Going Through A Tough Time? Get Good at Being Not Okay

get good at feeling not okay
If you're going through a tough time, it's perfectly okay to feel not okay. Here is how you can get good at it.

We all go through tough times in our lives. And we’ve all heard the saying, “it’s okay to not be okay.”

And usually, when we are feeling not okay, we are looking for solutions to help us get out of that state as soon as possible.

And I get it – when you’re going through a rough patch in your life, that feeling of being not okay really sucks when you’re in it!

But what would happen, if, instead of forcing yourself to get back to being okay, you opened yourself up to the tough experience you’re going through?

What if you allowed yourself to be present with it?

How would it feel to give yourself time and space to get good at going through whatever it is you’re going through?

What if you let yourself feel not okay?

Because if you are human, it is very likely that you will experience periods of feeling not okay. 

So what if, instead of setting the expectation that you should move through this period quickly, you shifted your attention to getting good at it being in it? 

Surrendering to how you feel might seem scary, but can end up feeling kinda good.

There was a period a few years ago when I was going through a very tough time. I was not feeling okay. And when I finally surrendered to that fact, it actually felt kind of good. 

Because there is something about admitting what is real for you that is so freeing. You don’t have to pretend anymore. You can be honest with yourself. And being honest with yourself is essential to self-growth.

So here are five things you can do to start to do if you’re going through a tough time, and want to try to get better at being not okay.

1. Acknowledge that you’re not okay

Don’t force yourself to be okay when you’re going through a tough time. Suppressing what is true for you will only delay your healing process. Allowing yourself to feel not okay, when that is your truth, is freeing in and of itself. And remember to not shame yourself for how you feel, and instead learn to practice self-compassion.

2. Take care of your body

The mind, body, and spirit are all interconnected. When your mind and your spirit are not okay, start with the body. Keep it simple: Remember to hydrate. Eat. Get good sleep. Shower. Get Dressed. Move your body.

3. Create a safe space

And what I mean by a safe space is creating a space where you can simply be yourself in the moment. No pretending – no lying to yourself. Being truly authentic. This could be with a supportive friend or a therapist, an area in your home where you can be with yourself and your thoughts, or even by creating a safe space to go to in your mind. 

4. Be open to learning

If you’re feeling not okay, it is likely for a reason. And digging into that is going to help you learn more about who you are and what you want to become. Learn to pause before making decisions. Learn to preserve your energy, and choose what is best for you. Learn to trust in yourself. And if you aren’t sure where to start, download my free self-reflection guides.

5. Trust in your own resiliency

Many of us fear admitting when we are not okay because we are afraid we won’t be able to handle it. That the feelings or the experience will be too intense.

But luckily, resiliency comes with being human. We are born to survive. Believing in your own ability to endure whatever suffering you’re going through might be hard, but it isn’t impossible.

For me, when I was in a “not okay” place, I eventually had an epiphany. One night, I was going home from work, and had just gotten off the subway when the idea “I am vast enough to be going through this” popped in my mind. And it became quite a healing mantra. 

Because it meant I didn’t have to like what I was going through; I didn’t have to think it was all for the best; I didn’t even have to be strong if I didn’t want to be. But there is comfort in knowing I am expansive enough to endure tough times, to endure life, and all of the complicated experiences and emotions it brings.

Being able to ask for help and lean on others for support when you’re going through a tough time may feel difficult at first, but it can provide true comfort and healing. And if you’re feeling not okay right now, I encourage you to reach out. Because no matter what you’re going through, I promise, you’re not alone.



Hi! I'm Paige Rechtman

Cat Lover, Real Person, and LGBTQIA+ Friendly Therapist 🌈

therapist williamsburg brooklyn

I provide a judgment-free space for New Yorkers struggling with chronic work stress, anxiety, and low self-esteem.

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