It seems that many people come through the doors because they are feeling down due to some extreme or upsetting life circumstances. I absolutely think counselling can be a safe and helpful place to process and work through difficult situations, but I do not have a magic wand. A one- hour session with any therapist is not going to “fix” a challenging life situation. And that should be okay. Where did we start getting this idea from that we should always feel good or we should always be happy? Human beings were created to experience a wide range of emotions. Some feel good and some absolutely suck. It does not mean that there is anything wrong with us if we feel down because we are going through a tough time.
Sometimes we end up prolonging the pain or making ourselves feel even worse, simply because we do not give ourselves permission to feel bad. Take grief for example. If you have lost a loved one recently and are feeling down about it, that is good. You should be. Frankly, I would be more worried if you felt like everything was sunshine and rainbows.
I truly think most of us need to let go a little bit and give ourselves permission to have a bad day, week or even month. If there are a lot of stresses going on in your life simply saying “it’s okay to not be okay” can be extremely freeing. Now I do want to be careful here and say if you have been feeling not yourself for a while, please do check in with your doctor. However, if you look at your life circumstances and know that you have been going through a lot, maybe you just need to ease up and allow yourself to go through the pain.
When we are not feeling our best I think one of the best things we can do for ourselves is pay close attention to our self-care. How would you treat a loved one who was feeling down? Hopefully with kindness, compassion, and a little extra love. Same thing should apply to ourselves. Focus on the basics; getting some rest, exercise, and putting good food into the body. Find time to do things that you enjoy doing and pamper yourself a little bit. Give yourself permission to have a good cry. Maybe do some journal writing as a way to get pent up feelings and thoughts out. Use your family and friends as supports.
Life has so many ups and downs and we are all just along for the ride. Sometimes we don’t like the downs, but the more compassion and patience we have with ourselves, the easier it will be to ride them out. Nothing lasts forever and this too shall pass.