When I woke up this morning, I set out to be a good friend to a very special friend of mine and to myself, as we both have struggled in the past and continue to face some challenges in our respective lives. I have been in such a good place lately, in terms of coping with the anxiety and depression and learning to take better care of myself, and I am finally in the position to be able to return some of the kindness shown to me during my struggles and to be able shower some kindness on myself through my words and actions.
I did not feel anxious or depressed today, yet this morning, I just didn’t feel as positive or energetic as I have lately. Maybe, this bit of a slump was caused by the rain and dropping temperatures. Maybe, it was due to the holiday frenzy that continues to swirl around me, or maybe, it was a case of the Monday blues. Whatever it was, I did not like it, as it left me feeling a bit unsettled. Rather than beat myself up for feeling less than my best and/or overanalyze the situation, I decided to take a kinder, gentler approach with myself, just as I would with a friend who is in a bad mood.
It never ceases to amaze me the harsh and unkind words that I will use in reference to myself when I am already feeling down, and it never makes the situation or my mood any better. So, I made the conscious effort today to use positive self-talk and withhold judgment of myself and my feelings, and I focused on the tasks at hand, instead of surrendering to the anxiety and depression. I literally gave myself pep talks and praised myself each time I accomplished something, no matter how big or how small, and before I knew it, I forgot all about how the morning started and was in a fairly good mood overall. The lingering concerns and stressors were not overwhelming, and I devised a game plan for how to tackle the personal and professional responsibilities before me. I believed in myself and my abilities, treated myself patiently and kindly, and, in the end, was content and happy with myself. It feels good to be my own best friend rather than my own worst enemy.
It is much more natural for me to be a good friend to others than it is to myself, and I still would rather be the one who is struggling than for someone I care about to go through even an ounce of pain. Right now, my “go to” person is the one who needs someone to go to, and I hope that I am able to be that person. This person has been through so very much, and it seems like every time one issue is resolved, another one emerges to take its place and to cause worry and stress on a variety of levels. While I cannot change or control the challenges my friend faces or how this person chooses to deal with them, I can do my best to be the very best friend I can be during the ups and downs. My friend has stood by my side when I hit bottom and has tirelessly supported me and believed in me, even when I gave up on myself, and I set out to do the same today when another challenge arose.
I felt terribly helpless when I could not offer immediate relief or provide definitive answers as I listened to my friend’s concerns, and while I have not been in the same situations, I still could empathize with the stress and the fear of the unknown. I did what I could at the time; I listened, offered reassurance and advice; interjected humor; and promised my help and support. Since I know how tough it can be to ask for and accept help, I later did something concrete when I sent some much-needed items to my friend, in the hopes that it would alleviate at least one of the stressors and serve as a reminder that when I say that I am here and will help in whatever way that I can that I really do mean it. It is the least I can do for someone who has done a lot for me when I needed it the most.
So, being a good friend to myself and to my special friend were two things I was able to do today that made my world and I hope my friend’s world a bit better and brighter. I hope that you did the same for yourself and/or for someone else today, because we all get by with a little help from our friends.
Just one thing each day . . .
Categories: Just One Thing Each Day