or in certain social situations. But around your friends, family, and people who care about you, what’s the point in being fake when they can truly help heal your heart?

When I’m trying to push through hard times, I focus on three things:

  1. Surround yourself with people who truly care about your greater good.
  2. Reflect on the good in your life or even just in your day. Gratitude is a muscle, you have to flex it and work it out to keep it strong. I literally make lists of five things I’m grateful for whenever I’m feeling so burnt out.
  3. It’s okay to not be okay. Think about why you’re not okay, what you can do to give you glimpses of joy, and confide in a loved one for accountability.

Always remember, you can do hard things. You can! You can accomplish much, but your accomplishments don’t define you. Sometimes getting out of bed in the morning to get ready can feel like a “hard thing.” But you can do it! Lean on your tribe. Love them well. Be grateful for what is going right. Keep moving forward. You don’t have to fight all the time, just keep moving.

Onward.

You are loved,

Audge