Sometimes It’s Okay to NOT Be Okay

**Important note:  This article refers to the normal downs in life that happen to everyone.  It is NOT referencing depression, which is different and serious.  If you are dealing with a mental health crisis, please reach out to a professional for help.  National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-6264 , National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255, or

Truth moment:  Sometimes, I am not okay.  Yes, I have a blog about self-acceptance, self-care, and mindset.  Yes, I try to inspire women to find joy in their lives.  I try to accentuate the positive as much as possible.

However, part of my truth is acknowledging that sometimes it’s okay to NOT be okay.  Sometimes it’s perfectly acceptable to feel down, sad, heartbroken, or just lost. 

Sad woman in pajamas on unmade bed feeling not okay

If you happened to read my about page, you know I promised to not make this blog a fantasy world of all sunshine and roses all the time.  I promised to be honest and REAL. 

So here it is.  A genuine article about the frailty of life.  Sometimes bad things happen, and life sucks.  It’s hard, it’s painful, and it’s exhausting.  Later I will be about the business of finding the positive, rising to the challenge, and forging my way through it.

But for today, I just want to NOT be okay.

If you feel like that sometimes, too, please read on.  We are in this together!

Why Sometimes It’s Okay to NOT be Okay

Life is fantastic at handing out little nuggets of crap sometimes.  Maybe you fight with someone you love, lose your job, or deal with a chronic illness.  There are so many things that could make the list.

But the point is, everyone has days now and then where it all just feels a bit overwhelming, and you need a break.  I am here to remind you that it is okay to not be okay at times.  Sometimes just being able to acknowledge that is a relief.

Woman not feeling okay holding her head in one hand and wrapping other arm around her knees

Seriously, why do we all feel like we have to walk around saying we are fine all the time?  “How are you?”  “Oh, I am fine, thanks!”  Really?  Are we always just “fine?”  I don’t think so.  But we feel obligated to pretend that we are.

Why does it seem so scary to just say, “You know what, today sucks.  I’m tired, overwhelmed, and I really just want to crawl in bed for a few hours.”  Somehow, we have been deceived into believing that if we acknowledge we are not okay for a minute, then we are a failure.

I think not.  I think a little honesty would help many people take better care of themselves.  But we are so damn afraid of looking like we don’t have everything together that we just cling to the pretense of being okay to save face at all costs.

I want to challenge that idea and say, “No!” It is perfectly acceptable to not be okay sometimes!

What to do When You are Not Okay

First and foremost, when you are not okay, ACKNOWLEDGE IT!!  At least to yourself.  You are not a failure, a loser, or a weakling for admitting that today is hard.  So, let’s look at some options for those times when you are not okay.

Call in sick from work.

Yes, I am serious.  Have you heard of “mental health days?”  I 100% believe in them.  Sometimes you need a break, babe.  I don’t recommend you do this on the regular, of course, but every now and then, it is completely reasonable to take a day to take care of yourself.  You will certainly be a more productive employee if you do.  (This assumes you have a job that allows for sick time or PTO, please don’t endanger your job!)

Pick your favorite self-care idea and do it.

Decide what kind of self-care you need most that day.  It could be a walk in nature, a mediation session, a bubble bath, eating your favorite meal, or spending time with a special person.  Spend a few minutes really tuning into what you need to get some peace and do it.


Yes, sometimes releasing the emotion is extremely therapeutic.  In fact, there are many studies that show the benefits of crying. 

So, let it out!!

Crying woman sitting on couch being comforted by a friend.

Talk to someone.

Call someone you are close to and trust that will allow you to just vent about whatever is going on.  Or maybe you want to call someone that will make you laugh and take your mind off things for a bit.  Either way, just having someone to talk to can make things seem much less stressful.


When you are not okay, sometimes getting some extra sleep can do wonders for your mindset and resiliency.  We are usually trying to fire on all cylinders, and that’s exhausting.  Sometimes the extra rest can go a long way in repairing your stress.

How to Move Back to Being Okay

Sometimes putting a time limit on not being okay helps.  I know, that sounds kind of weird.  But honestly, I do this regularly.  If something happened that made me feel upset, stressed, or angry, I will tell myself, “Okay, Teresa, you have all night tonight to have a pity party.  But tomorrow, you must pull it back together and move on.”

That gives me time to unashamedly wallow in my “not okayness” and not feel bad about it.  But knowing I have a time limit also makes it so that I don’t get “stuck” not being okay. 

At the end of the day, knowing I have to bounce back and find my strength to move forward helps me to make sure I keep everything in balance.

Once you have taken sufficient time to allow yourself to just not be okay, you must be about the business of picking yourself up and getting back in the game.

Decide what you can actually do about the situation.  If it’s nothing, accept that.  That is easier said than done, I admit.  It takes time and patience, so be prepared to go between not okay and acceptance a few times before it “sticks.” 

Brunette woman walking outside in Fall with beautiful park scenery.

Surround yourself as much as is reasonable with people, things, and activities that bring you joy.  That’s a beautiful way to get your mojo back after not being okay for a bit.

Being Okay, and NOT Okay, is Part of Life.

Remember, sometimes it’s okay to not be okay.  It’s part of the human experience, and no one is exempt.  There is strength in just admitting where you are and allowing yourself to work through it.  When you are not okay, you don’t have to fake it.

Allow yourself time to not be okay.  But don’t allow yourself to get stuck there.  Use some of the suggestions mentioned here, or your favorite techniques, to get your groove back.

If at any time you feel you cannot move forward and need help, please reach out to someone immediately.  Use the numbers and resources I listed at the beginning of this article.  Reach out to a trusted friend or family member.  While going through times of both is normal, feeling like you can’t get back to okay, could mean you need some help.

Please comment below and let me know if you have any favorite ways of catering to a day of not being okay.  What are your favorite ways to get back to your okay place?

With Love and Acceptance,


Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *