How to Pull Yourself Back Up When You're Feeling Down
In the week since the election, I’ve been feeling really sad. I thought that I would feel better by now, but I don’t. I just feel beaten down by everything...life in general. How can I get out of this funk?
We're going to be candid: The morning after the election, we found it hard to get out of bed. But we'd scheduled a day of meetings —like idiots—so we didn't have a choice. It was raining in New York, which seemed especially fitting; people, both women and men, openly cried on the subways and sidewalks. It was bleak. But then the next day, it was sunnier. Fewer tears and more optimism. Every day since then, things have gotten a little brighter.
Everyone will mourn things at different points in their lives, and it'll never not be painful. This won't be the last time we feel beaten down and discouraged and just straight-up sad. So, here’s what we’ve learned during this particular setback.
One of the things that has made it slightly easier to move forward this time around—for us, anyway—was taking a very real step in a positive direction. It came in the form of the #Next4Years video pledge, in which we asked our readers how they want to change the world in the next four years. Receiving hundreds of reader submissions from all over the world and putting the video together gave us real hope for the future—we can band together and use this moment to empower us. Judging from the response it received online, we clearly weren’t the only ones in need of a little optimism.
That said, wallowing for a few days is perfectly acceptable (and totally healthy). Whatever you do, don’t let anyone make you feel bad for feeling bad. That’ll just bring you down even more, and that’s the last thing you need right now.
Self-care sounds like one of those lame new-agey terms that people toss around, but it’s actually important, especially now! Take some time for yourself, and talk about how you’re feeling with those close to you. Take a bath, go on a hike, watch a zillion episodes of terrible television, chill with your dog—whatever makes you feel calm(er). Election aside, the same advice goes for pretty much any sort of bummer experience that might come your way, whether it’s getting rejected from your dream school or not picked for a sports team. But if this down-in-the-dumps feeling becomes too much to handle, tell someone, like your a parent, a therapist, or someone you trust. It can really make all the difference.
It’s definitely not easy, but dusting yourself off and getting back out there is crucial to feeling better in the long run. Even Hillary Clinton felt like crap this past week, which she bravely admitted. “There have been a few times this past week that all I wanted to do was just to curl up with a good book, or our dogs, and never leave the house again,” she said. Let’s be real: if there’s anyone who deserves to wallow in misery for an extended period of time, it’s this woman. But she kept going! So did we, and you will, too. And we’ll all be stronger for it (plus more resilient when the next inevitable obstacle happens).