By Bianka Curvey
We hear this phrase all the time, see it on cute Pinterest graphics, and even hear it on all the popular podcasts. But on your bad days, when people ask, “How are you doing?” if you answered truthfully with your current life challenges, how would they respond?
I will tell you from experience (yes, I have endured these awkward moments… intentionally) most people don’t expect your answer to be anything less than, “Good, and you?”. Nine times out of ten, if you respond with how you’re ACTUALLY doing, post-pandemic, post-breakup, post-sleepless-night with a toddler, post-whatever the fuck happened to put you in a funk, you’ll be met by a truly shook individual. I’m here to normalize not being okay and share a few tips for what to do when you are feeling a little (or a lot) unwell.
Now, who am I to normalize something like this? Well, I’m an imperfect communications professional who set out to start a business just 18 months before the world literally shut tf down. I am also a 27 y.o woman of color diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and chronic migraines (like I end up in the ER when shit hits the fan). Sometimes it feels like I’m NOT okay more often than I am. And that’s alright. At least, that’s what I tell myself when life gets difficult.
Whenever life is not okay, it won’t stop or slow down while you get yourself together. You still have to show up. To keep your business running, honor obligations to others, and keep pushing toward your life goals, you must keep smiling for the cameras and slaaaaay. If you’re in the bad bitch genre, this especially applies to you (if you’re reading this, you are in the bad bitch genre).
As an athlete and a coach, I coach myself through life the way I coach my athletes through volleyball. In my opinion, slaying while you are NOT okay is an Olympic-level skill. It takes CONSTANT training and attention. The type of training and attention I imagine Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world, practices on the track. I promise you he has bad days. He has days where his best just isn’t up to his standards. Days where it’s hard to go out and put in the work he knows is needed to succeed. That doesn’t mean he’s not the fastest man in the world on his bad days.
“One failure doesn’t outweigh past successes” – Usain Bolt. DAMN. That is powerful! Even on days, I am not okay and I may feel like a failure I’m still that bitch. Sure, it takes a hell of a lot more effort to show up as such. And to be honest, some days it takes too damn much effort, and so I don’t. And you know what? That’s oh-fucking-kay. I still am who l am. I’ve still been able to accomplish all the goals I have set for myself in my life. That’s the underlying truth in this cutesy saying. Your worth is not in your current circumstance but in your purpose.
It’s okay not to be okay as long as you stay true to who you are called to be. Who you KNOW you are.
Whether you’re okay or not okay at the moment, try these drills to sharpen your skill of slaying while not okay
Fuck the haters. Do what you want, period. What if Lady Gaga quit after everyone criticized her iconic meat dress? Where would the world be if she listened to the haters and hung up her claws?
Practice mindfulness and affirmation. Chant your own praises loudly and regularly. (I use these mindset cards, created for new or beginning entrepreneurs ready to take their business to the next level.)
Keep movement top of mind. As a communications nerd, I can confidently tell you EVERYTHING in Grey’s Anatomy is health propaganda. Meredith and Christina “dancing it out” was more than friends letting off steam. Movement and exercise boost endorphins. “Studies” have proven the tighter the ass the longer the life expectancy.
Brag on yourself. When was the last time you hung something up on the fridge you were proud of? It made you feel good when you were a kid so why not do it as an adult? Take the time to celebrate how awesome you are.
Allot time to actually feel your feelings. Cry if you need to. Close the laptop when you need to and give yourself grace. Take the time you need, everyone else will just have to understand. – Koko
Connect with your people. After you took the time to cry in your bedroom, go get the support you can from your community! (Another reason to come to Friendsgiving. Food and community is good for the soul)