You Are Stronger Than You Know & It's Okay Not To Be Okay
I am extremely aware and conscious of the year we have faced and the struggles we continue to confront as a global family.
We are all impacted on different levels and in different ways, but there is power and comfort to be had in uniting to support each other. We are all in this together.
No matter what your personal situation is, my hope in sharing these insights is that you may find something here to bring you some level of peace and hope as you navigate all the challenges you are facing at the beginning of this new year.
Above all, I encourage you to be gentle with yourself.
It’s okay to allow yourself to move through all of your feelings — simply focus on accepting and allowing the variance of all that arises on any given day. You do not need to feel guilty if you are struggling. There is not one right way to cope or feel. Remember, all your feelings are valid and feeling guilty about our reactions (emotions) does not serve us or anyone else.
At the beginning of this new year, make a commitment to yourself. To guide you in your own journey, here are the four things that I try to remember each day. The power they bring into my life enables me to feel, to accept, and to retain an attitude of positivity throughout whatever highs and lows I may be facing.
Give yourself grace
When heavy or negative emotions arise, you do not need to suppress or ignore those feelings. It is okay to feel anxiety, fear or uncertainty. That you are experiencing any of these feelings to any degree, is nothing to feel ashamed of or bad about. Instead of responding with negativity towards yourself you must move through each emotion.
Feel those feelings, allow them to have a place so that they can pass. The guilt of experiencing adverse emotions does nothing to serve you but allowing yourself grace to feel and accept those feelings will give you the ability to move through difficult situations.
It is natural, normal and healthy to experience every range of emotion, so allow yourself grace and do not suppress how you feel.
Gratitude is a powerful tool that you can use each day to help drive your actions and choices. It allows us to see things through a different perspective thereby opening the doors to positivity and optimism. This practice can help you to alter your thinking and to feel better about the circumstances you face.
I recommend keeping a gratitude journal. Every morning and evening, I list three things that I am grateful for. Positive psychology actually shows that as you consistently practice gratitude you can rewire your brain to be more naturally grateful and positive. In time, you will find that even if your circumstances haven’t changed your perspective has and you can see things in a completely different light.
I will always recommend that you start a gratitude practice and incorporate it into your day — it has had a true and changing impact in my own life.
While it is hard to find positivity during tough times, it is at these moments that positivity can be the most powerful. With the grace we are giving ourselves and the gratitude we practice, positivity will inherently manifest in our lives because grace and gratitude ARE conscious efforts to invite it in.
I encourage you to be intentional about these efforts and continuously work towards maintaining positivity in your life. I want to clarify that cultivating and upholding a positive outlook on life does not mean that you are naive or immune to hardship or heartbreak.
You must understand, that tough times and heavy feelings are a part of life, and that is OK. You are strong, and you will get through. As you work to practice positivity, and your perspectives begin to shift, you will more clearly see your strength, and more readily recognize the light that shines from within you. You will understand that even in darkness and difficult times there is beauty.
Hold up hope
Finally, one of the most powerful ways to build yourself up is to reach out and build up others. In doing so, you not only spread hope but grow it within yourself. No matter what is going on in your life, there are always ways that you can help others who are in need.
It doesn’t have to be a lot. Choose to smile instead of frown. Express kindness in the place of frustration. When you feel lonely and isolated, you can choose to reach out and help others. When you do, you will see so many examples of the spirit of humanity that unites us all.
With the access to digital technology that we are so fortunate to have, you can see how powerful human connection is. There is power in community and connectivity and one thing our current situation has continually shown, is that we do not have to be in person to feel that power.
I want you to believe that despite what you are facing thing will get better. In the midst of the heartache, there are positives that can be found for every situation. Have hope for how bright the future can be, as we unite to navigate this, together.
We all have a role in lifting each other up during challenging times
I am so grateful for the ability that I have had to see so many examples of women practicing these things, all over the world and everyday online within our power community. I know that behind every smiling selfie and post-workout photo is a multitude of feelings that each of us is navigating.
You might think that you are just one person, with one story, but you matter. You never know who needs to hear your story, and how powerful your voice is.
I want to encourage everybody to continue to come together and to share their truth, and remember, you are not alone.
* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.