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On Hitting a Rough Patch

April 12, 2012

I recently hit a rough patch. Maybe it was the milkshake, maybe it was the skipping of the gym, maybe it was the stars crossing through Mercury and sending latent bits of werewolf howler monkey into my DNA. (That’s what astrology does, right?) Who knows. Whatever it was, it was a rough time. Especially when I started to beat myself up about having a rough time. This is exactly as helpful as you’d suspect.

What To Do When You’re Having a Rough Time and Beating Yourself Up About It

Maybe you’re beating yourself up about something right now – a work project, a problematic relationship, unwashed dishes, a thought pattern that you just can’t shake even though you know it’s not doing you any good.

I’m asking you to stop. Stop beating yourself up. Gently let go of that keen desire to flog yourself like a medieval monk who misspelled Ezekiel in his illuminated manuscript. Remind yourself that you’re doing the best you can in each moment and, since this is life and we’re in the middle of it, some moments are just better than others.

A Handy List of Ways To Stop Beating Yourself Up

  1. Take a deep breath.
  2. Imagine yourself letting go of whatever is inside that deep, dark need to bop yourself over the head.
  3. Or imagine yourself stepping into it. Sometimes I imagine stepping into whatever feeling or emotion I’m having – especially the scary ones. I step into the dark ball and feel something or cry or be dramatic for a few minutes, but ultimately I realize it’s just not that bad. And it dissipates.
  4. Take another deep breath.
  5. Think about an action you can take right now that would make whatever you’re beating yourself up about a little better.
  6. Now do that thing. Yes, now.
  7. Make a list of all the things you’re beating yourself up about. Now write your rebuttals, from that nice gentle place. Or send it to a dear (and gentle) friend for a list of outside rebuttals.
  8. Or take your list and set it on fire over the sink.
  9. Take another deep breath.


For those of you who already subscribe to the newsletter, you’ve probably already stopped reading because this looks reaaaally familiar, so I won’t even bother to apologize. For those of you who don’t, I send something like this out every Tuesday. If you want it, sign up here.

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1 Comment

  • Reply terra April 17, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    I am pro setting things on fire. Especially feelings I’ve written down. Works like a charm.

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