It's Okay, to Not Be Okay. 3 Ways to Cope During Hard Times Without Ignoring Them.

Geesh, talk about tough times. We are currently battling a pandemic resulting in much death, loss of jobs, businesses, and sanity from being quarantined so long. If that wasn't enough, add in the continuance of police brutality and the unlawful killing of black men and women. Oh, and killer hornets entered the United States, killer hornets really?

Anywho, continuing to scroll on social media and watch the news is heartbreaking. Many of us literally have watched a black man and/or woman's life being taken by gun and hand. It's traumatic and sadly too normal, in addition to the fact that each and every one of us has our own hardships and battles that we are facing, whether it's the loss or sickness of a loved one or anxiety and depression.

But, It's okay, to not be okay. We are here, and this too shall pass. Here are some ways to cope and feel better during the many hardships.

1. Make time for Yourself.

For some of the Extra Introverts, this seems easy. However, this time shouldn't just be used to be by yourself, but being intentional with your time by yourself. Take the time to sit with your thoughts and be okay with not being okay. Write it out, talk it out, make a video to yourself, talk to god, whatever you do, just do that. Take time to feel all of the feelings that you have a right to feel and should feel if you are human. This is a time to think, without the thoughts or opinions of others, and just yours. Experience what makes you not feel okay, and more importantly, explore what can and will make you feel better.

Right now, the injustice in America is really hard for me. Like many, I was hitting a breaking point of being fed up with waking up viewing another video of unlawful killing. I began to feel hopeless and too small to make a change. It was after I sat with myself, to discover what I can do to feel better. For me, that was taking action to have the uncomfortable conversations and understand others, not like me. In addition to putting myself in situations to help others know what I feel like as a black human in America.

2. Confide and Talk to Others

I admit, this is a harder one for me, but I feel better when I do. I am one of the first people to look at the bright side, find happiness in a dark situation, and smile through troubled times. However, sometimes I straddle a thin line between being positive and ignoring reality. The constant need to be "okay" or "making the best out of a situation" occasionally turned into sweeping emotions under the rug. During the times that I do share more of what's going on and allow others to be there for me or share my feelings, I realized it's okay not to be okay.

3. Believe that things will be better.

It's okay to believe that it WILL be okay. There will be many factors that play a part in this. Patience is needed. Understanding that we can only control, what is in our control, and that baby steps are still steps. Don't quit, lose hope, or give up.