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We all have tough days, we all faced a day in our life where getting out of bed and getting through the rest of the day feels impossible! Whether you’re going through a grief process, you lost someone, going through a divorce, a loss of expectation, there’s a lot of reasons for having a tough day.
So, how do we survive those tough days when we really feel like we’re struggling? What are the things we can do that’ll help us in those days? How do we come out stronger when we’re having a tough day?
In this episode, I share ways to survive tough days and my own experience with grief, and how I manage to survive through those tough days.
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Join the waitlist for the SFB personal development community //
Speaker 1: [0:00]
Hi there and welcome to searching for better. I’m Julia, and I’m the blogger behind stretching for better.net , which is now the podcast searching for better is all about exploring ideas on how to find our path in life and to live it wholeheartedly. So welcome to our share , and I really, really hope you enjoy it.Speaker 2: [0:22]
Hi guys, and welcome to another episode of searching for better. So today I’m going to go through how to survive tough days. So whether you’re going through some sort of grief process, whether you’ve lost someone, whether it’s a divorce, a loss of expectation or circumstance, there’s lots of things that we can grieve today. I want to discuss how to survive those days, where you really feel like you’re struggling. And again, I just want to emphasize that I’m not a professional , um , and this doesn’t replace professional help. I have a psychologist who is fantastic and I highly recommend if your resources allow to get someone, but these are steps that have helped me from a book that I found particularly helpful that I want to share with you today. So in getting straight into it, I really want to read a passage of a book. Um , it’s called bearing the unbearable. And if you are currently going through well, you know, well I say currently, but grief is really something that I feel is experienced , um, forever, in my opinion. Um, if you’ve lost someone and you feel like you need a little bit of help on the topic, this is definitely a book to read. I found it very helpful, especially on one of the most, one of the hottest days that I’ve had. So I want to talk about this particular section of the book. So I’ll read it first and then I’ll go into it and really talk about how we can survive those really tough hopeless days. So this is a passage. So a contraction of grief occurs when our attention and energy are pulled inward . Our surroundings made smaller, perhaps because in this particular moment we feel overwhelmed, feeling overwhelmed. We can tract and tighten emotionally. We conserve our energy and attention focusing intently on grief and on south in a moment of contraction, it feels as if our very survival may be in question, we may feel unsteady, unsafe unhealed. We may feel tenuous, desperate, fearful, and vulnerable in such moments. We may kill up and hold our breath in such moments. We may feel the call to self protect . We sense on some level that contraction will save us. Expansion may come with the deep in and out breath in a period of small, even minuscule growth, post contraction, allowing contraction to just be in time. We say it naturally ebbs and Titans loosens. We grow larger and we become more willing to venture out and explore to risks, to open and unfold. And we find ourselves in a moment of trust, safety, curiosity, willingness, connectedness, belonging, and maybe even hope in previous moments. The contraction saved us in this moment. The expansion will save us in this model expansion to is not wrong or bad or good, and right expansion to need not be halted or controlled. The expansion too is necessary for the next contraction. And thus expansion is itself part of the contraction. So what happened with me and the reason that I wanted to share this passage with you, and the reason it really resonated with me was because around , um , the time of my 30th birthday, I really, really struggled. Um, I think for a couple of reasons, primarily because this year has been such a big year of milestones. Um, it was my 30th. I was getting married soon, and these were the major milestones that I had experienced without my brother. But also because I think personally, I found it challenging as a sibling to know that you’ve reached a milestone that your sibling wasn’t able to. And there was a lot of emotion that came up with that as well. And I do think personally that in my own grief process and just the type of person that I am, I had spent a lot of time trying to process my grief through busy-ness . Um, I found it really difficult to have bad days because I often felt like I needed to pick myself up and keep going. And there were a number of reasons for that. You know, there’s always those cultural reasons, those family expectations , um , wanting to be there for friends, wanting to be the person that other people wanted me to be, and really not scare people, I suppose, with the grief. And I think that’s something that’s been challenging as well, because, you know, when you have a really tough day, it can be tough for the ones that you love as well. And the last thing that we want to do is bring more pain or difficulty to the ones that we love, especially when we’ve had our own experiences with it. So on this particular day, after my 30th birthday, it was a Monday. And I don’t think in my entire grief process I’ve ever spent a day
Speaker 3: [5:14]
Speaker 2: [5:16]
Doing anything, just sort of in the darkness, so to speak because I always pushed myself to pick myself up. And this particular day it was just, it was not happening. I couldn’t pick myself up. I just felt overwhelmed by my feelings of grief and sadness and longing for my brother off wanting to see him for the milestones that he was missing for the milestones that I knew I was missing. Um, with him, there was just so much that I was carrying that I felt like I just had to carry it that day, if that makes sense. And I think there’s this idea that to carry something, we have to push ourselves through it. And in this case , to me carrying, it was just surrendering to it. It was allowing to sit in my bed to read and to really do nothing all day. And to really, honestly, I sat in my bed, lights off with my dog, just chilling out, really like crying, processing everything , um , just allowing myself to grieve and really feel that process. And this is not something that I think we’re accustomed to in our culture. It’s really about positivity and picking ourselves up and keeping going. And the reason that I say this is because I have another friend at the moment, who’s having her own set of challenges, healthy challenges as well, things that help us to grow and to evolve. Um, and she said something really interesting. She said, you know, I’ve tried to be positive and all of that stuff. And I was sitting with her and I was like, I completely understand where you’re coming from because I do the same thing. I sit there and I feel bad about having a tough day when in reality, our tough days, we already feel it’s already a challenge enough to feel everything we’re feeling, let alone to then feel bad about those feelings. And as I sat with her, I said, well, you know what, maybe it’s not about positivity. Maybe it’s about self-compassion . And that’s the biggest learning curve that I’ve had when it comes to how to survive tough days. Some days definitely call for positivity. I am, I am definitely about rewiring the brain and being more positive. And I do think that that is an important part of a process. And for me, positivity is definitely part of that expansion process that the author speaks about. But when it comes to the contraction process, the contraction process, there’s days where we feel like we need to process everything those days where we feel we need to surrender to the experience and the feelings that we’re having those days call for self-compassion those days, call for sitting with ourselves, allowing ourselves to enjoy those days without self judgment, without, without harsh criticism. And that’s the discussion that I was having with my friend. Some days, for me, my experience in migraine, some days just have to be enjoyed. Some experiences have to be enjoyed. And it reminds me of that book. Um, uh, we’re going on a bear hunt. I know it’s so strange, but it just, every time I think of that, I think of that because we can’t go over it. We can’t go over our feelings. We kind of avoid them by going under our feelings. We have to go through them. And that is a thing with tough days. I found in my experience that when I allow those tough days to happen and I practice self-compassion instead of practicing positivity, it has worked a lot better in the long run, because again, the positivity fits in that expansion, but the contraction is what leads to the expansion. It’s part of that process. And so, as I learned that in my grief, I understood that to really increase my coping of my grief. I had to first learn to endure certain things. And so through that process, my coping has increased from that day. My coping has increased, my self-compassion has increased, and I moved naturally into a place of expansion over time. But I also understand that contraction is part of that process. And instead of resisting and fighting it through positivity and other sort of habits, I try to just endure it to practice self-compassion, to surrender and allow myself to feel what’s coming up and to know the difference between when I need to coach myself out of something through positivity, whereas I need to allow something through self-compassion . So I suppose the next natural question to that is in how do we know the difference between positivity and self-compassion and when to apply those? And for me, and I do think this is a personal process. I think it depends on how we’re feeling in the situation we’re going through. But an example for me, I feel as though is when I start to feel angry, frustrated , um, about the situation when I started to feel guilt about the fact that my brother didn’t get certain things and I did, and again, I’ll use the word particularly guilt . I know that those are those times where I require for me in my personal experience are re require. Positivity are require myself to coach myself out of that. And for me, that’s how I manage those feelings. But those other times where I’m mourning that person, the presence of them , um, that deep feeling of love and loss, that’s interconnected, where we miss their presence. We wish that we were , they were there, you know, it goes beyond those feelings of guilt and shame. It’s, it’s more , uh , it’s like an internal longing for them that we know is not hearing, at least in this world. For me, those are the days where I know. And then my toughest days where I know there’s nothing I can do, but in Jura , there’s nothing that I can do, but sit there and cry and practice self-compassion by allowing myself to feel those things without positivity and without trying to talk myself out of it. So for me, those are the two differences,
Speaker 3: [10:42]
But I think through
Speaker 2: [10:44]
These passage, through these books, I really understood that both situations are part of an entire process. That the only reason I have been able to grow is because of those tough days and those experience of enduring and those experiences of self-compassion and allowing and surrendering. And I also know that my growth is more expansive because of that. And I think when it’s time for growth is when it’s time for me to call on my positivity and challenge myself in other ways. Um, for example, I’ve spoken a lot about how challenging it can be to put yourself out there. So for me, those sort of topics, those sort of days of the days, I need to coach myself out. But when it comes to longing, loving someone, there’s no coaching your way out of that. There’s only your way to experience it. And I think that there are some experiences in particular POS experiences, certain trauma experiences that are hard to, you know, you can’t coach yourself out of those experiences. It’s about enduring those experiences, understanding, approaching ourselves with self-compassion and first allowing those emotions to come up before we try to sit through them and move into a place of expansion. So again, I do want to emphasize that this is my experience. I’m not a professional. And again, I highly recommend seeing someone because if those tough days are continuous and you’re starting to feel really hopeless, especially that definitely happened in my own process. I went and got help and it’s made such a big difference. So I always recommend if you can, to seek external resources in the form of a counselor or a psychologist. And as I always say, take what resonates, leave what doesn’t, but this is really my experience in surviving tough days. And when it comes down to it, surviving tough days to me is all about self-compassion about managing those experiences through allowing yourself to feel them. And again, being self compassionate with ourself , not trying to coach ourselves out of it through positivity, like the book says, you can’t go under it, you conquer over it. You have to go through it. And that’s definitely something that’s helped me. Hey, my own experience of grief and surviving those tough days where the , the grieving process comes up again, where you’re re grieving certain experiences. And whether that’s triggered just from not allowing my emotions to come up or whether that’s being triggered from experiences, regardless of situation has always been the same for me. And
Speaker 3: [12:57]
This is definitely something
Speaker 2: [12:59]
That’s helped me to survive my tough days. So I hope that this helps, and I hope that this resonates with you as always. Now, I will not be going specifically into the grief process in the membership, but I do want to share the link below. If you want to create some change in your life, if you want a community to help you with that change. And you like the content that I provide, then join the wait list. I’m creating a community and a membership where I will share monthly , um , content activities, things we can do to help us to create change, to help us to learn more about ourselves and really become the person that we truly want to be. So don’t forget the link will be in the description. And I will also share the link to the book , uh , where this passage is from. It’s a really great book, so really get onto it. If you feel as though it resonates with you, but until the next episode, thank you again so much for listening and thank you so much for being here as well.