This. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve written this over the last few years.
Since the start of January 2017, I’ve been keeping a “happiness jar” – which oftentimes, was really just my jar of sadness. I read about this idea online and thought, why not? So, every night before bed I write down something from the day that made me happy, something I’m grateful or thankful for, or really, whatever I’d like. I write my thoughts on sticky notes and toss them into my big ole jar (yep, a cookie jar, actually!).
In addition to whatever is significant from that day, I also write down a quote or two (or sometimes lots more!) that are particularly relevant to how I am feeling. So, the point is to do this nightly for the entire year, and then read everything you wrote on the first day of the new year. It’s actually a really neat process, to see how you felt throughout the previous year, how happy, or sad, and to see how far you’ve come. Very insightful. I’ve super enjoyed doing this and will continue to do so.
So, between my “happiness jar” and my journaling, this saying has come up soooo many times. Why? Because some days, literally, the only thing I was capable of doing was breathing. And that was enough. Especially on those days I felt trapped in the dark tunnel I couldn’t escape. Breathing felt particularly significant (obviously!), and I was proud enough to just be able to do that. On those days, I learned to extend grace to myself. I literally repeated to myself It’s okay if the only thing you did today was breathe. Tomorrow is a new day. Try again then. And the cycle went on.
Even in my 2018 jar, I know I’ve written this a few times now. Maybe more than a few times. Every day isn’t perfect, I’m not perfect and neither are you. And the good news is that no one said we have to be. So, grow and make progress on the days you can, and just breathe on all the days you can’t possibly do anything else. Just know that, even on those days, you are growing, you are evolving, and you ARE getting stronger.
Just breathe. And in the moments when even that feels impossible, slow down…and take deeper breaths. Yes, you read that correctly. Focusing on your breathing will help relax you and calm you down. And I say “calm you down” because typically, if you’re having this experience, you’re also crying hysterically. So, breathe and know that tomorrow is a new day. It always is. And it’s a chance to start fresh and to continue extending grace to yourself.
Just breathe. It’s enough. And so are you.