10 Things To Do When You’re Not Okay

woman feeling down

Sometimes, we’re just not okay. We hurt, grieve, stress, burn out. It’s part of life but it makes us comfortable – and it can really make the people around us uncomfortable. But it’s okay to not be okay. It’s normal not to be okay sometimes. It’s normal to be okay and not okay in the same day – or even in the same hour. So when you’re not okay, then be not okay and try one of the following suggestions. They might make you feel a little more okay that day.*

1. Slow it down. Life is busy and most of us have daunting to-do lists, if not on paper then certainly in our heads. But the beautiful thing about our to-do lists, is that they don’t go away. So when you’re feeling less than okay, slow down for the day – you don’t need to power through. That pressing item will be waiting for you tomorrow or the next day. And if you’re lucky, it will just go away.

2. Fake it til you make it. Sometimes, however, it can help to power through a day. Sometimes we wake up feeling so not okay but we brush our teeth and head out the door to face the day anyway. We set our speed to autopilot, smile, and you know what? By faking it, we end up okay, or at least a little better than not okay. So go ahead and fake it if that makes you feel better.

3. Say you’re okay. “How are you?” “Okay.” Wait! What? Why’d I just say that? I am so not okay. Maybe you said it because it’s easier. Some people are really uncomfortable with discomfort and may try to fix you or your situation if you’re not okay. But your feelings aren’t something to be fixed-they are just something you need to feel. So if you think it’s easier not to disclose, you don’t have to.

4. Go outside. Fresh air is like a miracle drug. Feeling down? Leave the building. Take a walk or just take a deep breath.

5. Call in sick. Of course only you can assess the risk of taking a mental health day. But if you have the paid time off and you’re not putting your job in jeapardy, call it in for the day. It can be exhausting to act okay at work when you’re anything but. And it can be detrimental to your professional reputation if you can’t fake it!

6. Treat yourself. Pamper yourself like you would pamper a friend who is hurting. Get an ice cream. Binge watch Netflix. Go to the movies. Take a nap. Just take care of yourself.

7. Experience art. Whether it’s music, a museum, a beautifully written book, or a walk in the woods, art, and nature, can lift our spirits and remind us that the world is bigger than our current situation. Art can transport us beyond the moment – to a place where we might be okay.

8. Move. It is amazing how powerful the body is in caring for the mind. If you’re hurting emotionally, do something physical. Movement is another powerful method of transporting us from our current state to a more optimistic one.

9. Cry. Not okay today? Let the tears flow. Why fight them?

10. Find a friend. Phone a friend you know, or post to a friend you don’t. Online support groups can be an amazing way to validate your feelings, find a supportive community, and feel a little less alone.

*If you’re not okay for a really long time and it’s interfering in your ability to work, care for your family or yourself, seek the help of a medical professional. And if you’re feeling suicidal please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255.


12 comments on “10 Things To Do When You’re Not Okay”

  1. Helen Holland Reply

    Thank you so much for your post… I am at the moment on holiday in Cyprus…. however, I can’t stop thinking about my elderly father who is very frail at the moment.. I work full time and then at night put my parents to bed they are both 89… I am lucky because my brothers look after them during the day …,I feel like I shouldn’t be here and I contemplating flying home to be with them but that means leaving my partner here …. mmmm

    • admin Reply

      It’s so tough to want to be in two places at once. Ask yourself, what will matter most in 1 week, 2 months, 1 year? Go home if you want but know you are not all powerful and anything can happen wherever you are.

  2. Anonymous Reply

    I just wanna say thank you for this post. I’m having a day-a week really..where I’m just very not okay. And I’m doing a few of those examples. I’m faking it at work, and around others, but inside I’m falling apart. So I’m gonna walk my dog, take a shower, and eat a bowl of ice cream. I’m gonna pray about it and one day I’m gonna wake up and be a little closer to okay<3

      • Omar Tullis Reply

        I gild inside all of my emotions. I know that I am hurtful to others but do not care. But I do care. Trying to do better and be better for my son has been a struggle and cannot find a way to be the good example. I still can’t stop cheating on his mother…most of these things haunt me and the steps above are good starters but I still struggle with the sadness within because of the hurt I cause

    • MsRose Reply

      Thank you so much for sharing this informative post which I have just read on my podcast JustMsRose “Being Okay with Yourself” S3 E194 that can be heard on Apple and Spotify.

  3. Sarah Reply

    Are you kidding this is the worst
    List ever! Some shit “fake or till you make it” “contact a friend“ tf I don’t have the energy to fake it and I want it to be real, my friends have abandoned me and I have no one. Wtf am I supposed to do?!

  4. Andi Reply

    Thank you for sharing this list. I am struggling with a falling relationship and with an estranged father. No matter how hard I try to reconnect with my spouse and with my father I fail. I am getting to the point where I just want to focus on my children and myself. Tired of trying to fix people. Just want to live. Tired of just existing. Definitely will try a few of these recommendations. I have been faking it a little too much I think…

  5. Sheree Reply

    I can appreciate how this may work for those “going through a rough patch” but when mental health struggles are involved some of these suggestions may actually exacerbate things. Just something to consider or even look into further. God bless.

  6. Darla Hunter Reply

    Sometimes it feels like everyone’s a narcissist and I’m the only sane one in the world. I even know that’s funny and not correct, but sometimes it feels that way.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *