I originally wrote this article 3 years ago for The Crybaby Club Blog. The site has undergone a lot of changes in 3 years and it's not there anymore, so I wanted to re-share it here because I think it's still a very needed thing to hear!
5 Things That Are ALWAYS OKAY!
1) Needing Help
Doing things on your own makes you feel awesome, but it's okay if sometimes you need help. I have things that I call my "safeties", and having these things with me keeps my mind a little more at ease in anxiety-provoking situations. One of these safeties is my sister! She knows me, she knows how my anxiety works, and having her with me gives me that little extra boost of "I can do this!" Needing help from time to time doesn't mean you're dependent on anyone, or that you can't handle things by yourself. It just means that in this particular situation, you needed a little support. That's what friends are for!
2) Down Time
I used to measure my own productivity by what I saw my friends doing. NOT a good idea. Everyone's lives are different, and everyone's bodies need different things. Sometimes you might wake up and feel like "Hey, I've been pretty stressed out lately. I should make sure I drink a lot of water today and eat some hearty meals." A day spent at home taking care of yourself is probably the most important type of productive day you can have, so listen to your body when it feels like it needs something! Also, productivity comes in a lot of different forms. One of my daily goals was to make something creative every day, whether it was a little doodle or learning some chords on my guitar. It's also okay if your way of being productive for the day is to make a list of the things you need to be productive about tomorrow! Bake cookies. Take a photograph. Make a playlist. As long as your brainpower is actively engaging in whatever task you're doing, you're being productive!
3) Having Your Own Timeline
This one was a tough one for me to accept. We're so used to seeing that we should be at X place in our life by Y years old- and for some people, it might really work out like that. But it's okay if it doesn't! Facebook loves to alert us which one of our friends is getting married next, who's having babies, and who just landed their dream job. And that's great for those people, but you should never feel like you aren't where you should be based on where other people are. Your life is exactly that- YOUR life. You decide where you want your time to go, what areas you want to concentrate on, and what you want to ultimately achieve. These things can take a LONG TIME to figure out! Try as many things as you can/want, change directions as many times as you have to, make the choices that are the best fit for YOUR lifestyle! (And then re-make them if you chose wrong!)
Now, there's a reason that this word is in quotes. "Failing" is a nasty word, really, and it sounds too definitive. Failing isn't the end of anything- it's just a signal to try things differently. One thing I like to remind myself is that there's always tomorrow. If you set a goal to go out of your comfort zone for a while but ultimately decide it was just too much- you didn't fail. There's no rule that says you can't try again. If you didn't get that job you really wanted- you still didn't fail. There will be other jobs just like it. If you approach everything as a learning experience, you'll always find something to take away from "failures".
This one should be pretty obvious, given the name of the club, right?? My absolute favorite item from the Crybaby shop is the print that says "You Cried But You Did The Thing Anyway And I Think You're Really Brave." Crying doesn't make you weak. If you cry the entire time you do something that challenges you, it doesn't take away any ounce of how strong you were for doing it. A doctor of mine once told me that if you feel like you have to cry, don't hold it in! Crying is actually a very healthy way to release stress build-up. And everyone does it, whether you've seen it or not! When something makes you cry, think of those tear streaks left behind as warpaint. You can be fierce and strong and brave and cry. It doesn't negate any of those things.
So this was just a little list to review if you're ever feeling down on yourself, because we all have days where we judge ourselves a little too harshly. Just remember that you are your own biggest cheerleader just as much as you are your own biggest critic- so try to make the cheers drown out everything else! And if you can't, that's what everyone else in this club is here for!