The Low Mood Survival Guide
If you’re anything like me, or anything like any other human being who’s ever lived, you’ve likely asked yourself this question:
What do I/can I/should I do when I feel like shit?
At some point or another, everyone has asked this of themselves (or others) and I get asked this (and ask myself this) all the time.
So today I’m going to share what I know to be true about low moods in the hope that we can see more about that question.
I know that fortunately low moods are temporary. Temporary does not mean we won’t have bad days, but it does mean we don’t need to resign ourselves to having bad lives.
It’s a law of nature that everything that comes up, must come down. Everything that ebbs must flow. Thought, the thing responsible for our feeling like shit, is constantly in motion, always moving and changing.
There’s a consistency to the flow of thought that we can take comfort in and come to rely on.
No matter how long it takes for the sun to come out, both literally and metaphorically, it eventually always does.
I know that low moods feel awful. No one likes to feel like shit. We are peaceful, loving, connected, well and wise by default.
So when we feel angry, fearful, isolated, broken and confused, it feels like shit.
That awful feeling is designed to feel awful so we can all intuit our true nature, who we really are, is not that, but it still feels awful and it still sucks when we’re in the thick of it.
I know that low moods are a highly distorted state of mind.
Meaning that what looks and feels absolutely real to us in that state of mind, is actually not at all accurate or reliable. It feels like it is, but it isn’t.
Knowing (or even just being willing to consider) that this is true allows us to take our perceptions a little (or a lot) less seriously.
I know that low moods are something that every single human being experiences. Everyone. No exceptions.
Realizing that truth allows me to have compassion for others and for myself because no one is immune, it’s not pleasant, and we’ve all been there recently or are there now.
I know that in low moods we’re all doing the best we can. Sometimes we’ll do things we wish we didn’t do, but that’s okay. We’re all human, we’re all trying our best given how life looks to us in that moment.
That view, fortunately, is also always changing but in the meantime we can let our best be good enough and know we have limitless opportunities for it to be different next time.
I know there is no one “right way” to move gracefully through low moods.
Sometimes grace looks like having a good cry, stretching it out on my yoga mat and taking a hot shower.
Sometimes grace is reaching out to a loved one, sometimes it’s distracting myself for a good long while, sometimes it’s baking peanut butter cookies and watching The Office.
There are literally infinite ways we can move gracefully through low moods. It’s never in the what, it’s in knowing we can be kind and gentle with ourselves when we’re not feeling our best.
Is there a right way? No, there’s only what’s right for you, right now, in this moment.
So if you’re feeling like shit, there’s one last thing I want you to know.
Yes I want you to know all the above: that it’s temporary, that you’re guaranteed to eventually feel better, that I understand how awful it feels, that fortunately it’s a distorted view of reality, that compassion is always available for us and others, that we’re doing the best we can, that everyone else has been there and there’s no right way to move through it with grace… but I want you to know that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you.
Nothing is ever wrong with you.
You are just as perfect, whole, complete, healthy, wise, well and peaceful as you’ve always been, even if you can’t feel the truth of that in this moment.
Nothing can take away your essence.
Nothing can alter your true nature.
So the low mood survival guide comes down to simply this: you always are okay, even when you don’t feel okay, and it’s okay that you don’t always feel okay and you’re free to do whatever helps you remember that you’re okay, always.
With all my love,