I'm Not OK, But That's OK

I'm Not OK, But That's OK

It's not embarrassing to be unhappy.
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My whole life, my crayons have always been in rainbow order. Every year when I got my class schedule, I would be the first one at Staples buying exorbitant amounts of color-coded supplies. Safe to say, I'm a bit of a perfectionist.

Because of this, I've always struggled to accept failure. As soon as something didn't seem to go my way, or align itself in perfect color order, I'd compensate with something similar, yet equally stress-inducing. Didn't win class president? Join a new club. Quit basketball? Get a job. Struggling with a heavy course load? Take even more classes.

As soon as I let myself be upset when things didn't work out in my favor, I saw my unhappiness as a sign of weakness. Rather than learn from my own downfalls, I would feel guilty for even considering being unhappy. Failure wasn't an option, so instead I would search for my next success, without allowing myself to dwell on defeat. Just like that, I got stuck in a vicious cycle - never allowing myself to be upset, but rather allowing it to slowly accumulate, each grain of disappointment slowly trickling to the bottom of the hourglass until time began to fill it to the brim. I was always okay, and then just suddenly I wasn't.

About halfway through my senior year of high school, I started to shut people out. My amazing group of friends suddenly became a hindrance in my mind, whilst in actuality they were the opposite. Rather than turning to them for help, I stayed silent, instead turning to the fictional friends who provided refuge within my favorite books. I was embarrassed to admit my own weakness, so I didn't.

Criticism, too, began to affect me far more than it ever had before. Malicious remarks that I had once scoffed at as mere jealousy or lack of a better hobby became the basis of my own self-worth. In one particular instance, an issue of the school newspaper I had invested hours into faced immense criticism, to which I responded by shutting off my phone and shutting out those around me, avoiding the situation altogether.

By avoiding all of the stressors in my life, I was instead magnifying their impact. Left unresolved, they became a massive weight upon my shoulders, rivaling Atlas' own crushing burden.

Thus, came many sad days. Days where I didn't want to leave my room. Days I left texts unanswered. Days my mom remarked about how oddly long it had been since she had seen my friends. After four years of high school, and many years before that, I just finally needed time to myself to wallow.

By finally feeling the sadness which I had kept contained for so long, I was finally releasing the negative emotions into the world, freeing up space within myself for the positives.

I'm not going to sit here and pretend I'm always happy now. I'm not. However, I can say with confidence, it's okay to be unhappy. It's okay to show weakness. It's okay to be human!

I'm not always okay, but that's okay.

Cover Image Credit: Disney Wikia

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100 Ways To Practice Self-Care In Your Everyday Life, In 20 Minutes Or Less

Simple ways to start taking care of yourself.

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Life is overwhelming and distracting so it's easy to forget about yourself sometimes, but practicing small self-care acts is easy. Making time for yourself every day isn't selfish and is really good for your mental health. I think it's important for everyone to spend time doing things that make them happy and more calm, even if you only dedicate 20 minutes each day. Putting yourself first can lead to growth so many other aspects of your life.

Obviously, each person is allowed to practice self-care in their own unique way, but here are some ideas to get you started!

1. Do something new. 

2. Make a list of things you need to get done that week. 

3. Drink some hot tea. 

4. Go for a walk on a scenic trail.

5. Paint your nails.

6. Have a good laugh.

7. Buy yourself flowers.

8. Light a candle.

9. Do some tidying up.

10. Don't feel bad for saying 'no.'

11. Listen to music.

12. Slow down.

13. Drink a smoothie.

14. Run mindless errands.

15. Write down your goals for the week.

16. Talk to someone about the future.

17. Wake up early and get coffee. 

18. Take care of a plant. 

19. Take a bubble bath. 

20. Give yourself a compliment.

21. Give a stranger a compliment.

22. Watch a movie.

23. Put your phone down.

24. Declutter your personal space.

25. Go to bed early. 

26. Pray or meditate. 

27. Go for a drive. 

28. Make it a habit to stargaze. 

29. Read a book. 

30. Read poems. 

31. Sing loudly. 

32. Make a list of things you're grateful for. 

33. Drink a lot of water. 

34. Put on make-up for no reason.

35. Watch funny videos. 

36. Take a deep breath. 

37. Distance yourself from negativity. 

38. Unfollow people you don't care to follow on social media. 

39. Have a pajama day. 

40. Read an inspirational book. 

41. Call your parents/ loved ones. 

42. Donate old clothing. 

43. Dedicate a day out of the week to not eating meat. 

44. Do a fun craft or DIY project. 

45. Put on a face mask and relax. 

46. Do a small workout. 

47. Take a power nap. 

48. Listen to a podcast. 

49. Open a window. 

50. Open your curtains in the morning to let in natural light. 

51. Make your bed. 

52. Cook dinner instead of eating out. 

53. Play/ cuddle with an animal. 

54. At the end of the day, think of all the positive things that happened.

55. Moisturize. 

56. Buy a comforting blanket. 

57. Give someone a hug. 

58. Create a vision board. 

59. Have some alone time.

60. Enjoy the sun on your skin. 

61. Dance like nobody is watching.

62. Walk in the rain every once in a while. 

63. Drive with the windows down. 

64. Give someone a gift for no reason. 

65. Get a massage. 

66. Do something that gets your adrenaline running. 

67. Spend the day at the library or a book store. 

68. Organize your work space/ binders. 

69. Spend a weekend in. 

70. Recognize hard work and reward yourself. 

71. Sign up for a work out class. 

72. Eat lunch with a friend. 

73. Spend the day helping others. 

74. Get your hair done. 

75. Have a good cry. 

76. Use sticky notes. 

77. Color code your planner. 

78. Print out pictures and hang them up. 

79. Hang motivational quotes on your mirror and read them when you get ready. 

80. Do random acts of kindness. 

81. Buy fuzzy socks. 

82. Redecorate or rearrange furniture. 

83. Be present. 

84. Set a new years resolution. 

85. Make a bucket list. 

86. Stretch in the morning. 

87. Watch an interesting documentary. 

88. Make a music playlist.

89. Watch the sunrise or sunset. 

90. Explore somewhere new.

91. Be slow to respond to negativity. 

92. Have a game night with friends. 

93. Buy concert tickets. 

94. Have a nightly routine before bed. 

95. Eat your favorite dessert. 

96. Do something you've been putting off. 

97. Invest in essential oils. 

98. Manage your finances. 

99. Buy a new outfit. 

100. Make your own gratitude list. 

Try at least one of these every week and see how you feel! I guarantee you will notice a difference in the way you are living your life.

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Poetry On Odyssey: A Stress Call

It's the most stressful time of the year!

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It's the season of stress

When people seem the busiest

Final exams, presents and time

Students grades are on the line


Is it really the season of love and giving

Or are people too worried about money and winning

People stress about everything, big or small

It is not healthy all in all


Stress plagues peoples lives

People are too focused on "mine, mine mine"

In the world we live in, what can we do

About not having people or outlets to turn to


In a world with such confusion

And problems knocking at the door

Is anyone paying attention

To the call of the people anymore


Stress may seem overbearing

Or impossible to defeat

Keep your eyes on the dreams

You've always wanted to complete


Stress is just a roadblock

On the road called life

Continue to press on

It will be alright

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