How do you guys navigate hard days?
What sort of kindness do you offer yourself when the day feels dark?
What refreshes your soul?
I am curious because I have to believe I am not the only one who has hard days.
That can't be true, right?
I officiated a funeral on Friday, my dog woke me up at 5 AM on Saturday morning because she - I don't know - heard a noise? Then, we had a full weekend with people and food and celebrating and yard work and church stuff and then my dog woke me up again at 11:30 Sunday night after I had already been asleep for a couple hours because - I don't know - she heard a noise?
So, Monday morning landed hard.
It was cold, too, after a long heat wave.
And I wanted to stay in bed. But I knew that would only make me feel worse, so I got up and swam at our local outdoor pool and then came home to take a hot shower and sit a moment with my cup of coffee before I tried to be productive.
These are the exact words I wrote in my journal Monday morning:
"I feel lonely this morning. But also weary of being with people.
I bet I am just tired.
I need a day to work from home. But at the same time, I fret about being left out, not important, not needed.
I am topsy-turvy in my spirit and melancholy.
I enjoyed swimming this morning ... but now I feel overwhelmed with exhaustion.
I will get to work in just a few minutes ..."
You know who I sound like there?
A tired 3-year old who needs a nap, that's who!
And yet, I was so close to all the emotions that I couldn't see clearly that I was simply flat-out fatigued. And there was nothing I was going to be able to do to make myself feel better until I got some decent sleep.
Which I did.
And now today I feel better. Not lonely. Not weary of people. Not tired. Don't need a day at home. Not fretting about feeling left out or unimportant or not needed. I am neither topsy-turvy or melancholy.
Today I wrote in my journal - "When you feel bad you probably need a nap. Love, yourself."
Finding relief from dark days is not always this simple and straightforward.
But sometimes it is.
And the next time I feel morose, I may just ask myself like I would a toddler, "Do you need a nap?"
And no matter how I answer, I may - just like I would with a toddler - put myself to sleep no matter what.
Just to see.
If you could write a little note to your future self on a dark day, what would it say?
I'd tell myself to breathe, and to ask whether the day's problems will matter 6 months from now.
That is a great way to look at troubles, isn't it?